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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

#6: Chocolate Wasabi

For my birthday last year, co-workers got me cupcakes from a local cupcakery, Itsi Bitsi. Among those cupcakes was Chocolate Wasabi, which I was completely excited about, cos - what a combination! Should be awesome! Wooooo!

They were good, but mostly chocolate. I didn't really get a wasabi kick with them, which is what I was expecting. When I made mine, I wanted there to be a definite "whoa, burning" with them.

These are based on the recipe for Black Pearl Chocolate Cake (a Vosges creation, and anything by Vosges can be trusted.)

Makes 36 cupcakes

2 cups boiling water
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tbsp. wasabi powder*
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Whisk 2 cups boiling water, cocoa powder, and wasabi powder* in medium heatproof bowl. Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in large bowl.
Beat sugar and butter in a third bowl until fluffy, about 1 minute. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Beat in vanilla extract.
Add flour mixture in 4 additions alternately with cocoa mixture in 3 additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Pour into cupcake tins, bake at 350F for 20 minutes.

*Baking completely kills the wasabi flavour, leaving nothing but chocolate. I'd leave it out next time.

Wasabi Syrup

1 c. water
1/2 c. sugar
Quite a lot! of Wasabi

Boil water, add sugar, add wasabi, reduce. I kept adding wasabi til I was satisfied that there was BURNING, which ended up being, I _think_ 1/8 of a cup. Maybe more or less. I got a 1/4 c. jar from Penzeys, and it's all gone, split between the syrup and the whipped cream.

Whipped Cream

1 c. whipping cream
1/4 c or less sugar
Quite a lot! of wasabi

Whip together cream, sugar, wasabi until light and fluffy. See above note re: wasabi quantities.

Chocolate Ganache

1 c. whipping cream
1 bar of scharffen berger chocolate
3/4 c. sugar

Boil cream, add chocolate, add sugar, stir & refrigerate until thickish.


Once cakes have cooled, brush lightly with wasabi syrup. Allow this to cool/set (I let it go overnight, and iced them in the morning, but you can do what you like, really)

Top cooled cupcakes with a thin layer of ganache, and a generous dollop of whipped cream.

On the way to work, these had an unfortunate accident getting out of the cab, so they got a bit .. smushed. Tehy still taste like awesome, but aren't the prettiest.


Becca said...

Chocolate. Wasabi.

Marriage in heaven. And the Vosges recipe? Yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuummy.

These are right up there with my yummy delicious and adored clementine cupcakes.

The syrup/whipped wasabi works well.

I've had two so far today. I really hope more people in the office eat these because I might lose all of the dieting I've done lately thanks to these things...

outfox said...

Vosges is good stuff! Anything by Vosges is good. As we speak I'm eating a Vosges Mo's Bacon Bar (smoked bacon and dark chocolate...awesome). The Creole bar is also incredible if you're a coffee lover as well.

Actually anything from Chatham's Fine Chocolates is always heaven for me! :)

Oooh and check out the Patricia Red Chili and Tangerine truffle, speaking of chocolate with a kick!

Shiv said...

Let me preface my comments by saying that I'm not a huge chocolate cake fan.

I love these, especially the ganache (which I normally find too rich). I didn't get much of a wasabi taste, though, so I'm supplementing it with the powdered wasabi I brought in case you needed it.

In terms of how they stack up with your previous cupcakes, I still prefer the gingerbread ones from Christmas. However, I'll definitely be ordering some more Scharffen Berger chocolate for you! :)

Shiv said...

I meant the Eggnog cupcakes, not gingerbread.

Anonymous said...

Finally got around to trying these. They're awesome, even better than the Black Pearl candybar because they have even more kick from the wasabi.

Although I have to say they're not very pretty. Rather gross looking, actually (bg)

I think I'd nominate mine for an entry on a halloween menu. I didn't use cupcake papers, so you can see the bright green on the lower part from the wasabi syrup and then my ganache set up too hard and really wouldn't spread... but they were yummy and that's what's important.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, the pic url cut off...