Monday, September 8, 2008

Week 21: Ultra Decadent Diva Divine Chocolate Cupcake Topped with Mascarpone Buttercream Frosting and Balsamic Syrup with Fresh Strawberries


Hi friends! I know, I know! It has been way too long since I posted a cupcake recipe. I have heard your requests and I am posting this absolutely decadent little bite of hedonism and asking mea culpa (forgiveness) for taking so long! I made several batches of these throughout the summer when the strawberries were full, ripe, luscious and sweet. Fortunately, you can get the burst of flavors any day of the week, using frozen strawberries works well. As most Cupcakery recipes, this one is so EASY! There are many aspects of this diva you will love and soon find yourself making several batches as I have!

The cupcake is so very moist and light, dare I say nearly spongy? The Godiva liqueur adds a nice rich flavor and the buttermilk really does add to the crescendo of flavors. I think the best part of this small confection is the mascarpone cheese-buttercream frosting and balsamic syrup tiara which sits on top!

A friend asked me this summer to make some of these for her tennis group who were going out to cruise the Hudson River one balmy afternoon in July. The bite of balsamic vinegar, juicy strawberries, chocolate cupcakes and mascarpone cheese-buttercream frosting was delicious and very welcome at the marina.

I am very fortunate to live along the Shawangunk Wine Trail in the Hudson Valley. There is a fabulous little secret nestled in the little village of Warwick called Demarest Hill Winery. Aside from the gorgeous view of the area, they make THE BEST balsamic vinegar. It is so sweet you can drink it. I have often used it pouring it over whipped cream and brownies, just about any kind of fruit. I used it in this recipe because it really is my favorite, but just about any balsamic vinegar will work. I find the balsamic vinegar from Modena is great.
(Balsamic vinegar from Demarest Hill Winery, Warwick, NY)

I hope you enjoy my ultra decadent diva divine chocolate cupcake! Only the best for my loyal readers! I promise more to follow.

Best!


Ultra Decadent Diva Divine Chocolate Cupcake
Makes 2 dozen

3 oz. Askinose Ecudorian Dark Chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup Godiva Liqueur, divided

1. Preheat your oven to 375° degrees. Then line baking pans with paper liners.

2. Place chocolate in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium (50% power) for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave 30 seconds more or until chocolate is softened. Stir until smooth and let cool.

3. Sift flour, baking soda and salt together.

4. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter in mixing bowl until creamy.

5. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.

6. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

7. Beat in melted chocolate.

8. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk and 1/2 cup Godiva Liqueur, beating until smooth at low speed. Divide batter among baking cups.

9. Bake for 17-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of the cupcakes comes out clean.

10. VERY IMPORTANT to let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting!
(Diva Delicious Chocolate Cupcakes with Mascarpone-Buttercream Frosting, Balsamic Syrup and Strawberries: Topped with Milk Chocolate Tennis Racquets!)

*NOTE: I made the milk chocolate tennis raquets when it was over 100° outside, so unfortunately they melted very quickly. Milk chocolate is very soft so I would not recommend this for extreme heat!

Mascarpone Buttercream Frosting
Makes 2 1/2 cups

1 container of fresh Mascarpone Cheese
1 stick salted butter
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp lemon juice
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar

1. Combine Mascarpone Cheese and butter in a mixing bowl.

2. Beat cheese and butter until light and creamy.

3. Add vanilla and then lemon juice.

4. Add powdered sugar and continue beating until smooth.

5. Once frosting is prepared, pipe onto completely cooled cupcakes.

6. Top with Balsamic Syrup and fresh, ripe strawberries.

Balsamic Vinegar Syrup
(Balsamic vinegar on the stovetop)

1 cup Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tbsp. sugar

1. Combine ingredient in a heavy small saucepan.

2. Bring to a boil slowly until liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup, about 10 minutes.

3. Once the syrup has reduced remove from heat and cool.

4. Pour small amount over frosted cupcake and top with half strawberry, or hulled strawberries.

2 comments:

Jingle said...

Wow! This sounds amazing! I love balsamic on vanilla ice cream, so I am sure that this will truly be decadent!

The Cupcakery said...

Hi JINGLE: I am with you - balsamic vinegar on desserts is a relatively well kept secret. I also have poured it on what I call "Loaded Brownies" : I take an iced tea glass, cut up a healthy mound of brownies, a large dollop of fresh Kahlua whipped cream and hulled strawberries; then I pour some heated balsamic vinegar over the top with a few mint leaves for garnish. Seriously, it is fabulous!