Monday, October 8, 2007

A little piece of cupcake heaven

My mom is a Rachael Ray fan (she just can't help it) and was one of the first subscribers to her magazine. While Rachael's giggling and super annoying hand gestures make her show a little difficult to watch, I do like her magazine. After she gets her new issue, my mom loans me her old one and I write down the recipes I'm interested in trying. These cupcakes were one of them. I made them for a BBQ we had a few weeks ago and they were a hit. I will definitely add them to my "make again" list.

Chocolate Red-Wine Cupcakes with Mascarpone Icing
from Every Day with Rachael Ray September 2007

1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
4 oz chocolate, broken into pieces
1/2 c boiling water
2 sticks (8 ounces) butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 c granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/4 c flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 t salt
1/2 c medium- to full-bodied red wine, such as cannonau
Two 8-ounce containers mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
2 c confectioners' sugar
Red grapes, halved, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350ยบ. Line 2 muffin pans with baking liners.

In a medium, heatproof bowl, combine the cocoa powder and chocolate pieces. Whisk in the boiling water until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is combined.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and granulated sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until blended. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until just combined. Alternating, add the chocolate mixture and wine in batches, mixing well between each addition, until the batter is smooth. Divide among the muffin cups, filling each about three-quarters full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in the pan.

Lightly beat the mascarpone, then add the confectioners' sugar and beat until creamy. Remove the cooled cupcakes from the pan, spread each with icing and top with a grape half.

I recommend storing them in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving. The cupcake is a super light cake and the frosting runs a little, so letting it harden a little in the refrigerator makes the cake and icing hold up a little better. Definitely store leftovers in the refrigerator!

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