Mint Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes

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One of my favourite flavour combinations is mint and chocolate, so after stumbling across some mint chocolate chips, it was pretty clear what our next cupcake experiment would be. I have had mint chocolate cupcakes before, but found that a lot of people make the buttercream taste like toothpaste, which is NOT what I want on a cupcake. A chocolatey cupcake with a hint of mint (think mint Girl Guide cookies) was what we were aiming for when we started and we got exactly that. Definitely no toothpaste buttercream here! Just chocolate, mint, and yum!!!

INGREDIENTS

Cupcakes:
– 3/4 cup mint chocolate chips
– 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
– 1 cup butter
– 1 cup granulated sugar
– 1 cup all purpose flour
– 4 eggs
– 2 tsp baking powder

Ganache
– 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
– 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream

Minty Buttercream:
– 1 cup butter, room temperature
– 1 lb icing sugar
– 5-6 tbsp cold milk
– 1/8 tsp mint extract
– green gel food colouring

DIRECTIONS

For Ganache
1. Bring cream to a boil then pour over the chocolate, stirring until the chocolate is melted and everything is evenly mixed.
2. Set aside to cool to room temperature then store in fridge to cool completely.

For Cupcakes
1. Melt both mint and semisweet chocolate chips with butter. (I place my kitchenaid mixer bowl over a pot of boiling water)20120502-121608.jpg 2. Add in sugar, flour, eggs and baking powder, and mix for a couple minutes, until batter is smooth.20120502-121626.jpg 3. Pour mixture into muffin pan, filling each cup about 1/2- 3/4 full. This makes about 24 cupcakes.20120502-121640.jpg 4. Bake at 350F for 18-22 minutes, or until toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. *The centers will have sunk in, which is fine, it makes a perfect place for the ganache filling.
5. Let cool for 15-20 minutes on wire rack, then place about a teaspoon of ganache into the center of each cupcake.

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For Buttercream
1. Beat butter until smooth, and then slowly add in the icing sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time on low speed. Any more than that and your kitchen will be covered in icing sugar! Make sure to scrape the sides after each addition of icing sugar.
2. Add the milk, I usually add 5 tbsp and then see if I need more, depending on the consistency desired. I didn’t want thick, stiff icing so I added an extra tbsp.20120510-135936.jpg 3. Once milk is incorporated, add mint extract and food colouring. It was very important to me not to make the icing overly minty, so I added a little at a time, but the amount of mint is up to you. You can also adjust the amount of food colouring, or omit it completely, depending on your preference.20120510-135917.jpg 4. Once you have your desired colour and flavour, put it on medium speed and beat it for 3-5 minutes, scraping occasionally. This will give you light and fluffy icing.
5. Pipe onto completely cooled cupcakes.

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*We drizzled some warmed ganache across the top and then chopped up some chocolate chips and sprinkled them on top to make them look extra special.

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