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I am the former.
I have loved dark chocolate since I was a wee little girl. Without giving out too much detail, my Dad travels/traveled to faraway places very often. We missed him very much, but we all knew that when he came home, he'd have something special packed away in his briefcase for us little ones. He'd step through the door late evening and some of us would follow him upstairs to my parents bedroom. As he unpacked a few things, he'd hand each of us a large brick of heaven-sent, creamy, decadent, chocolate. We couldn't eat it all at once, or even within the month (except for my brothers, who I'm quite positive downed the sucker in less than 24 hours), so we (the girls) space it out; eating a small square morsel or two every now and then. In my mind (and according to my taste buds), no type, shape, flavor, or form of chocolate has ever, nor ever, will compare to that chocolate. It was ridiculous.
Usually, my Dad brought home milk chocolate, but I'll never forget the time he brought home a couple bricks of dark chocolate. I had never tried it before (to my memory). I instantly fell in love.
Okay, I jest.
At first I thought it was bitter, and weird. But then with a little time, and a wonderful after-taste, I then fell in love with the majesty and wonder of dark chocolate. Yes, majesty and wonder.
When I came across this recipe last week, I knew I needed to push it towards the top of my recipe list, and pronto. Plus, it would be a grand opportunity for me to 1) try mascarpone & 2) use mascarpone. Oh what a blessed ingredient! It's like cream cheese, but with less cheesy zing, and more of a decadent and fluffy texture. Throw mascarpone in a dark chocolate buttercream frosting on top of a devilishly moist dark chocolate cupcake? I don't know why I even attempted to describe these cupcakes...
...the mere taste leaves me speechless.
Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Mascarpone Buttercream
2 C sugar
1- 3/4 C flour
3/4 C Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa
1-1/2 t baking powder
1-1/2 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 C milk
1/2 C canola oil
2 t vanilla extract
1 C boiling water (or 1 C brewed coffee)
4 oz (1/2 of an 8 oz tub) mascarpone cheese
1/2 C butter, softened
1/3 C Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa
2 T milk
2 T vanilla
16 oz powdered sugar, sifted
1. For the cupcakes: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
2. In a large mixer bowl with paddle attachment, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla and beat medium speed for 2 minutes.
3. Stir in boiling water (batter will be very thin, don't worry).
4. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter & bake for 22 minutes. Place on wire racks and remove from muffin pan as soon as you can without being burned. Cool completely on wire racks before frosting.
5. for the cupcakes: In a large mixing bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese, butter, cocoa powder, milk and vanilla with an electric stand mixer on medium heat to high speed until creamy.
6. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until smooth. Beat in enough additional milk (if you feel it's needed) 1 teaspoon at a time to reach consistency needed for your cupcakes.
Makes about 30 cupcakes
Recipe Source: a cup of mascarpone