"Life by Chocolate" Cakes

I made these amazing cakes to go with the stuffed chicken breast meal. The extravagance was partially just because were were in Fort Wayne, and partially because my dear friend Stephanie from Bloomington came to visit!

It was hard to find a pic of Stephanie when she WASN'T posed like this.

That's a fun picture of her from our Terre Haute adventure last summer.

And here's a nice one I found on facebook.

Stephanie is really supportive, and she also doesn't cook much herself, so I wanted to make something that would knock her socks off.

I knew this recipe from PW would do just the thing.

It's basically chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate. My mom said I finally found something that pushed her limits of how much chocolate she can take.

Ohhhhhh yessssssssss. These were so good. Unbelievably good. And photogenic!

The only change I made was to butter and flour the cupcake pans, the same way I would for a cake. This is my preferred way to make cupcakes and muffins now, since I almost never have cupcake wrappers. PW calls for you to use cooking spray, but a lot of the comments on the post said that people had trouble with theirs sticking. I also took care not to push the chocolate kisses down into the cupcake, since that also caused sticking for some people. For me, these popped right out of the pan and looked exactly the way they were supposed to. I'd love to make them again, but I'll refrain from doing so until we have a house guest or something else exciting.

Life by Chocolate Cakes
from Pioneer Woman

  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 2 cups All-purpose Flour
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • ½ cups Buttermilk
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 2 sticks 1 Cup Butter
  • 4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa Powder
  • 1 cup Water, Boiling
  • 18 whole Hershey's Kisses, Unwrapped
  • Canned Pitted Cherries (optional)
  • 8 ounces, weight Bittersweet Chocolate
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 6 Tablespoons Corn Syrup
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 18 muffin cups with baking spray.

To make the cake batter, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate container, combine buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir to combine and set aside.

In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and stir to combine. Add boiling water, allow to bubble for a few seconds, then turn off heat.

Pour chocolate mixture over flour mixture. Stir a few times to cool the chocolate. Pour buttermilk mixture over the top and stir to combine.

Pour 1/4 cup cake batter into each muffin cup. Lightly set one kiss in the middle of each cupcake; do not press down.

(Alternately, you can add 3 canned, pitted cherries to each muffin cup before adding the batter.)

Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then remove cupcakes and allow to cool on a baking rack.

To make the ganache, heat cream and corn syrup over medium heat. Chop chocolate and add to a bowl. Add vanilla to cream mixture, then pour cream mixture over the top of the chopped chocolate. Whisk together until melted, smooth, and glossy.

Dunk cupcakes in ganache. Allow to cool and set before serving.*

*We had way more ganache than we needed, so we just kept piling it on. It was definitely the right choice.

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