lovely cupcake

It’s hard to believe this blog is just over a year old. For me, this blog began the day I got sick. It helped keep from going insane during my recovery. That’s when all of this truly took off. That’s when I met you and found out what wonderful and supportive people you really are. Thanks to all of you Fresh is still alive and kicking…and so am I.


To celebrate Fresh’s birthday, I’ve made you a special treat. Chocolate cupcakes.


Let me be clear, these are not just any cupcakes, these are my Ultimate Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Frosting.


soft hydrangea


In order to make the cupcakes I figured that you should have the best ingredients. So we packed up the car, headed to Montreal, and I personally bought you this gift. Thank you for being incredible, loyal readers and such great friends.


The giveaway includes:


One 2.2 lb. (1 kg) bag of Cacao Barry Extra Dark Cocoa Powder
One 5.5 lb. (2.5 kg) bar of Cacao Barry Dark Chocolate Couverture


For those of you who love baking, you know about Cacao Barry and that couverture is the best. I also suspect the large quantity will be helpful when you’re baking this holiday season or when you just want to curl up on the sofa with an ultimate chocolate cupcake.


cocoa powder
chocolate block


Entering to win is easy.- Leave a comment on this post before midnight on Friday November 5th.
– Make sure your comment links back to a site where you can be contacted. Otherwise include a Twitter or email address.
– One entry per person.
– The winner will be selected at random and contacted on Monday November 8th before noon (EST).
– Be sure to check your inbox, messages or comments. If no response is received by Wednesday November 10th at noon (EST), another winner will be selected.
– I will ship anywhere in the world.


child running
horse on farm


I recently packed one of these cupcakes for a stroll through the New England countryside and it was simply perfect. I only came up with the recipe after months of researching and testing recipes dating back to 1952. They are truly amazing. Just thinking about the cupcakes makes me crave a glass of milk.


pink spoon
closeup cupcake


Ultimate Dark Chocolate Cupcakes


1/2 cup plus 2 tsp. cocoa powder
1 cup plus 2 tbs. milk
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
12 tbs. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


Mix milk and cocoa powder together in pan. Heat gently until well blended. Mixture should be warm but not hot. Turn off heat. Add vanilla and stir.


Whisk remaining dry ingredients together and set aside.


Beat butter in bowl fitted with paddle at medium high speed about 35 seconds. Scrape down bowl. Gradually sprinkle in sugar; beat until white and fluffy 3-5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time beating a full minute after each addition. Scape down bowl.


With mixer on lowest speed add 1/3 dry ingredients mix until almost incorporated. Add 1/3 chocolate mixture mix until almost incorporated. Repeat process until ingredients are added. Be sure to scrape down bowl. Beat until mixture looks satiny about 15 seconds.


Line cupcake tin. Fill 3/4 full of batter. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool before frosting.


Chocolate Ganache Frosting


10 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
3 sticks butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar


Melt the chocolate. Mix cream, corn syrup and vanilla and bring to a roiling boil. Stir into melted chocolate. Cool to room temperature.


Beat butter on high with paddle attachment for 1 minute until creamy. On low speed add powdered sugar and blend. Add the melted chocolate mixture and beat with whisk attachment until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate until spreadable about 45 minutes. Frost cupcakes.


Bon Appetit!


Fresh New England

Get inspired to love & support local food. We have some great ideas sprouting up so browse our site for more delicious finds.

  1. I can’t believe it’s only been a year since you started this blog, you’ve accomplished so much! I like the sound of an ultimate chocolate cupcake recipe, and I am impressed that you went so far to collect the best ingredients. I’ll save this recipe for a weekend project.

  2. El, CONGRATULATIONS!!! doesn’t time just fly :)) and it feels so great when milestones are crossed. I just completed 200 posts :))

    And what a giveaway! So, this was a surprise!! well worth waiting for :))

    btw, I love love love the photos of the horse and the stone pillars.. just beautiful!

  3. Oooee! El, those cupcakes look as divine as you describe them. 馃檪 What a PERFECT addition to your stroll outside. 馃檪 Thank you so much for such a delicious giveaway. I’m so glad your hubby brought you the camera on your sickbed. Your work makes my life more beautiful every week. 馃檪

  4. oh me oh my – oh chocolate! Love Chocolate cupcakes, I think I might have to make these and bring them in for morning tea and a fabulous chocolate frosting just tops it all off – happy birthday fresh!

  5. Wow these Dark Chocolate Cupcakes look sooo delicious! I’ve heard of Cacao Barry but we don’t get them here in Singapore. Am hoping I will win, otherwise, I’ll still be sure to make these yummy cupcakes for the year-end parties! 馃檪

  6. Congrats on your blogiversary, and on such a breath-takingly beautiful blog. Am sure the hub must have known you’d put the camera to fabulous use! Those cupcakes look awesome El…wow! Good quality chocolate and cocoa can make a HUGE difference, or so I have learnt.Please include me in your generous giveaway.Thnk you!

  7. Hello there! I’ve never tried Barry’s Cooking chocolate before… and oh gosh… the recipe.. it’s the bee’s knees!!! I really like the use of colors, such a nice balance in contrast… pink hues, dark choco, barely greens….

    love it all!

  8. Awesome looking cupcakes.. just fond your blog today & it inspired me to get cooking 馃檪 Congrats on being up a whole year… all the best for many years to come…

  9. Love it when the giveaway are chocolates/cocoa… hmmm that should say something from a Pastry Chef, huh? Much thanks for the giveaway and most of all for sharing your recipes and excellent photos!
    All the best and happy baking!


  10. Happy Anniversary! It feels like I have been coming here for so much longer, your posts are always visually intoxicating!

    I saw the photo of the chocolate and I thought to myself, where did she find this chocolate in the states! Love the cupcakes!

    I always love reading your site …. it is like a mini vacation. Lovely as always!

  11. Happy Anniversary! I started in August of 2008, but no one knew as I was on… and no one could comment unless they were a member (which was not originally the way it was when I started), so I moved last january to wordpress and my own site. The world opened up and there you were. I had no idea you were this “young”! You know I love to read you and just to look at your posts… today, I love the photo of the running girl and the amazing fence posts. I have never seen any like it and am so thankful you find beauty in these passings as I find your work so beautiful. Just today, I am making chocolate ganache for a cake I am making for my parent’s 60th wedding anniversary. Should I try your recipe, I ask myself. It looks delicious. You have researched it and experimented… and so have I. But, I don’t love the lack of shine on my ganache icing… and yours does have a lustre. I believe I will try it. I even have the little crunchy valrhona pearls you have adorned yours with. Would you also share a pic of the pan you used to bake your cupcakes in. It is definitely not the traditional muffin pan you used.Loved the walk through the woods with you on your special day, El.

  12. Congratulations on meeting the 1-year milestone El! It has been such a journey hasn’t it? I’m so glad for that DSLR that started you on this path, so that we could ‘meet’! 馃槈 Here’s to many more successful years of blogging!

  13. I just finished making the ganache and it is a beautiful recipe. Good development, El! It is light, but not too sweet, as I thought it would be, and not intense and heavy, like most ganache recipes I have used. Thank you!
    I will post it with thanks to you…. eventually!

  14. Those are sooo cute. I love the little chocolate balls. The cupcakes are also smooth around the outside.Looks professional.Whats the secret?

  15. Happy anniversary… I started a year ago November… and I agree…it’s been a lovely time with so many great people. Anytime someone works on something as hard as you did..well I can’t wait to try those cupcakes~

  16. Happy Blog Birthday! These cupcakes are certainly a wonderful way to celebrate. Looking forward to another year of amazing photography and delicious recipes.

  17. Amy, there’s no great secret to piping the frosting so that it’s smooth. The recipe just turns out that way. Add your favorite tip to a piping bag and go to town!

    Valerie- glad you liked the frosting. It’s really tasty!

  18. Waw!! The chocolate give away looks amazing. Those chocolates look so tasty!!

    Your chocolate cupcakes with that amazing looking frosting look adorable, nearly to lovely to savour & stunning too!

    Excellent pictures too!

  19. These look absolutely perfect!! I’m so glad Tracey tweeted the link for this post because ow I’ve discovered your blog. Happy blogiversary! Now I must make these cupcakes today!!

  20. I’ve started reading your site for a little while. Love the pictures, I live in Cape Cod and those were awesome Cape Cod pics too. Anyways! These cupcakes look delish and I just got myself a mini cupcake tray so I’ll try it out! And hope to win some chocolate too! 馃檪

  21. Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. Just gorgeous El. Congrats on your blogaversary and these gorgeous photos. I hope I win! I will email you my contact info.

  22. Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. Just gorgeous El. Congrats on your blogaversary and these gorgeous photos. I hope I win! I will email you my contact info.

  23. 1. beautiful pictures,we went to new england last summer and it literally took my breath away.
    2. i’m making these when i get home tonight, no questions asked.

  24. Looks incredible, El! I love chocolate cupcakes that aren’t messing around. I don’t want to enter the contest (given my immense luck last year!)–I just wanted to say how excited I am to try these cupcakes and congrats on a great year!

  25. Fantastic cupcakes, they look like the ultimate in chocolate.

    I鈥檇 love for you to submit one of your beautiful photos, and a link to your post, to my new baking photo gallery showcasing the beautiful baking, sweets and desserts.

  26. I am a cupcake fanatic and test recipes every Thursday to share with co-workers on Friday. Although I have selected my recipe for this week’s test batch, this one will be printed and tried next week!

  27. I have always wanted to try Barry chocolate! I love putting ganache on cupcakes. I’m pretty sure it’s because of the ratio of ganache:cake… perfect!

  28. I just recently discovered your wonderful blog site. I will certainly return to check your new posting. The chocolate cupcake looks yummylicious!

  29. I love chocolate!!! Always will, always have 馃榾
    I’ve always wanted to try Cacoa Berry’s cocoa powder but gourmet ingredients are hard to come by where I live.

  30. I was looking for the perfect chocolate cupcake to finish the perfect birthday tea party for a friend’s 63rd birthday. Thank you! My friend is a chocolate fiend and will be delighted!!

  31. Your dark chocolate cupcakes are exactly what I need at the end of a long work week. I would probably just pop a single cupcake in ma mouf and chew. Not pretty, perhaps but sadly … true. 馃榾 I look forward to making these.

    Please keep up the beautiful photography and the delightful treats. I’m in awe.

    lulu xx

  32. OMG, the cupcake looks so, so good. Chocolate upon chocolate! I’ve never tried this particular chocolate before but I always say you have to use the best chocolate for a choc dessert. Gorgeous pictures as always.

  33. I baked these for a baby shower I threw a couple weeks agoo….. AMAZING!! Everyone was asking where we BOUGHT them and I proudly said, “Oh no, I made them” 馃檪 I made them a couple days ago again upon request for a nacho party I threw 馃檪 Keep sending amazing recipes our way!

  34. Omg these cupcakes are fabulous, made them for Easter and a HUGE hit!!! Plus a little leftover ganache frosting is always a nice thing to have in your refrigerator

  35. I just discovered your blog, and it is amazing. You not only are a fantastic baker, with refined recipes, using the best ingredients, but you also have an incredible eye for photography, which is the complimentary part to the success of your blog. You provide delicious, well-tested recipes with gorgeous photos for we readers to be able to visualize the beautiful end results.
    Congratulations on a year of “doing good”!

  36. Hello! I was just wondering how many cupcakes this recipe yields:) thank you very much ! They look fantastic!!!

  37. Anonymous- sorry, I don’t remember. I baked them in pretty small cup wrappers so I made more than the standard cupcake size.

  38. Anonymous- I made this recipe in standard sized cupcakes today, I got 18, but it would probably have been best with 19 or 20 (as some were too full).

  39. Anonymous, I made these today in standard size cupcakes and I got 18, it would have been best if I made about 19 or 20, as some were just a bit too full.

  40. Hi! these look amazing! What kind of pan did you use for the cupcakes? I’ve been looking for a cupcake tin with straight sides/vertical sides for forever! All the ones that I’ve been finding are slanted.

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