1 1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup water
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 stick (8 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 Tbsp. heavy cream
1 cup marshmallow creme
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
4 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 Tbsp. milk
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F with the rack in the center position.
Spray muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray.
Start by preparing the cupcakes. Place sugar and 1 cup of water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently until the sugar dissolves. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the chocolate and butter and let sit, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture has cooled slightly. Stir in the vanilla.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Using an electric mixer add the eggs to the chocolate mixture, beating on medium speed until well combined. Next, slowly mix in the dry ingredients on low speed until the batter becomes smooth.
Pour the batter evenly between the prepared muffin tins. Fill each muffin half way and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 25 minutes, then transfer to a rack and let cool completely.
To prepare the filling, Use a mixer to cream the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar. Add the vanilla and 1 Tbsp. heavy cream and beat until smooth. Alternating between batches, beat in the remaining 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar and 2 Tbsp. heavy cream. Beat in the marshmallow creme. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Next, make the chocolate ganache that goes on top of the cupcake. Place the chocolate in a stainless-steel bowl. Use a medium saucepan to heat the cream and 1 tablespoon butter until it just begins to boil, then pour over the chocolate. Let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Add 2 tsp. vanilla while whisking; let stand until cool.
Put the cream filling into a pastry bag fitted with a medium star tip. Insert the tip into the center of each cupcake top; then squeeze some of the cream filling into it.
Spoon a tablespoon of the chocolate ganache onto each cupcake and lightly spread with a spatula or a knife. Chill for at least 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, use an electric mixer to beat the remaining 4 Tbsp. butter, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, milk and confectioners' sugar until smooth, adding more milk if needed. Spoon into a pastry bag with a small tip. Pipe the trademark curly-q design across the top of each cupcake.
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