Himalayan Goji Berry Chocolate Cupcakes topped with Chocolate Ganache and Himalayan Pink Salt35

Posted by chockylit in Asian-Inspired,Berries,Chocolate,General (Monday January 15, 2007 at 9:11 am)

Himalayan Goji Berry Chocolate Cupcakes topped with Chocolate Ganache and Himalayan Pink Salt

I found these berries during one of my frequent trolls through the Village Market in the Ferry Building. While extremely expensive, the Village Market is sure to have something new and exotic that I can make into a cupcake. And frankly, I can’t help myself.

I purchased these some time ago and am finally getting around to making a cupcake out of them (and some pricy Himalayan Pink Salt also purchased at said market). I had never had goji berries before and was pleasantly surprised. Both their smell and taste remind me of figs, which I love, but the goji berry is definitely unique and really unlike any dried fruit I tasted. Apparently they are quite good for you as well. What a plus.

I used my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe which never fails me and topped them off with a small dollop of ganache. All in all a rich and slightly tangy cupcake that went down pretty easy.

30 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven

200 gram bar of Valrhona 61% cacao (or any bittersweet chocolate)
3 sticks (343 grams) butter
2-1/4 cups (445 grams) sugar
8 eggs
1-1/4 cup (180 grams) flour
1/4 cup (30 grams) cocoa powder, unsweetened
1-1/2 teaspoons (7 grams) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
3/4 cup (82 grams) goji berries, chopped

1. Chop chocolate and transfer into the bowl of a standing mixer.
2. Add butter to the chocolate and place the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir until chocolate melts and butter is combined.
3. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Let mixture cool for 10 minutes.
4. Beat in an electric mixer for 3 minutes.
5. Add one egg at a time, mixing for 30 seconds between each
6. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt into the mixture, return to the electric mixer, and mix until blended.
7. Stir in the goji berries. Scoop into cupcake cups and bake at 350 F for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Note: If the oven is not hot enough than these cupcakes may over-flow. One way to be safe is to either fill 2/3’s full or another trick I use is to preheat to 375, then drop the heat to 350 once I put the cupcakes in. I also rotate the pans after 15 minutes of baking. It is safe to gently move then at that point and I find the lower back of my oven to be a bit cooler.

mise en place
mise en place

goji berries going into chocolate cupcake batter
goji berries going into batter

Chocolate Ganache Frosting

5 ounces (145 grams) bittersweet chocolate
2 ounces (54 grams) unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 stick (57 grams) butter, room temperature
1 cup (100 grams) powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) Himalayan pink salt
1/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Chop chocolates and transfer into a heat proof bowl.
2. Heat cream until bubbles form around the edge of the pan, pour cream over the chocolate.
3. Let sit for 1 minute then stir until combined.
4. Add butter to the chocolate (make sure its soft and at room temp) and stir until everything is melted and combined.
5. Whisk together sugar, salt, milk, and vanilla in another bowl until combined.
6. Pour the sugar mixture onto the chocolate mixture and stir until combined and smooth.
7. Let sit at room temperature until thickened, stirring occasionally
8. Beat with an electric mixer until fluffy.

Note: If your chocolate, cream, and butter mixture won’t quite melt on its own, place over a pan of simmering water and stir until fully melted.

goji berries
goji berry package

1. Frost cooled cupcakes.
2. Top with Himalayan pink salt.

35 comments for Himalayan Goji Berry Chocolate Cupcakes topped with Chocolate Ganache and Himalayan Pink Salt »

  1. This is really refreshing, I’ve only had these ever in Chinese herbal tonic and soups, since it’s an ingredient in Traditional Chinese Medicine. However, I tried to research on Himalayan Goji Berries and didn’t find enough evidence that this is a real separate species from the wolfberries, so not sure if it’s a marketing spin. You can find wolfberries (which look like the goji) in Chinese medicinal shops, and much cheaper than the organic goji berries. The chinese name is gou qi zi, which might be where the word ‘goji’ is derived from.

    Comment by tommy — January 15, 2007 @ 10:57 am

  2. I am curious that you find the goji berries to taste like figs. I had bought some but hadn’t used them. And I just read about them in a magazine and the taste described there was that they were a little bit like raisins. I am going to have to make some oatmeal cookies and use them instead of the raisins.

    Comment by Mia — January 15, 2007 @ 11:00 am

  3. You know, I am intrigued by this cupcake. I haven’t had goji berries before. As for the pink salt, go check out a World Market, I got a lot there for about 2 bucks. Saffron and vanilla beans are also incredibly fresh and crazy cheap. It’s my spice secret.

    Comment by Garrett — January 15, 2007 @ 12:27 pm

  4. Welcome back, I and I am sure many others have been checking your pages regularly in anticipation of your next recipe. And we have not been disappointed. It sounds delish, both good and bad at them same time, so therefore neutral. Excellent.

    Comment by cupcaketastic — January 15, 2007 @ 2:44 pm

  5. Wow I have just came acorss your site & it’s Fab! I have never saw such hummy looking cup cakes ever :O) I was wondering how ever where to purchase the cake cases you use as I would love to have a go, I live in Scoland & we don’t have anything like it in the u.k. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next, take care

    Comment by Ger — January 15, 2007 @ 3:12 pm

  6. amazing, as usual. i love the pink salt–just wonderful.

    Comment by Enthusiastically Human — January 15, 2007 @ 5:39 pm

  7. When I say good and bad, I mean calorie wize or good for you and bad for you – all your cupcake are fab. I just re-read my post and it sounded weird.

    Comment by cupcaketastic — January 15, 2007 @ 11:03 pm

  8. I love this site. The cupcakes are just wonderful. I tried the grapefruit and Pomegranite cupcakes and they were a hit. I look forward to many more recipes. Thanks for the tip about the World Market, I will look for many items called for in these recipes there. Pink Salt? Thats new to me. Keep up the good work.

    Comment by Carol — January 16, 2007 @ 6:15 am

  9. I love this site and can’t wait to make some of these recipes – is your tried and true chocolate cupcake recipe a dark rich cupcake or light and buttery chocolate cupcake? Always on the hunt for a good chocolate cupcake/cake recipe. :)

    Comment by Megan — January 16, 2007 @ 7:45 am

  10. My wife made goji cookies a few months ago. I developed an intense nocturnal craving for them. I would wake up at 4 am and go eat about 6. after that i’d morph into a giant frosting-loving panther and roam the house. neighborhood cats were frightend. one night my wife claims she found me on top of the 8 foot tall wardrobe licking the tops of my hands, a stash of shredded cupcake papers nearby. I don’t remember it that way.

    Comment by fred — January 16, 2007 @ 11:24 am

  11. would rather you didnt get caught up in the spin. This is called wolf-berry here in usa – my sisters use them when concoting their monthly brew (donquai.) Used as fortification of blood etc (menstruation.)
    Could be used in baking – they are pleasent tasting enough. I found a site for you to read – should it interest you.
    It is not a medical site. Should you prefer a reviewed site I would send it to you.

    **like your recipes

    Comment by xhen — January 16, 2007 @ 2:18 pm

  12. spin? funny!

    Comment by chockylit — January 16, 2007 @ 2:54 pm

  13. LOVE your creativity! I haven’t tried Goji berries yet- Maybe because I read they taste like a cross between dried cherries & raisins and didn’t think that was worth the prohibitive price. But this sounds awesome!

    Comment by Honor — January 16, 2007 @ 7:19 pm

  14. Genius! These look fantastic. I stumbled on a packet of yogurt-covered gojis the other day – I think they were also Himalania brand (same bag size as well?), but I couldn’t bring myself to drop the $12 for them. I can never wait to see what you are going to make next. -h

    Comment by Heidi — January 16, 2007 @ 11:04 pm

  15. Hmmm, sounds interesting. I tried Gogi berries a few months ago and I have to be honest, they were foul. Maybe the chocolate ganache brings about a chemical reaction that releases a wonderful hidden undertone in the berry’s flavour…?! Seriously, I love your brave and inventive recipes – keep up the great work. Your website often lifts me up beyond the grind of my desk job!

    Comment by Wood Street Girl — January 18, 2007 @ 3:51 am

  16. Definitely interesting, although not a recipe I think I would be up for trying myself.

    Glad to see you back!

    Comment by Chrissie — January 20, 2007 @ 9:53 pm

  17. Hello! FYI they sell large bags of dried goji berries at Costco now as well.

    Comment by msluzon — January 21, 2007 @ 12:39 am

  18. As always, another spectacular recipe. I used to work in a stall in a market place that sold goji. They have antioxidant properties. Hence, these are practically healthfood. :)

    Comment by Mirani Litster — January 21, 2007 @ 4:53 am

  19. Hi Chockylit: I’ve a question. I’m in charge of making the dessert for my mom’s 50th birthday party and want to make cupcakes. It will most likely have a French theme. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    Comment by Honor — January 22, 2007 @ 9:24 pm

  20. Hi, Honor. That is a tough question. When baking for a friend or relative, I tend to start with a flavor that that they really like and go from there. Sometime I will even be inspired by a color (for example my friend really likes green) and that becomes a flavor (like green tea), that becomes a cupcake (which I won’t talk about as they are a surprise).

    Good luck!

    Comment by chockylit — January 22, 2007 @ 10:00 pm

  21. Wonderful- Thank you! Right now I’m thinking about a lemon cake with raspberry filling & white vanilla buttercream (flavors she likes.) But I’m sure I’ll come up with other ideas before then.

    Comment by Honor — January 22, 2007 @ 10:37 pm

  22. Thought of you last Saturday. Rosamunde Sausage Grill in SF had a special of pheasant with goji berries. Yummy.

    Comment by Casey — January 23, 2007 @ 10:37 am

  23. Wow, these look amazing. I’ve been hearing so much about those Goji berries, I really need to try them!

    Comment by Dianka — January 23, 2007 @ 3:44 pm

  24. Sounds great. You can find these berries on Clement St or Chinatown in SF for a fraction of the price.

    Fun site. I heard there is a new cupcake bakery in SF. the second after Citizen cupcake.

    Comment by roger — January 25, 2007 @ 6:53 am

  25. yeah. it’s called kara’s cupcakes on scott at chestnut. i haven’t been yet.

    Comment by chockylit — January 25, 2007 @ 8:45 am

  26. Kara’s Cupcakes, hm? Maybe I’ll have to go this weekend…

    (sorry, I was eavesdropping.)

    Comment by Honor — January 25, 2007 @ 10:17 am

  27. Oh, and I also want to visit Love at First Bite Bakery and Cupcakery on Walnut.

    Comment by Honor — January 25, 2007 @ 10:27 am

  28. I’m seeing Goji berries everywhere now. Rainbow Grocery has them in bulk for $9.99/lb.

    Comment by Casey — January 31, 2007 @ 1:53 pm

  29. Love Like Salt…

    Tags: Salt, Salty Oatmeal Cookies, Oatmeal Cookies, Use What You Have
    I have to admit, as a child, I didn’t not have the proper Filipino appreciation for salt. Patis–blah! Salted fish–please, are you kidding me?
    As an adult, I&#8217…

    Trackback by enthusiastically human — March 5, 2007 @ 10:54 am

  30. Hey,

    Yes I like goji berries myself also, I have tennis elbow from weight lifting and I seriously believe that goji juice has helped tremendously with that.

    It does not become as inflamed as it used to.

    A goji juice lover :P

    Comment by What Is Goji Berry Juice — June 29, 2007 @ 8:55 pm

  31. This is interesting. Goji or goji juice for that matter tastes great to me already. but a goji berry cupcake? wow…..i am supposed to reduce my weight….during the xmas holidays

    Comment by Teodolfo - The Himalayan Goji Juice Lover — December 4, 2007 @ 8:26 am

  32. Yes, goji berries are indeed wolfberries per a wiki article. however, i find them to taste utterly disgusting, like it’s not right to eat them raw. that is why i’m looking for recipes. an article suggested to put them in the water you’re drinking. i find that the water has a tea taste, but I can’t even eat the goji berries then. they don’t really even taste like figs to me. hmm :(

    Comment by allison — February 18, 2008 @ 8:14 pm

  33. This is a delightful and healthy cupcake. I’ll ask my wife to copy this recipe.

    Comment by goji juice — May 23, 2008 @ 8:02 pm

  34. Hello! Just putting a short little note in your blog comments to say whats up from Victoria, which is up here in Canada. I am continually impressed at the quality of blog commentary that I can come across on the internet by smacking the “I’m Feeling Lucky” option on Google! That’s pretty much all from me, I hope you have a great July!

    Comment by Morph Review — July 5, 2010 @ 6:52 pm

  35. LOVE your cupcake recipes, very eager follower and awaiting for your next post, i automatically thought of this recipe when i was just taking a weekly stroll through bulk barn and saw some Goji berries, still need to find the pink salt though, hope to make these cupcakes in the future ^-^

    Comment by Wileanne — May 22, 2011 @ 3:03 pm

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