I wanted to make a treat that would make both vanilla and chocolate lovers happy so I made these delightful marble cupcakes.  Andy, Greg, Sylvie – they all loved these and really enjoyed picking the one that suited them best.  Sylvie and her friend Melissa both picked plain (no icing which was shocking to me).  Yes of course, Andy and Leo picked chocolate icing – well, Leo ate only the icing, and Greg, my vanilla lover, picked his favorite white tops.  Ali and I also enjoyed our tiny tastes and I think Alisa’s family (they are visiting) did too (I see them disappearing :))  These are pretty with their swirl, but more importantly they are moist, simple and just plain good. A treat bound to cover all the bases – and make children and adults smile.  Enjoy with a glass of milk or yes, vanilla (or chocolate) ice cream.  Yum.

marble cupcakes (from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes):

I was able to make 14, although Martha was able to make 16.

1/3 cup unsweetened dutch processed cocoa powder
1/4 cup boiling water
1 3/4 cup cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2  teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk, room temp
1/3 cup heavy cream, room temp
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter room temp
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

10x (confectioners sugar) for dusting

vanilla glaze – (recipe from the 10x box that I happen to enjoy with a little bit of salt)

4 oz confectioners sugar (by weight) or about 15/16ths of a cup – almost a cup)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 -2 tablespoons milk
1/3 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch kosher salt

chocolate ganache

3 oz semisweet chocolate
3 oz heavy cream

Cupcakes: Combine the cocoa powder and boiling water and whisk until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to cool a bit.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line muffin tins with paper.

Whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, salt.  Set aside.

Combine the milk and cream and vanilla and set aside as well.

On medium high speed, cream the butter and sugar with the paddle attachment until light, pale and fluffy  – about 5-7  minutes.  Scrape down the bowl and mix again.  Add the eggs, one at a time – beating well after each one.

On the lowest speed, add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of the milk/cream mixture.  Start and end with the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.  Scrape the bowl as needed and mix again.

Measure out one cup of the batter and mix with the reserved cocoa powder mixture.  This is the chocolate batter.

Fill the lined cups with  spoonfuls of vanilla and chocolate batter – alternating…and filling about 3/4’s full.  Gently swirl the batter with a toothpick or paring knife in a figure 8 motion.

Bake – rotating the pan halfway through for about 20-22 minutes – until the tops are golden and a toothpick comes out just clean.

Let cool for 10 minutes.  Carefully remove cupcakes to wire racks to cool completely.

To finish, dust with confectioners sugar.  Or – top with ganache or vanilla glaze or both below.

ganache – chop chocolate and place in bowl.  Scald the cream – (heat until it almost boils.)  Pour hot cream over chocolate.  Let sit for a minute then stir or whisk until smooth.

Let ganache cool to room temp – or place in the fridge – as it cools, it will become firmer.  You can dip the cupcakes when it is more liquidy at the start or frost with a knife as it thickens.

vanilla glaze – place confectioners sugar and pinch salt in bowl.  Mix together the melted butter, vanilla and milk and pour into the sugar.  Whisk well to combine.  Add more milk if the mixture is too dry.  Dip cupcakes in icing – or let thicken (sit at room temp) and frost with a knife.  Thin with milk as needed.

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