Saturday, April 16, 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes w/Chocolate Mousse Filling and Chocolate Frosting

One of my good friends made these cupcakes for a baby shower a few months ago and I knew I had to make them again! We had another baby shower this afternoon at my house and these were definitely a hit. This made about 4 dozen cupcakes (i.e. a lot) so you might want to cut it in half or plan on giving some away!

For the cupcake, I used a Betty Crocker Devil's Food Cake Mix. I made them the night before and covered them with a tea towel overnight. I also made the chocolate mousse the night before, so assembly the next morning was easy.

When you're ready to assemble the cupcakes, take a knife and cut a quarter sized chunk out of the top of the cupcake. Put your mousse into a pastry bag (or large ziplock bag, like I did) and squeeze about a tablespoon of mousse into the hole of each cupcake. This process is pretty quick if you have all the holes already cut out of each cupcake.

After the cupcakes are filled, take your frosting in a pastry bag (or large ziplock) and squeeze frosting onto each cupcake in a circular motion starting on the outside. This is the fastest and prettiest (I think) way to frost a cupcake!

Chocolate Mousse:
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped coarse
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
2 tablespoons strong coffee (I used about 1 1/2 tablespoon cocoa powder)
1 teaspoon vanilla
one pinch of salt
4 large eggs separated
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream, chilled
1. Microwave the chocolate and butter together, whisking often, until melted and smooth, 1 to 3 minutes. Stir in coffee or cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt. Whisk in the yokes one at a time, making sure that each is fully incorporated before adding the next.
2. Whip the egg whites with an electric mixer on low speed until foamy. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to whip, slowly sprinkling in the sugar, until the whites are shiny and form soft peaks.
3. Whisk a quarter of the beaten whited into the chocolate mixture, then, gently fold in the remaining whites using a rubber spatula.
4. Whip the cream with an electric mixer set on medium speed until soft peaks form, then gently fold into the mousse. Cover with plastic wrap and let set for at least two hours or over night.

Chocolate Frosting
(I didn't have enough cocoa for the recipe, so I pieced together a couple of chocolate frosting recipes to get this one)

2/3 cup cocoa powder
4 squares of unsweetened bakers chocolate
1 cup butter
2 tsp. vanilla
32 oz bag powdered sugar (minus a little bit)
1/2 - 2/3 cup milk (or cream - left over from the mousse)

Melt the butter and chocolate squares in the microwave. Stir in the cocoa powder and vanilla. Alternate adding the powdered sugar and milk while beating the frosting until you have your desired consistency. Frosting should be very smooth & soft with a little stiffness, so it can hold it's shape once piped onto the cupcakes.

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