A cupcake client obtained my donated auction item from my friend’s very special event (a fundraiser for her father – recently diagnosed with ALS) so I was able to get my creative juices flowing! When asked what her preference for flavor would be, the answer was simple: chocolate! My go-to chocolate cupcake recipe is divine. It is none other than Giada DiLaurentis’ Chocolate Chip Mascarpone Cupcakes Topped with Ganache. Is your mouth watering, yet? Oh my stars…each little bite is moist with a chocolate chip surprise every so often. It’s just rich enough to satiate every palate. Divine, I tell you. Divine.
In addition to selecting this tasty flavor, the client requested decorations that would be a bit whimsical in celebration of her older brother and sister – a tandem birthday party! Mr. Trek and I , as seen above, have a fondness for all that is whimsical and that clearly includes mustaches! I found a variety of molds online, allowing for a multitude of mustache choices. Note: I’m happy to put them to use again, so just let me know if you’re in need of some chocolate lips or mustaches!
Chocolate Chip and Mascarpone Cupcakes
Yield: 2 dozen
5 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 c water
1/3 c mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
2 1/4 c sugar
1 c vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 T vanilla extract
3 c all-purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1 t fine sea salt
1/2 t baking powder
1 c (6 oz) semisweet chocolate chips (recommended: Nestle morsels)
· 1 cup (6 oz) semisweet chocolate chips (recommended: Nestle morsels)
· 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
· 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
· Special equipment: 2 (12-count) muffin pans with paper liners
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325°F.
Combine the unsweetened chocolate and water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until the chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes. Whisk in the mascarpone cheese until the mixture is smooth.
Beat the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl for 30 seconds. Stir in the mascarpone mixture. Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture. Stir until just blended.
Divide the batter among the prepared muffin pans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out with no crumbs attached. Cool the cupcakes completely before dipping, about 1 hour.
Place the chocolate chips in a small bowl. Combine the heavy cream and vanilla extract in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook until small bubbles appear on the outside edge of the cream. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate chips. Using a fork, gently stir until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
Dip the tops of each cupcake in the ganache and transfer to a baking sheet. Place the dipped cupcakes in the refrigerator to set, about 15 to 20 minutes. Allow cupcakes to return to room temperature before serving.
Note: For puffier cupcakes allow the batter to rest in the muffin pans for 20 minutes before baking.