Sunday, April 21, 2013

mascarpone-filled chocolate cupcakes

Anyday is a good day for chocolate. Good days, not so good days - nobody says no to chocolate.

Also, I wanted to use that mascarpone I have because 1.  it was already partially used and 2. I am about to go on a long vacation and I didn't want it to go bad or anything. So chocolate and mascarpone it is.

I used my all time favorite chocolate cupcake although I am extremely tempted to try this - they are definitely in my recipe bucket list. But for now, I'll stick to what I (and many others) love.

While frosting the first cupcake, I thought, hmmm... the frosting looks a little lopsided. Then I moved on to the next cupcake and felt like I piped on a little less than the first. The subsequent few also looked a little off (aka lopsided) and I was bummed!

Honestly though, you can't really see much of the buttercream because I was going to pour ganache on them and sprinkle on chocolate shavings. But I can *psycho stare* - the buttercream underneath that you can't really see, is in fact, a little lopsided. Clearly I have issues.

As I put on the finishing touches, I realised that at the end of the day, these cupcakes were meant to be eaten and enjoyed. No one's going to pick up them up, scrutinize them thoroughly and say hey, your frosting's a little lopsided!


These were gone in a jiffy and I am thrilled that they were such a hit.

So I guess, it doesn't matter how imperfect something may look to you. When it's made from your heart, you can only hope that people will enjoy eating them as much as you did making them. And I'm glad they did :)

Mascarpone-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes (cupcake adapted from Joy of Baking)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup whole milk
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup salted butter, room temp
1 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Mascarpone Filling
4 oz (113g) mascarpone
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Swiss Meringue Buttercream
3 egg whites
1 cup sugar
Approx 200 g salted butter
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Ganache
1/4 cup heavy cream
75g semisweet chocolate, chopped

White or dark chocolate shavings, for garnish (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375F and line muffin pan with 16 cupcake liners.
2. In a small saucepan, heat milk until just boil and pour over cocoa powder. Stir or whisk mixture until cocoa powder is fully dissolved. Set aside to cool.
3. In another bowl, whisk together all purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
4. Using a mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time and beat in vanilla until well mixed.
5. Add the dry ingredients into butter mixture and beat only until incorporated. Add in cooled chocolate-milk mixture and stir until smooth.
6. Fill batter into cupcake liners (about 2/3 full) and bake in preheated oven for about 15 mins, or until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out with little moist crumbs.
7. Now, carefully remove cupcakes from pan immediately and place onto wire rack to cool completely.
8. For Mascarpone Filling: While cupcakes are left to cool, add all ingredients for mascarpone filling in a bowl and beat until just incorporated. Do not overbeat! Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
9. For Chocolate Ganache: Place chopped chocolate into a heatproof bowl. Bring cream to just boil and pour over chocolate. Allow to stand for a couple of minutes before stirring/ whisking gently until smooth. Allow to cool while you make the buttercream.
10. For Buttercream: First, clean and ensure that your mixing bowl and whisk attachment is free from any traces of grease. Then add egg whites and granulated sugar into the mixing bowl and place it over a pot of simmering hot water.
11. Whisk the egg whites and sugar constantly, until the thermometer records a temperature of at least 160F.
12. Remove from heat and whip the egg white mixture until stiff peak forms. The bottom of the bowl should now be neutral to the touch (not the slightest bit warm). Slowly add butter until beat until incorporated.
13. Continue beating until it turns into a creamy, silky, smooth buttercream. Beat in vanilla.
14. To Assemble: Once cupcakes are cooled, use a cupcake corer (or you could just use a small spoon) to create a hole in the middle of the cupcake. Fill a ziplock bag with mascarpone mixture and fill each cupcake. Frost with buttercream and drizzle with ganache.

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