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Mock Hostess Cupcakes

Ingredients
  ---CUPCAKE---
1/2cupflour + 2 tb
2 1/2tablespooncocoa powder
3/4teaspoonbaking soda
1/4teaspoonsalt
1/2cupsugar
1/2cupwater
3tablespoonvegetable oil
1 1/2teaspoondistilled white vinegar
1teaspoonvanilla extract
  
  ---FILLING---
1cupheavy whipping cream
6ozwhite chocolate, finely chopped
  
  ---GLAZE---
3ozbittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
3tablespoonboiling water
  
  ---ICING---
1tablespoonegg white, at room temperature
1pncream of tartar
1/2cupconfectioner's sugar + 2-3 tb

Directions:

Cupcakes: Position a rack in the center and preheat oven to 325 F. Lightly butter twenty-four 1-3/4x3/4 (1-oz) muffin of biscuit cups.

Into a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Mix in the sugar. Make a well in the center. Whisk in the water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Blend until smooth. (The batter will be very thin.)

Spoon the batter into the prepared cups. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean, about 12 to 14 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the pans on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pans and finish cooling on the rack.

Filling: In a heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream to a boil. Add the white chocolate and remove from heat. Let the mixture stand briefly, stir until smooth. Transfer to a metal bowl and refrigerate until chilled thoroughly, stirring occasionally. (To speed the process, set the metal bowl over a larger bowl of ice water; stir the chocolate mixture until cool.) With an electric mixer, beat the white chocolate mixture just until fluffy, about 1 minute.

Transfer the filling to a pastry bag fitted with a 3/8-inch plain tip. Insert the pastry tip 1/4-inch into the bottom of each cupcake and squeeze a little filling into each one.

Glaze: Place the chocolate in a small bowl. Whisk in the boiling water and blend until smooth. One at a time, dip the top of each cupcake into the warm glaze. Turn the glazed cupcakes right side up and set them on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet. Refrigerate the cupcakes for 5 minutes to set the glaze.

Icing: In a medium bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy. Stir in the cream of tartar. Gradually mix in enough of the confectioner's sugar to make a fairly stiff and smooth icing. Fill a small paper cone with the icing and cut a 1/16-inch opening at the tip. Remove the cupcakes from the refrigerator. Pipe a design (a squiggle, spiral, etc.) on the top of each cupcake. Let the design harden and then cover and refrigerate the cupcakes.

Serve at room temperature. Makes 22 to 24 miniature cupcakes.

Notes:

The cupcakes can be made and refrigerated up to 2 days in advance, or frozen up to 2 weeks.

These ultra-moist, dark chocolate mini-cupcakes are filled with creamy white chocolate ganache.





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