Friday, September 21, 2012

dark chocolate cupcakes with chocolate mascarpone buttercream




The wager I had with Sam was who would  win the inter-league series between Sam's Baltimore Orioles and my Washington Nationals.  Sam is a 2010 graduate of Clemson University, who works with me.  With our beloved ACC teams - Sam, the Clemson Tigers, and me, VT Hokies, along with our baseball teams, we became quick, friendly rivals with one another.  We've bet all kinds of things over the past couple years when our teams played one another, but this time, cupcakes were at stake!  If he won, I had to make him cupcakes of his choosing, and if I won, he had to pay me two times the cost of the cupcakes I chose to make for the blog! Somehow, I think Sam had a win-win, because he would have gotten cupcakes either way, since he's my favorite taste-tester for a cup of mascarpone!  Anyway, I lost, the birds won the series, and Sam received his box of freshly baked cupcakes, at my expense, and to his enjoyment! :)









I decided on a decadent, dark chocolate cupcake using Hershey's Chocolate - yep, the recipe right off the cocoa can!  This was my first time trying the Hershey's "Special Dark" blend, and can I just say, it will satisfy any chocolate lover's craving with the richness and perfectly moist crumb it produced!  Unless I find something better along my journey, this will be my go to chocolate cupcake from now on, and I've tried many!  The deep, dark chocolate flavor and color was enriched by the addition of a cup of hot, freshly brewed coffee, in place of the called for cup of boiling water.  This was the only recipe change I made -  a favorite baking tip that intensifies the dark chocolate flavor!






An incredible, light and creamy chocolate mascarpone buttercream completes the decadent cupcake!  Again, I used the "Special Dark" Hershey's Cocoa, that superbly enriched the chocolate flavor and sophistication of the mascarpone buttercream, without making it heavy or overly sweet.  I fell in love with this frosting, and I'm confident that you will too!  I can't wait to make a cake using it!

Did I mention how uncomplicated this recipe is to make?  It's created in just one bowl, so in addition to the simplicity, you won't have a lot of dishes to clean up afterwards!  The batter will be very thin, almost watery - but don't panic!  It will rise and bake up beautifully!

Enjoy today!!!

Until next time…mangia!   xox

Carol





Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Mascarpone Buttercream
Makes approximately 30 cupcakes

Ingredients:

for the cupcakes:
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Hershey's "Special Dark" Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water or 1 cup hot brewed coffee

for the mascarpone buttercream:
4 ounces (1/2 of an 8 ounce tub) mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup Hershey's "Special Dark" Cocoa
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 16 ounce box powdered sugar, sifted

Create the cupcakes and buttercream:

make the cupcakes:
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line muffin pans (2-1/2" in diameter) with paper baking cups.  Set aside.

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large  bowl.  Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of hand mixer for 2 minutes.  Stir in boiling water or hot coffee (batter will be thin).

Fill cups 2/3 full with batter.  Bake 22 - 25 minutes.  Place on wire racks and remove from the pans as soon as they're able to be touched without burning yourself.  Cool completely on wire racks before frosting.  (I only bake one pan at a time and turn the pan half way through the baking cycle.)

make the mascarpone buttercream:
In a large mixing bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese, butter, cocoa powder, milk and vanilla with an electric stand mixer on medium to high speed until creamy.  Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until smooth.  Beat in enough additional milk (only if needed), 1 teaspoon at a time, to reach consistency needed for cupcakes.  Makes 3 cups.  (Midwest Living was the inspiration for this delicious frosting.)



62 comments:

  1. A good chocolate cake recipe is priceless. Hurray for Sam for making you bake these beauties! Love the frosting because it´s tangy; not a fan of sugary ones. Have a great weekend Carol!

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    1. Thanks, Paula! You are so right about having a good chocolate cake recipe!!! I was happy for Sam too - he makes me feel like everything I make is the best he ever tasted! lol You have a great weekend, as well!

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  2. Wait, are you local? Those are our teams as well! These cupcakes look dynamite.

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    1. Thanks, Jen! Yes - about 30 miles outside of DC in Northern Va, but spend a lot of time in Arlington, where my daughter lives. It will be very cool if Nats and Orioles wind up in the World Series!

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  3. And dark chocolate is good for you, too! Can't wait to try them.

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    1. It is good for you, JJ! Totally guilt free cupcakes!!! :)

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  4. Oh my. I wish I were eating one of those right now!

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  5. I am in love with these cupcakes, Carol! The chocolate mascarpone buttercream looks dangerously delicious :). Happy Friday, have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Thanks, Laura! You have got to try them! …and it will be easy to figure the calories like you always do on your wonderful blog, since they are all on the chocolate can! Have a beautiful weekend!

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  6. I could eat the whole plate...whoa...so beautiful!!

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    1. Thank you so much, Cathy! If I had one left over, I would love sharing one with you!!!

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  7. Carol neglects to mention that her favorite co- worker (that would be me) works at another location and therefore has to suffer hearing the sighs if delight from those lucky enough to be in her office. Love you despite that, Carol, and guess I should consider myself lucky because I've been told you are making everyone fat :)

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    1. LOL - Nicki, I will call you over to my office next time - PROMISE - so you can gain weight too! xox

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  8. Carol, these look amazing! Rich and decadent and picture perfect :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Liz!!! Hope you have a great weekend!!!

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  9. Another beautiful gem from a cup of mascarpone! Will definitely have to try these!

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    1. Thank you, Donna! I would love to hear back from you after you make them, and let me know how you liked them!

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  10. lovely cupcakes, I love your mascarpone buttercream frosting ! I definitely should try it!

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  11. Oh Carol, these cupcakes are making me crave chocolate right now! Love the mascarpone-based frosting too! I'm sure they were incredible! Mmmm!

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    1. Hi Roz! Thanks for stopping by! Yes, they were delicious, and the mascarpone frosting gave them that special touch! Enjoy this beautiful weekend!!!

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  12. every baker needs a good chocolate cake recipe to go back to again and again and this one sounds just perfect! The mascarpone frosting sounds heavenly, Carol! :)

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  13. I could fall in love with this chocolate buttercream mascarpone frosting! and I could just dive into one of your luscious frosted cupcakes, they are just dreamy looking to a chocolate lover like myself ;-)

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    1. Thanks, Patty! I'll trade you a cupcake for some of that scrumptious whiskey pear tart of yours!!! ;)

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, and taking the time to leave a kind comment!!!

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  15. These are BEAUTIFUL!!!! and seriously sound like my monthly best friend!

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    1. LOL! Definitely will work! Thanks for stopping by to check them out, Lauren - please come by again! :)

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  16. These are beautiful! I love mascarpone frosting, and this one sounds divine!

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    1. Thank you very much, Meghan! Something about mascarpone in frosting! :) Please stop by again!

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  17. Oh my goodness!! They sound wonderful. Thanks for visiting my blog today!
    Penny
    www.fromharvesttotable.com

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    1. Thank you, Penny! I adored your recipe for the pasta e fagiolo!!!

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  18. I love the beautiful dark colour of the cupcakes! That Hershey's Special Dark is wonderful, I feel like a baking alchemist every time it transforms a pale batter into a deep brown chocolaty substance. :D


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    1. Hi Valerie! A baking alchemist! LOL! A great analogy! Thanks for stopping by, and also for becoming a follower!!! So much appreciated! Carol

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  19. Wow, those cupcakes look so good! I love the awesome piping on them.

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    1. Thank you so much! I wanted to try something a bit different - almost like a chocolate kiss! Thank you for noticing!!!

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  20. This looks delish! Chocolate is my favorite....

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  21. These look amazingly chocolate-y. I would love to try making them. I totally agree about the coffee/chocolate combo! Ina Garten (my fave food network star) does it all the time. Definitely kicks up the chocolate yummyness. :D

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    1. Hi Sophia! Thanks so much! You should definitely try, if for nothing else, the mascarpone buttercream! :) I love Ina Garten too - own all her cookbooks! :) Thanks for stopping by, please come by again!

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  22. The frosting on these cupcakes look perfect! Wish I had one right now! ;)

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    1. Good morning, Christina! Thank you! The frosting is delectable, hope you can give it a try! :)

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  23. These look amazing Carol! I love anything chocolate.
    Pinned and shared <3

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Roxana! …and a huge thank you for pinning and sharing on your blog! So thankful! Have a great weekend!!!

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  24. I can never have enough chocolate... And special dark cocoa powder is my absolute favorite. Oh my gosh, nothing compares! Great recipe. So simple but I bet it was stunning. Cute blog.

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    1. Thanks Kammie! I couldn't have said it any better...and add the mascarpone buttercream, and oh my!!! :)

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  25. Carol, I don't know how I missed this when it was posted, but thank you for referrring me! I too use the classic Hershey cake recipe on the tin - it's a winner every time. I've even used it for tiered cakes. It's substantial enough for that, and now I have your mascarpone frosting to try. Your cupcakes, and your photos, are gorgeous! Can't wait to try the frosting out on my family! xox

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    1. Good morning, Jeannie! Thanks so much! I thought you might enjoy it on one of your cakes! You'll have to give it a try! Have a great weekend!

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  26. There is nothing better than delicious chocolate cupcake, and these one with mascarpone sound great.I've featured this recipe on my blog, hoping that you don't mind, but if you do, please contact me and I'll remove it. All the best.

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    1. Vera, I have no problem with this, since you linked the recipe back to me. Thanks!!!

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  27. I've made these twice, and I LOVE how they taste.

    One issue though: both times, I've filled the cupcakes up 2/3 full (really closer to 1/2 the last time) and they always run over the edges and leave me with flat tops. Is there any solution to this?

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    1. Hi Anon! I'm sorry you are experiencing that problem. I'm not sure what you have happening, but here are a few things that may help. I would be sure you are using fresh baking powder and baking soda. I write the date on the can when I open it, and throw it away if it's been more than 6 months. I also keep the box of baking soda in a sealed plastic bag once it's opened. You can check your oven temperature with a oven thermometer to be sure it's registering the correct temps. The cupcakes themselves stay rather flat, as you can see from my photos...they aren't a high rise cupcake. Sometimes lowering the oven temp about 25 degrees, and cooking a little longer may help too. Hopefully, these few things may help you for next time. I'm happy you do enjoy the taste...they are very good, especially with the mascarpone frosting! :)

      PS: I have an incredible chocolate sheet cake that should be posted tomorrow. It also uses the Hershey's Chocolate. You will definitely want to try that recipe too, if you like chocolate! :)

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  28. The cupcakes look gorgeous! I love dark chocolate in ANY form, but these look like perfect little bites. And the mascarpone buttercream - well. Fantastic.

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    1. Karen, thanks so much for your kind words, and for visiting acom! If you love dark chocolate {like me ;)}, you will love these...especially the mascarpone buttercream! Have a beautiful day!

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  29. Dear Carol,

    Thanks for sharing the lovely recepie, but just wanted to ask you if i can use sunflower oil instead of canola oil.

    Thanks
    Manishaa

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    1. You're very welcome, Manishaa! So happy you like it! Yes, replacing the canola with sunflower oil should be just fine! Usually, the only time you wouldn't want to replace an oil is when the recipe calls for olive oil, since olive oil produces a distinct flavor in the baked goods, where vegetable oils do not. Hope that helps! Have a great week!

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  30. Hey Carol,
    just wanted to ask, when u say vanilla, do u mean essence, extract or vanilla bean...

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    1. Hi Tracy! I always use a good Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract, like Nielsen-Massey. Hope this helps! Have a great day!!! Carol

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Hi! Thank you so much for stopping by a cup of mascarpone, and taking the time to leave a comment! I read, smile, and cherish each and every one of them! xox

Carol