Chocolate Cream Cupcakes
From Cook's Country
Blooming cocoa in boiling water and adding chocolate chips and espresso powder gave our Chocolate Cream Cupcakes recipe plenty of chocolate depth. Simply plopping a marshmallow into the batter created moonlike craters in our cupcakes. Combining marshmallow creme and the right amount of gelatin gave us the perfect creamy filling.
The Chocolate Cream Cupcakes were too delicate to allow us to inject the filling with a pastry bag. Instead, we used a paring knife to cut inverted cones from the tops of the cupcakes, added the frosting, and plugged the holes.
Makes 12 cupcakes
To ensure an appropriately thick filling, be sure to use marshmallow creme (such as Fluff or Kraft Jet-Puffed Creme), not marshmallow sauce.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons water
- 3/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
- 4 tablespoon (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- Pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups marshmallow crème (see note)
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1. MAKE BATTER Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour 12-cup muffin tin. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in bowl. Whisk water, cocoa, chocolate chips, and espresso in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar, sour cream, oil, eggs, and vanilla and mix until combined. Whisk in flour mixture until incorporated. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake until toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out with few dry crumbs attached, 18 to 22 minutes. Cool -cupcakes in tin 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack and cool completely.
2. PREPARE FILLING Combine water and gelatin in large bowl and let sit until gelatin softens, about 5 minutes. Microwave until mixture is bubbling around edges and gelatin dissolves, about 30 seconds. Stir in butter, vanilla, and salt until combined. Let mixture cool until just warm to touch, about 5 minutes, then whisk in marshmallow creme until smooth; refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes. Transfer 1/3 cup marshmallow mixture to pastry bag fitted with small plain tip; reserve remaining mixture for filling cupcakes.
3. ASSEMBLE CUPCAKES Microwave chocolate and butter in small bowl, stirring occasionally, until smooth, about 30 seconds. Cool glaze to room temper-ature, about 10 minutes. Following photos 1 to 3 at left, cut cone from top of each cupcake and fill cupcakes with 1 tablespoon filling each. Replace tops, frost with 2 teaspoons cooled glaze, and let sit 10 minutes. Using pastry bag, pipe curlicues across glazed cupcakes. Serve. (Cupcakes can be stored in airtight container at room temperature for 2 days.)
Getting the flavor right was the easy part. The trick was in the texture.
Marshmallow creme, butter, and confectioners' sugar are too runny.
Too much gelatin makes the filling bouncy and too firm to pipe.
Butter, marshmallow creme, and a modest amount of gelatin yield a soft, yet stable filling.
Chocolate Cream Cupcake Assembly Line
1. Insert the tip of a paring knife at a 45-degree angle about 1/4 inch from the edge of the cupcake. Cut out and remove the cake cone.
2. Cut off all but the top 1/4 inch of the cone, leaving a circular disc of cake. Discard—better yet, eat!—the bottom of the cone.
3. Using a spoon, fill each cupcake with the marshmallow mixture and then top with the reserved cake "plug."
4. Spread the cooled glaze over the cupcake, concealing the cut-out top. Once the glaze has set, pipe on a curlicue using the reserved marshmallow filling.