I was going to jump on the Red Velvet Cupcake bandwagon for Valentine's Day but my daughter vetoed that choice and, instead, chose the Chocolate Cream Cupcakes that are featured on the cover of Cook's Country magazine. It didn't take much convincing, I had been coveting those cupcakes for a few weeks and was waiting for an opportunity to try them.This is a modern day, new and improved take on the Hostess Chocolate Cream Cupcake. What could go wrong? Nothing. That's what. They are even better than I'd hoped. I was a little hesitant about the ingredients in the filling, being marshmallow creme, butter, gelatin and vanilla. But it's true what they say, butter really does make everything better. The filling was really delicious and not at all sickly sweet as I'd feared.
The cupcake itself is terrific on its own. It has a deep chocolate flavor and a moist, tender crumb. So if you weren't inclined to stuff it with marshmallow filling, it would still be great. And the glaze, oh the glaze...delicious. Nothing but chocolate and butter. I used a good quality milk chocolate instead of the semisweet chocolate chips called for in the recipe. Worth every penny and every calorie.
This recipe is easily doubled, which is what I did. It only makes 12 and since I was sending them off to school with my daughter for Valentine's Day, and I knew I wouldn't be able to part with them without at least trying one - or three, I doubled the recipe. I would point out that, if you do double it, it will take a little longer for the filling to set up in the fridge, so you'll want to wait a little longer than the alloted 30 minutes to reach the desired consistency.
Not as Valentine's Day-appropriate as the Red Velvet would have been... so I threw a candy heart on top and called it a day. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say these are my new favorite cupcake.
Chocolate Cream Cupcakes
(adapted from Cook's Country)
yield: 12 cupcakes
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup boiling water
1/3 cup cocoa powder (I used Dutch processed)
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp. instant coffee
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 Tbsp. of water
3/4 tsp. unflavored gelatin
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 1/4 cups marshmallow creme (not sauce)
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used Callebaut milk chocolate)
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter (I used salted)
Batter: Adjust oven rack to middle and heat oven to 325 degrees. Line muffin tin with paper liners. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl, set aside. In large bowl, whisk boiling water, cocoa, chocolate chips and instant coffee until smooth. Add sugar, sour cream, oil eggs and vanilla, mix till combined. Whisk in flour mixture until incorporated. Divide evenly among muffin cups. Bake until toothpick comes out with a few dry crumbs attached 18 - 22 minutes. (I baked for 18). Cool for 10 minutes, remove from muffin tins, and allow to cool completely.
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 the touch, about 5 minutes, then whisk in marshmallow creme until smooth. Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes. (Transfer 1/3 cup of marshmallow mixture to a piping bag fitted with small tip if you want to pipe decorate line on finished cupcake; reserve remaining mixture for cupcakes.)
Glaze and assembling cupcakes: Microwave chocolate and butter in small bowl, stirring occasionally until smooth, about 30 seconds. Cool glaze to room temperature, about 10 minutes. Cut cone from top of each cupcake and fill with about 1 tablespoon of marshmallow mixture.Cut the tip of the cone off the top of the cupcake and replace the circular disk as the 'lid'. Frost with 2 teaspoons of glaze, let sit 10 minutes. Pipe curlicues across glazed cupcake. Serve. Can be stored at room temperature in airtight container for 2 days.