They looked like they would be really yummy, but I was wondering how to make them more fancy for a birthday. I remembered seeing some similar cupcakes in a Martha Stewart Living magazine that were dolled up for Valentine's Day and knew just what to do:
To say that these were delicious is an understatement. Everyone was silent as they were eating and only a few scattered crumbs remained on the plates. I think I might need to whip up another batch for Valentine's Day this weekend.
Chocolate Cream Cupcakes
1. Heat the oven to 325-degrees and put cucpcake liners in a standard muffin tin (or you can grease and flour the tin). Combine 1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/4 teapoon salt in a bowl. In a large bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup boiling water, 1/3 cup cocoa powder (I used dutch-processed), 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli), and 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder until smooth. Add 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 2 large eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla and mix until combined. Whisk in the flour mixture until incorporated. Divide the batter evenly among 12 muffin cups and bake 18 to 22 minutes (check doneness with toothpick). Cool them in the tin for 10 minutes and on a wire rack until completely cooled.
2. For the cream filling, combine 3 tablespoons water and 3/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin in a large bowl and let sit for 5 minutes to let the gelatin soften. Microwave until the mixture bubbles around the edges and the gelatin is dissolved, about 30 seconds. Stir in 4 tablespoons softened, unsalted butter (cut into small pieces), 1 teaspoon vanilla and a pinch of salt until combined and the butter is melted. Let it cool for 5 minutes, then whisk in 1 1/4 cups marshmallow creme until smooth (be gentle and patient, the creme will eventually loosen up and smooth out). Refrigerate the mixture until set, about 30 minutes. Place about 1/3 cup of the filling into a pastry bag with a small, round tip to use for piping the swirls on top of the cupcakes.
3. When you are ready to assemble the cupcakes, microwave 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips with 3 tablespoons unsalted butter until you can stir it smooth. Cool the glaze to room temperature, about 10 minutes. Cut a cone out of the top of each cupcake with a sharp knife (this is easier if the cupcakes have been partially frozen for about 30 minutes first) and then cut off all but the top 1/4-inch of the cone (this will be placed back over the filling). (I'm sorry I don't have a picture of this step. Check out the magazine- it's worth it for all the great recipes!) Fill each indentation with 1 tablespoon of the filling and replace tops. Spread 2 teapoons of cooled glaze over the tops and let set for 10 minutes. Use the reserved filling in the pastry bag to pipe curlicues across the tops.
4. Prepare to wow your friends and family.