I'm hardcore when it comes to baking and this is the most decadent of cupcakes. I have made them for special occasions or when I want to make a good impression. Although my recipes seem somewhat difficult & carry steps, I make everything from scratch and I try not to take the "easy" way out. For me the harder, is my best challenge. These cupcakes are my BEST CHALLENGE and gosh darn delicious!
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a large stainless steel bowl over a pot filled with simmering water (double boiler), combine coffee, bourbon, butter, and chocolate chunks. Whisk continuously until melted.
3. Add sugar to the chocolate/butter/bourbon mixture and whisk until it begins to cool.
4. Slowly add the eggs to the cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until incorporated.
5. Sift flour, baking soda and salt.
6. Slowly add flour mixture in thirds to chocolate and whisk together. Scrape the sides with a spatula to make sure you get all the dry ingredients.
7. Place cupcake papers in pan and divide batter into cups evenly. Fill about 2/3 of the cup.
8. Bake for 18-24 minutes or until the tops are firm to the touch, and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the cupcake.
9. Let cool on wire rack before frosting.
Note: If you do not have a large enough stainless steel bowl to make the entire recipe in, you can use a medium sized stainless steel bowl for steps 1-3 and use a stand alone 5 qt. when adding the dry ingredients.
2MASCARPONE WHIP CREAM FILLING:
1. In a stand alone mixer with the paddle attachment, beat mascarpone cheese until creamy and smooth. Place in separate bowl.
2. In same stand alone mixer with a clean chilled bowl, whisk on medium to high speed the whipping cream, confectioners' sugar and scraped vanilla bean until medium peaks form. BE CAREFUL NOT TO OVER WHISK creating air bubbles. You want a VELVET appearance.
3. Fold mascarpone cheese into the whip cream, CAREFULLY until incorporated. DO NOT OVER FOLD, or the whip cream will deflate.
4. Place covered with plastic wrap in refrigerator to chill until you are ready to fill the cupcakes.
3MOCHA HAZELNUT BUTTERCREAM:
1. In a stand alone mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, hazelnut paste and vanilla extract until creamy and smooth.
2. Sift the confectioners; sugar, salt and cocoa powder together.
3. Slowly, on low speed, add the dry sugar mixture in thirds to the butter/hazelnut mixture, scraping the sides of the bowl, while slowly adding the milk to keep a creamy consistency. (Add more or less milk as needed for desired thickness).
1. When cupcakes are cool, take an apple core tool and remove two holes in the center of each cupcake about 1/2" deep. DON'T GO ALL THE WAY TO THE BOTTOM, otherwise the filling will seep out.
2. Fill an 18" piping bag with the mascarpone whip cream. Snip a small hole at the end of the bag, and fill each cupcake with the filling.
2. Fill another 18" piping bag with a #848 French star tip with the mocha hazelnut buttercream. Pipe a circular dollop on top of each cupcake.
4. Finish off by generously sprinkling Valrhona Chocolate Crunchies on top of each of the cupcakes.
ENDULGE & ENJOY!
Note: Valrhona Chocolate is available at Williams-Sonoma