1/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 (16-ounce) can chocolate syrup (recommended: Hershey's)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
For the ganache:
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
Candied violets, for decoration, optional
Line muffin pans with 12 paper liners. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time. Mix in the chocolate syrup and vanilla. Add the flour and mix until just combined. Don't overbeat, or the cupcakes will be tough.
Scoop the batter into the muffin cups and bake for 30 minutes, or until just set in the middle. Don't overbake! Let the cupcakes cool thoroughly in the pan.
For the ganache, cook the heavy cream, chocolate chips, and instant coffee in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally.
Dip the top of each cupcake in the ganache. Decorate with candied violets, if desired. Do not refrigerate.