It was my daughter’s 22nd birthday last night and for the first time ever she did not request a store-bought ice cream cake. This was truly a night to celebrate! Instead she asked for cupcakes. Oh-boy, that wasn’t quite what I had in mind. In true Mom style, I decided I would make her “fancy” cupcakes. Well, the truffle filling, frosting and decorating were fancy and homemade. It was a busy day with limited time so I used a cake mix which I personally like just fine. I grew up in the days when cake mixes were not so great and we made our own cakes which were not always that great either. Since those early baking years, cake mixes have come a long way and when you are busy they taste pretty darn good!
1 Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix prepared per package directions and baked. While the cake is baking proceed to make the truffle filling and frosting. After thoroughly cooling on a rack use a cupcake hole punch to the depth desired (approximately ½ inch deep), and remove a hole in the center of the cake. If you do not have a punch, use professional shears and snip the hole and remove cake within hole (approximately ½ inch deep) and wide enough to place truffle inside.
1-8 ounce cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
3 cups white almond bark
In a mixing bowl, cream the cream cheese and powdered sugar together until well incorporated. Add vanilla bean paste (or extract) and mix well. Roll mixture into balls about the size of cherries and set in freezer for 20 minutes.
Melt almond bark and chocolate bark together in a small saucepan on low heat. Mix thoroughly and remove from heat. Using a fork, dip the truffle balls into the melted chocolate and place on a sheet of waxed paper to dry. To save time on preparation day, you can pre-make truffles and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Place dry truffles inside of cake hole.
6 ounces white chocolate for baking
1-8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
¼ cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons pure vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons flour
Place white chocolate in microwavable bowl, uncovered, on HIGH 1-1 1/2 minutes or until chocolate is mostly melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Note: White chocolate can become stiff while melting so monitor it! Let stand 3 minutes or until slightly cooled. In clean mixing bowl, combine melted chocolate, cream cheese, butter and vanilla and beat on medium speed until well blended. Slowly add powdered sugar; beat well. Add flour. (I usually beat frosting for several minutes). Note: Once I add the first 2 cups of frosting I start monitoring the frosting to ensure that it is at an appropriate stiffness to decorate. I continue adding powdered sugar until I believe it will decorate well. Place frosting a decorator fitted bag with tip of your choice and then pipe frosting evenly around tops of cupcakes.
Chocolate Ganache Piping
3 Ounces chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1/4 cup heavy cream
Heat heavy cream on medium high until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and immediately pour cream over chocolate and stir until completely mixed and glossy. To use as piping you should not allow the ganache to cool too much before placing it in a decorator fitted bag and piping it onto the cupcakes. Note: The longer you allow the ganache to cool, the thicker it will set which makes it more difficult to pipe.
My daughter was excited over her "fancy" cupcakes - she even has pictures of them on her phone. I am hopeful we have all eaten our last store-bought ice cream cake except ... we have 4 grandchildren under the age of 7 so maybe not!