Chocolate Cupcake with Raspberry Ganache, Raspberry and Mango Sorbet

For birthdays around here, my go-to cupcake recipe is one I’ve been making for the last 10 years, namely, the Cook’s Illustrated “ultimate” chocolate cupcake. This year, my daughter and I brainstormed and researched, to come up with her ideal birthday dessert.

Design of a Birthday Dessert

What we ended up with, was the following:

  • A chocolate cupcake
  • Frosted with raspberry ganache, piped with a star tip
  • Topped with a fresh raspberry
  • Accompanied by mango and raspberry sorbets

I started by making the cupcakes (without the ganache filling), so that they could cool. I used foil-lined paper cups, so the design would still be visible after baking. Next, I made the two sorbets, following recipes from the Van Leeuwen ice cream book. The mango one was straightforward, and I made it using thawed, frozen fruit. For the raspberry one, I used fresh berries, pureed, then sieved to removed seeds. A very laborious process. Oh, and the two recipes used two different types of simple syrup (one involved boiling, to super saturate the solution).

Chocolate Cupcake with Raspberry Ganache, Raspberry and Mango Sorbet

But the real eye-opener here, was the raspberry ganache, an idea from Sherry Yard’s The Secrets of Baking. Instead of using cream, her recipe is like a water ganache, using raspberry puree as the liquid. This resulted in a subtly flavoured ganache, not quite as intense as the passion fruit chocolate. I love the idea of flavoured ganache, so next time, I’ll try reducing the raspberry puree by at least a half.

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