Recipe for Mint Chocolate Basil Cupcakes from Crest Be and Georgetown Cupcake

INGREDIENTS Makes 18 cupcakes

Cupcakes

• 1 1/4 cups flour, sifted
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, sifted
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature
• 1 1/4 cups sugar
• 2 large eggs, at room temperature
• 1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
• 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
• 1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted

Chocolate Ganache

• 1 cup heavy cream
• 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Vanilla Mint Basil Buttercream

• 16 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon whole milk
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon pure mint extract
• 1 teaspoon fresh mint leaves, finely crushed
• 1 teaspoon fresh basil leaves, finely crushed

DIRECTIONS

For the Cupcakes

1. Preheat the oven to 350oF. Line a standard cupcake pan with 12 baking cups, and a second pan with 6 baking cups.
2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside.
3. Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Beat on medium speed until fluffy. Stop to add the sugar; beat on medium speed until well incorporated.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition.
5. Combine the vanilla extract and milk in a large liquid measuring cup.
6. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add one-third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then gradually add one-third of the milk mixture, beating until well incorporated. Add another one-third of the flour mixture, followed by one-third of the milk mixture. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the remaining flour mixture, followed by the remaining milk mixture, and beat just until combined.
7. Add the cocoa powder, beating (on low speed) just until incorporated.
8. Use a standard-size ice cream scoop to fill each cupcake paper with batter, so that the wells are two-thirds full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes (start checking at 15 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Chocolate Ganache

1. Fill a medium saucepan with an inch or two of water and place over medium-low heat.
2. Combine the heavy cream and chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl.
3. Place the bowl over the saucepan and let the mixture melt, stirring until it is shiny and smooth.
4. Remove the bowl of chocolate ganache from the saucepan; let it cool slightly, for 2 to 3 minutes. Then refrigerate the bowl for approximately 45 minutes – 1 hour, until it reaches the consistency of peanut butter.

For the Vanilla Mint Basil Buttercream

1. Add the butter, sugar, vanilla extract, milk, salt, and pure mint extract to the bowl of a stand mixer or a bowl with a handheld electric mixer, and mix on high speed until light and airy, approximately 3 to 5 minutes.
2. Add the crushed mint leaves and basil leaves and mix on high speed for an additional 2 minutes, or until well incorporated.

Frosting the Cupcakes

1. Cut the tip off a disposable plastic piping bag. Transfer the chilled chocolate ganache frosting to the piping bag and fill until the bag is halfway full. Place the bag on the table and flatten slightly, using your hands.
2. Cut the tip off of another disposable plastic piping bag and fit it with a plain round metal piping tip. Place the flattened piping bag of chocolate ganache inside of the second piping bag, against one side.
3. Fill the second piping bag with the vanilla mint basil buttercream, so that you have both frostings, side-by-side, ready to pipe. 4. To make the “twist” frosting, start in the center of the cupcake, apply even pressure and frost the cupcake with a circular motion, ending in the center of the cupcake with a burst of pressure. 5. Repeat for each cupcake, serve and enjoy!