Chocolate Chip and Mascarpone Cupcakes

Can't have a party without cupcakes!!
Now I'm not a big baker... as you can see the few dessert items on here have been submitted by Patrick! I was having a little trouble deciding on dessert for the pumpkin party. I was pleasantly surprised when my roommate told me he would make a pumpkin pie for the occasion. So I thought cookies would be a nice complement to pie. As I browsed for cookie recipes I remembered a cupcake recipe from the Everyday Italian (Food Network tv show) with mascarpone  (and I conveniently had mascarpone in the fridge from the root veggie pasta recipe)! I love Giada from this show and when I first saw the cupcakes I wanted to make them for Patrick... they were after all chocolate! Click here for the video of Giada making the cupcakes.
Patrick and I were able to make the cupcakes the night before the party and I iced them the day of the party. I'm learning that recipes made with two people are much easier. Therefore tackling these "intermediate" cupcakes went just fine with four hands! The other reason we deemed this recipe do-able was because there weren't too many odd baking ingredients or steps (ie we didn't need an electric mixer).

  5 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  1 cup water
  1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  2 1/4 cups sugar
  1 cup vegetable oil
  3 large eggs
  1 tbsp vanilla extract
  3 cups all-purpose flour
  1 tsp baking soda
  1 tsp fine sea salt
  1/2 tsp baking powder
  1 cup (6 oz) semisweet chocolate chips (Giada recommends: Nestle morsels)
  1 cup (6 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
  2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the Cupcakes:
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325F.
Combine the unsweetened chocolate and water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until the chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes. Whisk in the mascarpone cheese until the mixture is smooth.

Beat the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl for 30 seconds. Stir in the mascarpone mixture. Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture. Stir until just blended.
Before combining wet ingredients and dry ingredients!

Divide the batter among the prepared muffin pans (with baking cups). Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out with no crumbs attached. Cool the cupcakes completely before dipping, about 1 hour.

We had extra batter leftover.
For the Ganache:
Place the chocolate chips in a small bowl. Combine the heavy cream and vanilla extract in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook until the small bubbles appear on the outside edge of the cream. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate chips. Using a fork, gently stir until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
My set up for ganaching (?) the cupcakes. Semisweet chocolate chips ready for the saucepan with heated cream and the cupcakes in the back ready for a dip!
Dip the tops of each cupcake in the ganache and transfer to a baking sheet. Place the dipped cupcakes in the refrigerator to set, abotu 15 to 20 minutes. Allow cupcakes to return to room temperature before serving.
Giada Note: For puffier cupcakes allow the batter to rest in the muffin pans for 20 minutes before baking. (We did not do this.)

Dipping the cupcakes. Patrick and I had a little trouble removing all the cupcakes from the baking pan so some of the tops didn't quite make it out of the ganache. Then into the fridge to set!

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