What do you do when you have a compelling need to have stracciatella gelato on a hot summer day but no chance to go get it? Well, then you improvise stracciatella cream cupcakes! Our tiny local store here at the countryside has very limited offering of ice cream brands and flavors. The wonderful texture of gelato is only to be dreamed of so simply buying whatever vanilla ice cream & mixing shaved chocolate chips within it was not an option. Making my own gelato was not possible either so my mind kept buzzing.
Then I saw that one lonely mascarpone box & my heart skipped a beat. Within a nanosecond I had the box in my hand whilst my other hand was reaching for the cream. I knew what I was doing. I worked my way to the cashier & quickly chose the best dark chocolate bar from the candy shelf behind cashier’s back. This is a very small grocery store you see, I would say it’s more like a kiosk by its friendly atmosphere and salty pricing but luckily the assortment is good. Not complaining at all!
Leaving my husband to take care of chatting with neighbors, I disappeared into the kitchen to check if we had any cupcake liners. Luckily we did so there was no need give hubby an extra call and hurry him back home. I don’t bake cupcakes that often, almost never to be honest. To prove the point I have to admit that these red and white striped liners date two years back when my niece baked me birthday cupcakes while spending holidays with us. It was my niece doing the baking and I can’t remember when I made some myself! But today in the store I had a vision of stracciatella cream frosted chocolate cupcakes & I was on a mission. This is how I went about it.
Stracciatella Cream Frosting | Recipe
- 2 dl heavy cream or double cream
- 1 dl mascarpone cheese
- 1,5ish tablespoons of caster sugar
- 0,3dl chocolate chips
Whip the cream and sugar with an electric mixer until the cream builds up yet the mass feels soft. Add mascarpone cheese and continue to mix on a low to medium speed until firm peaks began to form. Finally fold the chocolate shavings & chips in. Spoon the frosting into a piping bag & keep it chilled in the fridge.
Chocolate Cupcakes | Recipe
Makes 6-8 cupcakes depending on your liners.
- 50ml melted butter
- 100ml milk
- 100g wheat flour
- 20g natural cacao powder
- 50g grated dark chocolate
- 1/2 tablespoon instant coffee powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- 85g caster sugar
- 1 large egg
Pre-heat oven to 200°C. Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside. Prepare the buttermilk by melting butter in a small pan and mixing it with milk. Set aside to cool. In a medium bowl, whisk an egg and sugar until the mix is fluffy and pale yellow in color. Add rest of the ingredients into the batter by alternating half and half additions of the dry ingredients mix and buttermilk. Gently fold the additions into the batter and avoid overmixing.
Finally, pour or spoon the batter into cupcake liners by filling only halfway. Bake at 200°C for more or less 20 minutes. Check them couple of times with a toothpick if unsure about the readiness. However, do not overbake or you will end up with dry cupcakes! Frost the cupcakes just before serving.
And a cherry on top
What I love about these stracciatella cream cupcakes is that they’re not overly sweet. The frosting is creamy with a hint of cheesy sourness giving a nice compliment to the fullness of a chocolate cupcake. And those dark chocolate chips, they just hit the right taste nodes. I always prefer to add something fresh, something with a right attitude and not for the sake of a compulsory garnish. Cherries are a classic choice but I can imagine red currants would work wonderfully, too. Strawberries are too sweet and gentle here in my opinion.
But what about that stracciatella gelato. I’m very picky about the mouthfeel of gelato as well as flavors. Yet these cupcakes were amazing, I’m still in the mood for homemade summer gelato and checking recipes such like this. Have you made some already?