Chocolate-Espresso Truffle Cupcakes with Mocha Mascarpone Frosting


By: Laura DeVries

Madison, WI

Ingredients

Cake

2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
6 tsp instant espresso powder dissolved in 3/4 cup hot water

Ganache Truffles

8 oz semi-sweet chocolate
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. honey

Frosting

1/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbsp instant espresso powder
1 1/2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream, divided
3/4 cup sugar
2-8oz containers chilled Crave Brothers Farmstead Classics- Mascarpone Cheese
Chocolate covered espresso beans (optional)

Directions

Ganache truffles - prepare ahead of time

Chop chocolate into approximately 1/4” chunks and place into a heat-safe bowl. Boil cream, being careful not to let it boil over. Pour hot cream over chocolate chunks. Add vanilla and honey. Let stand approximately 5 minutes, then place a whisk in the center of the bowl and begin stirring gently, keeping the whisk in the center of the bowl. As ganache begins to come together, gently whisk until combined and glossy. Allow to cool. Once cooled use 2 small spoons to portion out enough ganache to roll into a ball approximately 3/8” in size. Roll truffle in cocoa powder if desired. Place truffles in freezer upon completion.

Cake

Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F.  Line cupcake pan with baking cups.  Sift 2 cups cake flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add brown sugar and beat until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with buttermilk in 2 additions, beating just until blended after each addition. Gradually add hot espresso-water mixture, beating just until smooth.  Fill cups 2/3 full with ice cream scoop or measuring cup.  Bake for 22-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Remove from oven, let stand for 5 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

Frosting

Sift cocoa powder into large bowl; add espresso powder. Bring 1 cup cream to boil in small saucepan. Slowly pour cream over cocoa mixture, whisking until cocoa is completely dissolved, about 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup cream and sugar; stir until sugar dissolves. Chill until cold, at least 2 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; keep chilled. Add mascarpone to chilled cocoa mixture. Using electric mixer, beat on low speed until blended and smooth. Increase speed to medium-high; beat until mixture is thick and medium-firm peaks form when beaters are lifted, about 2 minutes (do not overbeat or mixture will curdle.)

Assembly

Remove truffles from freezer and gently insert one into each espresso cupcake. Pipe mascarpone frosting on top and add espresso bean garnish. Refrigerate until ready to serve, remove 5 minutes prior to serving. Enjoy!

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