flourless chocolate ganache cupcakes

i have a story for you today. about cake.

gold wrappers make everything extra fancy.

gold wrappers make everything extra fancy.

when jacob and i got hitched a year ago, we didn't have one wedding cake, we had about twenty. dear friends rolled in a week early, rolled up their sleeves, dove headfirst into the industrial mixers we had (for the school we worked and lived at-- man, i miss those big beauties), and helped bake, frost, and decorate the elaborate confections that i had been fantasizing about for months.

i spent countless hours daydreaming out all detailed flavor combinations, sketching up fancy fillings and shocking pink piles of frosting. s'mores cakes with graham cracker fluff filled my thoughts as i taught my students just war theory (sorry, students. i love you. i have more complex feelings towards you, just war theory.) vanilla raspberry meringue whips kept me up at night. i kept pestering jacob about what kinds of cakes he was going to make. his answer was simple: "mousse. mousse and ganache. that's all anyone wants."

this is pretty much it, ingredient-wise. see? almost paleo!

this is pretty much it, ingredient-wise. see? almost paleo!

he poked around the internet for recipe imitations of the best thing i've ever put in my mouth: tartine's fantastic chocolate souffle cake, and got to it. he made this cake in huge sheet pans-- the densest, chocolatiest, most decadent, perfect dessert imaginable. and just like that, he put all my months of cake-creations to shame. there was nothing to do but stand over the pan and eat this directly out, with a spoon. i ate bowl after bowls of creamy cake/mousse/ganache perfection.

three in one, one in three. something like that.

three in one, one in three. something like that.

last week was a friend's 33rd birthday--(what a decidedly lucky number!) she was feeling exhausted by the pulse of the spring season, trying to get plants in the ground, sheep shorn, and children fed, and when i asked her what kind of treat she wanted, she answered "the richest most chocolatey thing possible." i knew immediately what to do.

fold the good stuff in gentle-like.

fold the good stuff in gentle-like.

i made jacob's fool proof cake recipe in cupcake form and it was just as delish. it has no flour, so it's gluten free, and practically paleo, right? boom. health food.

i swapped duck eggs instead of chicken, because her son has an allergy to chicken eggs. since the duck eggs are bigger, i used one less egg than the recipe calls for. other than that, these bad boys baked up perfectly and i was instantly transported back to our wedding.

this looks like karen's amazing marbled paper to me

this looks like karen's amazing marbled paper to me

if you've got the best, why mess with anything else? (this clearly also applies to my feelings about jacs. though really, i'm talking about cake here. you can assume i'm always just literally talking about cake.)

these little sunken divets are perfect for filling. you could try pb frosting or jam or coconut cream as well...

these little sunken divets are perfect for filling. you could try pb frosting or jam or coconut cream as well...

the next day i filled in a few more of these cupcakes with  cream, salty peanut butter, and powdered sugar whipped together, to create a homemade reese's vibe. those munchkins didn't last long either.

fill them up, let them set, eat them all.

fill them up, let them set, eat them all.

jacs got the recipe from the blog afternoons in tablespoons. recipe here. so, so perfect and delicious. make them, eat them, love them.

ta da!! be 33 and fabulous for a whole year!!

ta da!! be 33 and fabulous for a whole year!!