1NOTE: I baked the cupcakes on day one. I also made the fondant on day one and set aside. On day 2 I filled cupcakes with the peanut butter filling. Other fillings can be used in place of peanut butter. I then frosted each cupcake with the butter cream frosting, the fondant needs something to adhere to. I rolled out the fondant and cut squares of the white fondant and placed on top of the black fondant forming a checker flag design. I then cut in a circle shape to place on top of each cupcake.
IMPORTANT: Fondant can be sticky so take the time to grease everything down; spoon/spatulas, bowls, and work area. Even your hands! It will make working with it a whole lot easier!
2CUPCAKE DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
3In a small bowl whisk together cocoa and hot water. Whisk until smooth.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; whisk to blend.
4In a sauce pan, combine butter and sugar. Cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until butter is melted and mixture is smooth.
Tranfer butter and sugar mixture to bowl of stand mixer. Beat on a medium speed 4 to 6 minutes until mixture is cool.
Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape sides of bowl down as needed.
Add vanilla and cocoa mixture and mix until smooth.
With mixer on low speed, add flour alternating with sour cream, beginning with four and ending with flour. Mix each addition just until incorporated.
5Divide batter evenly into lined muffin tins. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 18 to 20 minutes. You may need to rotate pans half way through.
Allow to cool in pan about 5 to 10 minutes and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
6PEANUT BUTTER FILLING: Mix frosting and peanut butter together until well combined.
Using a small piping bag filled with PB filling, fitted with a small round tip, punch in from the top of cupcakes and fill. Don't worry about the hole, you will cover the hole with the buttercream frosting.
7BUTTERCREAM FROSTING: In a mixing bowl; mix butter until light and fluffy. Combine sugar and cocoa and sift; add to butter mixture. Mix at a medium-low speed until sugar is moistened, about 45 to 60 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl and beat at a medium speed until fully combined; about 15 seconds. This will be like a coarse sugar. Scrape bowl down and add vanilla and cream; beat at a medium speed until incorporated; about 10 seconds. Increase speed to med-high and beat until light and fluffy; about 4 minutes, scraping the bowl down once or twice. Add additional cream a teaspoon at a time (if frosting is to dry) until your reach desired texture. Frost cupcakes once you add filling.
8FONDANT: Keep in mind that working with melted marshmallow is sticky business, so before you get started grease a large microwave safe bowl, the bowl of a mixer stand, a spoon/spatula, and the dough hook. This will keep the marshmallow from sticking and make for a much nicer clean-up.
9Add marshmallows and water to prepared microwave bowl. Microwave on high for 60 seconds. Stir with greased spoon/spatula. If all marshmallows have not melted, microwave additional 30 seconds, stir until smooth. Stir in vanilla.
10Remember to remove 1 cup of confectioners sugar and set aside. Combine remaining sugar, cocoa and salt; sift into prepared mixer bowl; make a well and pour marshmallow mixture into well.
Turn mixer on lowest speed. Mix until mixer begins to sound strained, and then turn up one speed. Once all the sugar is combined turn mixer off. If mixture is sticky add 1/4 cup of the reserved sugar until mixture is no longer sticky.
11Divide fondant; form into 2 balls and lighty grease with shortening. Add gel coloring to one ball and knead until color is completely blended and you reach desired color. Wrap each ball tighty in plastic wrap and let rest 2 to 3 hours. Always keep unused portions wrapped.
12When ready, lightly grease the area where you will be working (also lightly grease rolling pin); roll fondant out fairly thin but thick enough to handle. Cut into desired shapes and add shapes to cupcakes that have been frosted with a buttercream frosting. NOTE: I have a stainless steel table I work on.