Cream-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

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Like many of my baking endeavors, these were a special treat for my friend Natalie’s birthday.  They are just like your classic Hostess Cupcake, only homemade with love!  This recipe is entirely from Martha Stewart.  The main difference is that the original recipe does not use a ganache on top, but the ganache recipe I used is also from Martha Stewart.  For the decorative icing, I didn’t think the marshmallow filling would set right, so I used a bottled christmas-cookie icing.  You can also probably make something like that pretty easily, I just ran out of time!  These are best enjoyed up to 3 days after baking.

Happy Cupcaking!

-Maggie

Chocolate Cupcakes

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for muffin tins
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for muffin tins
2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs  (room temperature)
1 cup sour cream (room temperature)

Preheat oven to 350. Butter two muffin pans; dust with cocoa powder to coat, tapping out excess. In a medium bowl, whisk together cocoa, flour, baking powder, soda, and salt.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. On low speed, add half the flour mixture, followed by sour cream, ending with remaining flour mixture; mix just until incorporated (do not overmix).

Divide batter among prepared muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Cool in pans, 5 minutes; remove cupcakes and cool, right side up, on a wire rack.

Marshmallow Cream Filling

1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme (7.5-ounce jar)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

In a medium bowl, whisk marshmallow creme and butter until smooth. Chill until slightly firm, 15 to 30 minutes.

Chocolate Ganache

1/2 cup heavy cream
3 1/2 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, softened

Bring cream to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour cream over chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Let stand for 2 minutes. Add butter, then whisk mixture until smooth. Let cool, stirring often. Use immediately.

Assembly
Transfer filling to a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag, and seal; cut off one corner of the bag to make a 1/8-inch opening (you may also use an icing bag with a large tip.)
Using a small melon baller or a knife, create a well in the center of each cupcake from the top.  Save the cutout piece, because you will use it to reseal the cupcake.  I recommend cutting a slightly pointed hole, so it is easy to tell which way the “plug” goes in later.
Discarding any crumbs, insert tip of filling bag into each cavity, and squeeze to fill.  Cut off the bottom of plugs and replace on top of hole in each cupcake.
This is the trickiest part: you are going to have to turn the cupcakes upside down to dip in the ganache.  In my experience the  “plug” usually stayed put, but in the event that it falls off, quickly replace it and it shouldn’t be a problem.  You can use a knife to spread the ganache more evenly.  Allow to set for 1/2 an hour.
Using any bottled christmas-cookie icing, pipe a spiral pattern onto each cupcake, as pictured above.
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