Yet another entry from my Cupcakes book… I’ve been baking a ton lately! We’re not just eating dessert for dinner, I swear. We’ve just been eating a lot of our old standbys so nothing new to post. In any event, I chose to make these cupcakes because they were a little different from the others with their fun chocolate shell. I thought they’d be right up Shane’s alley and figured he could bring them into work today for his friends.

I really enjoyed making this recipe. It came together quickly and easily for the most part though it does take a little while to melt the chocolate, particularly for me because I don’t chop it very finely. Dipping the cupcakes into the melted chocolate for the shell was fun too. I also took this opportunity to toast coconut for the very first time and topped half of the cupcakes with it. I thought these turned out well in terms of appearance and based on what I heard from Shane, his coworkers were big fans!

Fudge Ball Cupcakes
from Cupcakes by Elinor Klivans

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

For the Coating
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips or chopped semisweet chocolate
3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil

cocoa powder, coconut, nuts, etc for topping (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line 24 mini-muffin cups with mini-paper liners. Spray the paper liners with nonstick spray.

Put the butter and unsweetened chocolate in a heatproof bowl or the top of a double boiler and place it over, but not touching, a saucepan of barely simmering water (or the bottom of a double boiler). Stir the butter and chocolate until melted and smooth. Remove from the water and set aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, and salt to blend them thoroughly, about 1 minute. Whisk in the slightly cooled chocolate mixture and vanilla to incorporate them. Whisk in the flour just until no white streaks remain.

Fill each paper liner with about 1 1/2 tablespoons batter, to just below the top of the liner. Bake just until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it, about 24 minutes. Cool the cupcakes for 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack before transferring the cupcakes themselves to the wire racks to cool.

To make the coating:
Put the chocolate and oil in a heatproof bowl or the top of a double boiler and place it over, but not touching, a saucepan of barely simmering water (or the bottom of the double boiler). Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Scrape the chocolate coating into a small bowl.

Remove the paper liners from the cooled cupcakes. Holding the top of a cupcake with your fingers, dip all of the cupcake except the top in the chocolate coating. Gently roll it in the chocolate to coat it thoroughly, then hold it over the bowl to let any excess drip off and return the cupcake to the wire rack, uncoated top down. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes; do not let the coated cupcakes touch one another. Let sit until the chocolate coating becomes just sticky to the touch but is no longer liquid.

Use a strainer to dust the tops of the cupcakes with cocoa powder. (Alternatively, you can sprinkle toasted coconut, chocolate sprinkles, pecans or walnuts over the cupcakes.) Let the cupcakes sit at room temperature until the coating is firm, about 1 1/2 hours. Or, to speed the firming of the chocolate, refrigerate the fudge balls on the wire rack for about 10 minutes.