It’s pretty cupcake time! Don’t these look amazing? I’m not usually too enthusiastic about cupcakes – often they have too much frosting and the cake part is dry and crumbly. However, these ones are made with my favourite chocolate cake recipe, my new favourite chocolate mascarpone frosting and for a festive touch and a sweet surprise, I added cranberry curd. The curd is amazing! Sweet – tart – silky smooth. I’m so happy with how this turned out.
Because everything is made from scratch, there are quite a few steps. But the cake recipe gives you a good 2 dozen cupcakes, so your effort is well spent. The frosting also pipes super easily, so once the cupcakes are baked and filled, you should be able to whip through frosting them in no time (a piping bag does wonders here).
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 cups hot water
- Cranberry Curd (see recipe below)
- Chocolate Mascarpone Frosting (See recipe below)
- Fresh Cranberries (for garnish)
- 1/4 cup of sugar (for garnish)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan.
- Sift cocoa, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar into bowl. Beat in oil, buttermilk, vanilla, eggs, and hot water one at a time, using a mixer set at low. Beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. The batter will be quite liquid.
- Pour batter into cupcake pans. Bake 25 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean.
- Let cupcakes cool in pans on wire racks, 20 minutes, before removing. Cool completely on racks.
- Once cupcakes are completely cool, cut out a cone shape into each cupcake from the top with a paring knife. Fill generously with cranberry curd.
- Fill frosting into a piping bag with large frosting tip of your choice. Frost each cupcake, starting from the outside in and finishing off by pulling the frosting up into a tip.
- Roll your fresh cranberries in sugar and top each cupcake with a sugar-coated cranberry.
- 1 tub of mascarpone
- 1/5 cup of unsweetened cocoa
- 1 cup of powdered sugar
- 2.5 cups of whipping cream
- Combine mascarpone, cocoa and sugar with a mixer until smooth and creamy. Add whipping cream and whip at medium-high speed until the cream turns to a whipped cream consistency. Don't over-whip the mixture.
- 5 cups fresh or thawed cranberries - keep enough aside for garnish
- 1/2 cup water
- 2/3 cup orange juice
- 8 large egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- pinch of salt
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/4 stick), cold, cut into pieces
- Place cranberries, water, and orange juice in a saucepan, cover, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until cranberries burst, about 30 minutes. Press through a fine sieve, scraping back of sieve to get all the pulp (you should have about 2 cups), and discard solids.
- Combine yolks, cranberry pulp, and sugar in a heavy-bottom saucepan; whisk to combine. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon (be sure to scrape the sides of the pan), until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, 8 to 10 minutes, and registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
- Remove saucepan from heat. Add salt and butter, one piece at a time, stirring until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve into a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled and set, at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.
You can use the leftover curd on cake, over ice cream or in your yogurt.