Chocolate Cupcakes with Truffle Center

Chocolate Cupcakes with Truffle Center

Chocolate Cocoa Cakes

5 oz. unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, plus 2 teaspoons (melted)

2/3 C. all-purpose flour

1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa powder

8 oz. semisweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped

3 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

1/2 C. sugar

1 t. pure vanilla

To make the chocolate cocoa cakes: Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly coat the inside of 12 individual nonstick muffin cups (3 inches in diameter) with the melted butter. Set aside until needed.

Combine the flour and cocoa powder in a sifter. Sift onto a large piece of parchment paper or wax paper; set aside.

Melt the chocolate and 5 ounces butter in the top of a double boiler or in a microwave oven, and stir until smooth.

Place the eggs, egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes, until the mixture is slightly frothy. Add the melted chocolate-milk mixture and mix on low speed for about 15 seconds, just to combine. Continue to mix on low speed while gradually adding the sifted dry ingredients. Once they have been incorporated, stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Add the vanilla and mix on medium for about 15 seconds, just to combine. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a rubber spatula to finish mixing the batter until thoroughly combined.

Portion 3 heaping tablespoons of the cake batter into each muffin cup. Place the muffin tin on the center rack of the preheated oven. Bake for 5 minutes.

Remove the truffles from the freezer. Remove the muffin tin from the oven and, moving quickly, place a single frozen truffle in the center of each portion of cake batter, pressing the truffle about halfway down into the batter. Immediately return the muffin tin to the center rack of the oven and bake for 17 to 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into a cake (not the truffle) comes out clean.

Remove the cakes from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes.

To remove the cakes from the muffin cups, hold the top edge of a cake, and give the cake a slight jiggle to loosen it from the cup. Then run the tip of a paring knife between cake and cup to loosen it so that you can gently pull the cake out of the cup. Serve immediately while still warm.

Yields 12 cakes.

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