Pure Chocolate Cupcakes
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
11/4 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup coffee, at room temperature
Chocolate ganache filling and drizzle:
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 2 pieces
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
21/2 cups cold heavy cream
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Make cupcakes: Position a rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12 muffin tin openings with paper liners.
2. Melt unsweetened chocolate in a double boiler over hot but not simmering water, stirring it frequently until it is melted and smooth. Remove from over water and set aside to cool slightly.
3. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
4. In bowl of an electric mixer, using paddle attachment, beat butter and brown sugar until light and creamy. Mix in melted chocolate. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla and continue beating until color lightens slightly, about 1 minute. Mix in sour cream. Mix in half of flour mixture, then coffee. Finally, mix in remaining flour mixture.
5. Fill each paper liner with batter to just below the top of paper liner, about 6 tablespoons. Bake about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cupcakes for 10 minutes in pan set on a wire rack. Use a small knife to loosen any tops that might stick to top of pan. Invert cupcakes onto wire rack to cool completely.
6. Make filling and drizzle: Place semisweet chocolate in a medium bowl. Set aside.
7. Heat cream and butter until cream just comes to a boil and butter melts. Pour hot cream mixture over chopped chocolate. Using a wire whisk, blend ingredients together until chocolate has melted. Stir in vanilla.
8. Fill cupcakes: Set aside 1/2 cup of filling mixture (for whipping with topping) in a medium bowl to cool to room temperature. Set aside 3 tablespoons of filling mixture to use for drizzle.
9. Cut a cone-shaped piece, about 11/4" across and 1" deep, out of center of top of each cupcake. Spoon remaining filling into each hole, a scant 11/2 tablespoons. Replace cone-shaped pieces. Some of filling may spread over middle of cupcake when top is replaced. Refrigerate filled cupcakes to firm filling, about 30 minutes.
10. Make topping: In a large chilled bowl whip cream, confectioners' sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla until firm peaks form when beaters are lifted.
11. Whisk about 1 cup of whipped cream into reserved 1/2 cup of room temperature chocolate filling until no white streaks remain. Using a rubber spatula, fold chocolate mixture into whipped cream.
12. Using a rubber spatula, scrape chocolate cream into a pastry bag fitted with a medium star tip (such as Ateco #5) and swirl top of each cupcake with chocolate cream, about 1/3 cup per cupcake.
13. Using a fork and reserved 3 tablespoons of chocolate filling, drizzle thin lines of chocolate over swirls of chocolate cream. Serve immediately or refrigerate and serve cold.
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