Raspberry-Filled Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Truffles

These cupcakes have the perfect combination of richness, tartness, and sweetness. Even the raspberry truffles on top add a special element that is visually impressive and very tasty!

For the cupcakes:
3 cups white sugar
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3 oz. semisweet chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate, your choice)
1 cup hot coffee
3 large eggs
¾ cup vegetable oil
1½ cups buttermilk
¾ tsp. vanilla extract

12 oz frozen raspberries, thawed
2 tbs cornstarch
1/2 lemon
1/4 cup sugar
Dash of salt

1 pound butter at room temperature
1/2 cup high quality seedless raspberry jam
5 cups powdered sugar

Raspberry Truffles:
6 oz semi sweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tbs butter

Yields 32 cupcakes

**Adapted from Annie’s Eats

Cupcake Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line cupcake pans with liners.
2. In a large bowl whisk the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda and powder, and salt. Set aside.
3. Place chocolate and coffee in a medium bowl and let stand until chocolate melts. Whisk until smooth. Wait a few minutes for the mixture to cool a bit, then add the vegetable oil, vanilla, then buttermilk. Whisk again until smooth.
4. Beat the eggs on medium-high speed until slightly thickened. Add the chocolate buttermilk mixture slowly, being careful not to cook the eggs if the mixture is still very warm. Blend completely. Add dry ingredients in 2 parts on low speed until just incorporated.
5. Fill liners 3/4 full. Bake 18-20 minutes. Cupcakes are done with toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pan until easy to handle (about 7 minutes) and place on wire rack to cool completely.
6. With a sharp paring knife cut a cone shape out of the top of each cupcake. Place a spoonful of raspberry filling in each, making sure to press the filling into the hole for even distribution. Pipe frosting and place raspberries on top.

Filling Directions:
1. Puree raspberries in blender or food processor until smooth. Place in fine sieve and strain into medium saucepan. Using the back of a large spoon will help speed the process.
2. Sprinkle cornstarch over mixture. Add lemon, salt, and sugar. Cook on medium until mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Transfer to separate container and chill.

Frosting Directions:
1. Beat butter and seedless jam until thoroughly mixed.
2. Slowly add powdered sugar until desired consistency and sweetness is reached.

Raspberry Truffles:
1. Heat cream in saucepan until steaming, but not boiling. Add chocolate and butter off heat and stir until combined. Let ganache rest until room temperature. Using a piping bag with a small tip, pipe ganache into raspberries. Place raspberries chocolate-side up on a plate and refrigerate 15 minutes until set.

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