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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Amazing Cupcakes

These are not at all healthy, but they are oh so good. Imagine a Hostess cupcake with cream filling, only homemade and 10x better. They are time consuming to make, but are great! Make sure the icing on top is in swirls just like the Hostess ones!!

For the Cupcakes:

* 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
* 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
* 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

For the Filling:

* 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
* 1 cup confectioners' sugar
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 3 tablespoons heavy cream
* 1 cup marshmallow creme

For the Ganache and Icing:

* 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
* 1/2 cup heavy cream
* 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
* 2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1 tablespoon milk
* 2 cups confectioners' sugar


Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Place paper liners in two 12-cup muffin pans.
Prepare the cupcakes:

Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Bring the sugar and 1 cup water to a boil in a saucepan, stirring until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Pour into a large bowl; add the chocolate and butter and let sit, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture has cooled slightly. Stir in the vanilla. Using a mixer, beat in the eggs, then mix in the dry ingredients.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans (about 1/4 cup batter per cupcake) and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool in the pans for about 25 minutes, then transfer cupcakes to a rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling:

Using a mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar. Add the vanilla and 1 tablespoon heavy cream; beat until smooth. Beat in the remaining 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar and 2 tablespoons heavy cream in batches, alternating after each addition. Beat in the marshmallow creme; set aside.
Prepare the ganache:

Place the chocolate in a stainless-steel bowl. Heat the cream and 1 tablespoon butter until just boiling, then pour over the chocolate; let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla; let stand until cool but still glossy and liquid.

Spoon the filling into a pastry bag with a medium tip. Insert the tip into the center of each cupcake top; fill until the cupcake is heavier (do not overfill). Dip the cupcake tops in the ganache. Chill for at least 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the icing: Using a mixer, beat the remaining 1 stick butter, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, the milk and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Spoon into a pastry bag with a small tip; pipe onto the cupcakes to decorate.

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