Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Cupcakes

Love love love making dessert. Especially for special occasions. Tonight, instead of going out to dinner, I am making dinner at home. Artichokes for appetizer, grilled steak, bacon risotto (recipe In this blog post) roasted asparagus. And for dessert, my first thought was molten lava cake (also HERE). I've made it several times before and they always come out wonderfully but I was itching to try something new. Thanks to my friend Jodi, I found my dessert. Strawberry and Mascapone stuffed cupcakes. The original recipe is from Giada, but I wanted to make a few tweaks. Her recipe calls for just strawberries and mascapone, but I wanted to add a thicker texture and some tang so I also added cream cheese. Hers also had a glaze. How can you have a cupcake with no fluffy frosting? And what better frosting to go with strawberries than of course chocolate. The final result is completely divine. (I snuck a taste before dinner!)


1 box white cake mix 

1/2 (8-ounce) container mascarpone cheese, room temp

4 oz cream cheese, room temp

3/4 cup fresh strawberries strawberries, chopped

1/4 cup sugar

Make the cupcakes according to package instructions. 

In a food processor combine the mascarpone cheese, cream cheese, strawberries, and sugar. Process the mixture until smooth. Transfer the strawberry mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a medium tip. Push the tip gently halfway to the bottom of a cupcake and squeeze in the strawberry mixture until the cupcake plumps. Continue with the remaining cupcakes.


1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened

3/4 cup cocoa or three 1 oz. unsweetened chocolate squares, melted

1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract

4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approximately 1 lb.)

3-4 tablespoons milk

Cream shortening and butter. Add cocoa/chocolate, sugar, vanilla. Whipe until combined. Add milk and whip until very light and fluffy.

I think it's easiest to frost cupcake with a pastry bag. Much quicker and much cleaner.

For the garnishes

I melted some chocolate chips in the microwave until smooth and creamy.  Transfer to a piping bag with a small round tip and "write" several hearts fairly thick on wax paper.

For the strawberry, cut the top of and make several cuts from the tip (bottom) and stopping just short of the top so it is still connected. Fan out.

Hope you enjoy!