I made a tiramisu for New Year's Eve (that sadly I did not get to photograph) and fell head over heels with mascarpone cheese. I'm already in love with chocolate and as they're such a perfect match it seemed only right to make a batch of cupcakes combining both. After YEARS of experimenting I'm now pretty convinced that buttermilk is the perfect addition for baked goods, it seems to produce a more tender sponge than plain milk or sour cream in my opinion. Don't you agree?
1 1/2 sticks of room temperature unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups of sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 cup of cocoa powder (I used Hershey's)
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup of buttermilk
2 tablespoons of vanilla extract
Heat the oven to 350 F
Line a cupcake tray with paper liners.
Cream the butter and the sugar until really light and fluffy. No sense in rushing this, the lighter the consistency the the lighter the sponge when baked.
Add the eggs, one at a time scraping down the bowl after each addition. Again you cannot over beat at this stage.
Mix the flour, cocoa, baking powder, soda and salt in a bowl. Combine the buttermilk and vanilla extract in a measuring jug.
Add half the flour mixture to the butter, sugar and eggs and gently combine, add the buttermilk and vanilla, gently combine ending with the rest of the flour mixture. This is where you must be careful you don't over mix. Gently combine with a spatula.
Fill the cupcake liners three quarters full. Place in the oven and bake for approximately 18 minutes or until the the sponge bounces back when lightly pressed.
Remove from the oven and cool in the trays for 10 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the tray to a baking rack and cool thoroughly.
4 oz mascarpone cheese (room temperature)
4 oz unsalted butter (room temperature)
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 cups of confectioner's sugar
Dash of milk
Mix all the ingredients except the milk in the bowl of a mixer and beat until creamy. If the frosting is too thick add a dash of milk, if it seems a little thin add a little more confectioner's sugar.
Frost the cupcakes, sprinkle a little grated chocolate over the top if desired.