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Chocolate Ganache Apple Cupcakes

Are you ready for tonight’s  apple dessert ?  I am, that’s for sure. Decadent Apple cupcakes dipped in rich bittersweet chocolate ganache. Finger licking is very much permissible at the end of this “meal”
I used to play basketball and I remember my friend Andrea brought upside down apple cake to one of the games, it’s been haunting me for many years until today…when I finally made my own version…into a cupcake form. I can’t wait to try this tomorrow, I believe flavor will have a chance to develop even more.
Of course I had a few today, 2 to be exact, they are so good I almost licked the knife I used to cut it.
Cupcake batter couldn’t be any easier, no mixer required, just a large whisk.
I used bittersweet chocolate, reason is that I wanted it compliment sweetness of the apples.
Tomorrow, just in time for holiday shopping,  I’ll be hosting another CNS Store giveaway..stay tuned for more.:-)
Chocolate Ganache Apple Cupcake( about 16 cupcakes)
Cupcake Batter
1 1/2 cups flour
2tsp baking powder
1/2tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup oil
1/2cup buttermilk ( make your own buttermilk – recipe)
1tbl of sugar combined with 1tsp of cinnamon
Apple Filling
4large apples ( peeled, cored and finely grated)
21/2 tbl brown sugar ( depending on how sweet your apples are)
1tbl butter
11/4tsp cinnamon
zest of one lemon
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup chopped almonds
2tbl orange liqueur
Chocolate Ganache 
I used 1: 3 ratio of heavy cream to chocolate  to get thick ganache
Ratio of chocolate and heavy cream affects the thickness of finished ganache.
Prepare Apple Filling
Using a medium size deep skillet, melt butter, add brown sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon,  chopped almonds, dry cherries grated apples and orange liqueur. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and apples are soft, about 7 minutes on medium high. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature
Butter each cavity of muffin pan.
Oven temperature to 355  F
Prepare Cupcake Batter
Once your apple filling has cooled to room temperature
sift all the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Mix all the wet ingredient in another bowl. 
Add wet mixture into a dry mixture and using a whisk (or a hand held mixer) mix both together until smooth, it will take only a minute or so, not even that, just make sure you don’t over mix it.
Filling the Muffin Pan
Using a 1tbl measure, drop1  heaping tbl of the apple filling into a muffing cavity.
Using  a spoon, smooth out apple filling so it covers the bottom of the muffin opening. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Using the 1tbl measure, drop 1 heaping tbl of cupcake batter on the top of the apple filling, make sure batter covers the apple filling.
Once filled tap the pan on the counter  to release any air pocket that may have formed.
Bake in 355 F oven, for about 18 minutes, or until edges start to get golden brown or tooth pick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
Remove muffin pan from the oven and let sit for about 10 minutes.
Unmolding Cupcakes
There may be few cupcakes that have domed while baking, in such case you need to trim the domes while cupcakes are still in the muffin pan. Use a serrated knife if needed. Just level them so they are flushed with the muffin pan.
Now back to the important part of how to unmold these babies.
Place a large cutting board on the top of your muffin pan.
Board will be on the top of the pan, now flip both at the same time, you should have board at the bottom and muffin pan should be upside down sitting on the top of the board. Give holding both surfaces tight a slight tap to release the cupcakes, carefully lift the muffin pan, in case some of the cupcakes got stuck, use a knife and run it around the edges. They should come out fairly easy if you buttered your pans before baking.
Dipping Cupcakes in Ganache
Simply dip each cupcake in the ganache and let settle for an hour or so. 
Can be refrigerated as well. Let come to room temperature before serving.

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