Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Chocolate 'Surprise' Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Ganache - gluten free

I have a new favourite chocolate sponge. Rich, dark, moist, melty....... I reckon this is one of the best GF chocolate cupcake sponges I have ever made... really!!!

It came from one of those grumpy days when only cake (and specifically chocolate cake) can make you feel okay. When you need something sweet and comforting and when you need to revisit your inner child and just indulge your grumpiness for a while.

I have noticed a bit of a trend recently with people putting sweets inside their cakes before baking them. Not necessarily a new idea, but one which has become popular........ which is no surprise since it gives scope to make a multitude of alternative sponges in just one batch........ Pop a different sweet in each cupcake (providing they are suitable for baking) and you have instant 'cupcake bingo'!

Not wanting to miss out on the fun, I had a bit of a rummage in the cupboard and found a half used bag of Reece's Peanut Butter Cup Minis and some Rolos. I would have happily dumped myself in front of the TV and gobbled them up straight from the bag, but cake was calling, so I decided to envelop a few in gooey chocolate cake batter and bake them into an extra decadent treat.

In the absence of soured cream, but finding half a large pot of thick plain greek yoghurt in the fridge, I made a substitution and whipped up a cake batter, loaded with ground almonds and cocoa.

One half of the batch hides a peanut buttery surprise, the other half a hint of toffee, surrounded by shameless, fluffy, chocolatey sponge. But that is not sinful enough...... No.......... these cupcakes are also slathered with a topping of opulent dark chocolate ganache........ a simple combination of dark chocolate and double cream which blends to gooey perfection!

If you want a cake to cheer you up, these will put a smile on your face in no time.

I am sharing these individual gems with a handful of challenges :

The Biscuit Barrel hosted by Laura over at I'd Much Rather Bake Than... who has chosen 'comfort food' as October's theme. A batch of these cupcakes would be perfect to enjoy in front of the telly, wrapped in a blanket or buried in a good book. Comfort indeed!

I am also sending a few to Ness at Jibber Jabber for this month's 'dark' Love Cake challenge. Although they are pretty good without it, the dark chocolate ganache makes these cakes extra special and disgracefully naughty.....

Recipe of the Week with Emily at A Mummy Too.

And Cook, Blog, Share with Lucy at Supergolden Bakes.

Chocolate 'Surprise' Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Ganache (makes 16 to 20 medium to large sized cupcakes)


Chocolate Sponge
125g plain gluten free flour blend (I used blend A from this post)
75g ground almonds
1½ teaspoons GF baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
40g cocoa powder
220 ml milk
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
150g unsalted butter - room temperature
140g caster sugar
80g soft brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs - room temperature
75 ml greek yoghurt (or soured cream)
Reeces Peanut Butter Cup Minis, Rolos or other suitable sweets for cooking inside the cakes (about 200g total)

Chocolate Ganache
230g good quality dark chocolate - chopped
185ml double cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C/220 F/Gas 4. Line your muffin tins with cake cases.
  2. Weigh and mix together the flour, almonds, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, xanthan gum, salt and cocoa powder, making sure any lumps are completely broken down. Set aside.
  3. In a jug, combine the milk with the vinegar, stir and leave to stand for 10 minutes.
  4. Cream together the butter and sugars until light, pale and fluffy.
  5. Add and beat in the vanilla extract and eggs (one at a time) until you have a smooth, light paste.
  6. Add and beat in the yoghurt thoroughly until light and well-blended.
  7. Add the milk-vinegar mix alternately with the flour mix, about a third at a time and fold until smooth and just combined.
  8. Put a spoon of the mixture in the cake cases and then place a sweet or two (depending on their size) into the middle of the case, gently pushing into the batter slightly (away from the sides).
  9. Add more cake batter on top of the sweet and smooth, making sure it is well covered.
  10. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until well-risen and the top springs back to the touch. 
  11. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.
  12. To make the ganache, put the chocolate in a bowl.
  13. Heat the cream in a saucepan until simmering, then remove from the heat.
  14. Pour the cream over the chocolate and leave to sit for about a minute.
  15. Stir the chocolate and cream together until the chocolate has melted and you have a smooth, silky ganache.
  16. Leave the ganache to cool completely at room temperature (do not refrigerate as this will remove the sheen).
  17. Once the ganache has reached spreading consistency, it can be used to top the cupcakes.
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  1. I shouldn't be reading this at 10.15pm with a stomach already rumbling after watching Bake Off! These look divine. Thanks for linking up.

    1. Thanks Ness. I know what you mean...... Just watching an Extra Slice whilst blogging! Good to share as always!

  2. Oh my, these are wonderful. They look so moist and delicious and that icing is so glossy! Definitely comfort food. Thanks for sharing them wih the Biscuit Barrel!

    1. You're welcome Laura. I love ganache.... there is something very exciting about all that very glossy, sticky chocolate!

  3. These sound divine and I love the idea of cupcake potluck. Think I'd keep eating them until I found a peanut butter one. If 3 got eaten on the way, then so be it :)

    1. Thanks Katie. There is a bit of a risk that you find yourself eating one after another, just to compare them and to choose a favourite..... not deciding and having to start all over again.......

  4. oooh, they just look so rich and naughty and so dark... i'll have two or three... or four...

  5. They look fabulous, so moreish and inviting with that fab topping. A chocolate dream!

    1. Thanks Alida. I wished I'd made double the topping it was that good!

  6. Must stop looking at chocolate recipes when I am already craving some! You made me hit the Nutella! Thanks for linking to #CookBlogShare

    1. Ooops..... Sorry! Always a bad idea looking at foodie blogs when you're hungry!

  7. I need one of these now! Actually two or three or maybe more....just to make sure I have a fair chance of getting peanut butter and caramel!

    1. Yeah....... I just kept eating them too..... just needed to test which I preferred....... still can't decide!

  8. That last photo is almost too yummy!

  9. those cakes would cheer me up - and checking out your flour blend I am interested to see you use potato flour - I have a bag of it and need to use some of it up - we used to have chewy chocolate covered caramels called 'mates' when I was little - wonder how they would hold up in these cupcakes - I loved them but don't think you see them often now

  10. Thanks Johanna. I use potato flour a lot. It can be pretty useful in GF cooking! I reckon the 'mates' you ate as a child could be just the thing to hide inside cupcakes!

  11. Since most surprise parties don't have a theme, you wouldn't have too much problem with the decors, choosing what food to prepare or music to play.Großer TeddyBär


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