Hey, everyone! Happy Valentine's Day!
Perhaps not so coincidentally, today also happens to be Cream-Filled Chocolates Day.
I briefly considered making cream-filled chocolate candy for you guys, but then I remembered a horrible truffle-making experience a few years ago that really brought home the notion that candy-making is not my forte.
So, instead I give you: marshmallow-filled chocolate cupcakes! (Close enough, right?)
These cupcakes are a little bit of a project, what with the marshmallow and the ganache and the assembly of it all. So whenever I make them, I usually turn to my good buddy Duncan Hines to make things a little easier. (I use their devil's food cake mix all the time — everyone loves it.)
But if you'd like to bake the cake from scratch, you could use the tasty chocolate chip sour cream cake recipe from last year's Valentine's cupcakes.
Also, this year's filling is the same as last year's frosting. (It's versatile like that.) For a true cream-filled chocolate cupcake, you could instead use whipped cream stabilized with a bit of gelatin as the filling. I am totally nuts for marshmallow, though, so I use this stuff as much as possible.
To make these cupcakes look a little more festive, I got some red baking cups, which you can buy at Michael's, and topped each cupcake with a tiny red heart plucked from a container of Valentine's Day sprinkles that they also sell at Michael's, and usually at grocery stores and Target, too.
Recipe: Marshmallow cream-filled devil's food cupcakes
- About 2 dozen devil's food cupcakes (already baked)
- Marshmallow filling (recipe follows)
- Chocolate ganache frosting (recipe follows)
- Heart-shaped sprinkles (optional)
- Use a knife to cut small holes out of the middle of each cupcake. That's where the marshmallow filling will go!
- Scoop the marshmallow filling into a pastry bag fitted with a coupler and a large plain round tip (or a plastic bag with one corner snipped off). Stick the tip inside each hole and squeeze the bag o' filling until the cupcake bulges a bit. If there's cake and filling sticking up out of the hole, use an offset spatula (or a butter knife) to smooth over the top so it's fairly flat.
- Once your ganache has thickened to frosting consistency, carefully spread it on top of the cupcakes. If you're decorating the cupcakes with sprinkles, immediately plop them on top while the frosting is still sticky.
- 1¾ cups sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 3 large egg whites
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Put the sugar, water, egg whites and cream of tartar into a heatproof bowl and beat with a handheld electric mixer on high speed until opaque, white and foamy, about 1 minute.
- Put the bowl over, but not touching, a pot of barely simmering water. Keep an eye on the mixer's cord so it doesn't end up touching the burner.
- Beat on high speed until the frosting forms a stiff peak that stands straight up if you stop the beaters and lift them out of the mixture, about 12 minutes. (This part is really boring, but try to pay attention or you'll end up with marshmallow splattered all over the place.) The frosting should reach 160˚F on a thermometer.
- Remove the container from the water, add the vanilla, and continue beating for 2 minutes to further thicken the frosting.
Chocolate ganache frosting
- 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (or a combination of the two), chopped into small pieces
- 1 stick of butter, softened
- ½ cup confectioners' sugar
- Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat.
- Whisk the powdered sugar into the melted chocolate. It'll be super lumpy at first, but just keep stirring, and it'll smooth out.
- Strain the ganache into a bowl. (I skipped this step, and you can see in the photos all the tiny lumps of powdered sugar in the frosting.) Cover and refrigerate until the ganache thickens to frosting consistency, about 30 minutes.
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