Chocolate Cake, With a Twist!

Happy Friday!  Looking for something to do this weekend?  Here is a recipe that I recently encountered that I can’t way to try out.  And, while they may be slightly labor-intensive, I have always found that the time spent is usually well worth the effort.

Chocolate-Buttermilk Snack Cakes

Cake
1 cup of buttermilk
1 cup of brewed coffee, cooled
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 cups of all-purpose flour
2/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of salt
1-1/3 cups of granulated sugar
3/4 cup of canola oil
1 large egg

Filling and Frosting
3/4 cup of mascarpone cheese
3/4 cup of heavy cream
1/2 cup of confectioners’ sugar
3/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of instant espresso powder
Pinch of salt
12 ounces of chopped bittersweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
Assorted sprinkles

Make the cake
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Generously coat your muffin tins with nonstick spray.  In a small bowl whisk the buttermilk with the coffee and vanilla.  In a medium bowl, sift the flour with the cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

2. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the granulated sugar with the oil at medium-high speed until blended; beat in the egg.  At low speed, beat in the dry ingredients  and the buttermilk mixture in three alternating batches.  Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the batter into each muffin cup.

3.  Bake the cakes for about 12 minutes, until risen and a toothpick  inserted in the centers comes out clean.  Let cool in the pans for 3-5 minutes.  Carefully invert the cakes onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet (this will help them flatten slightly).  Let cool completely (about 30 minutes).

Make the filling and the frosting
4. In a large bowl, beat the mascarpone, cream, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, espresso, and salt at medium speed until smooth and thick.

5. Spread the mascarpone filling onto the flat sides of half the cakes.  Top with the remaining cakes and press down to spread the mixture.  Dip one half of each cake sandwich in the melted chocolate and coat with sprinkles.  Refrigerate until set (at least one hour or up to three days).  Serve the cakes cold.

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