Stuffed Red Velvet Cupcakes

I don't like the idea of wasting leftover cake and icing, so where do my extras go?? My taste-testing coworkers, of course! I like to stop by their desks exclaiming "Free Cupcake Friday" or something stupid and delivering an extra special treat. Sometimes I don't make it to the delivery phase... they disappear as soon as I open the lid! My mom lovingly refers to my ravenous associates as "seagulls at the dump" when I describe how quickly sweets vanish at my office.
In making the Super Mario Kart Groom's cake, I had enough batter left to make a dozen cupcakes. 

Wanting to do something different, I decided to fill them with semi-sweet chocolate ganache.
 I scooped out the centers of the cupcakes with a small knife (set the cupcake middles aside) and filled the center with the chocolate ganache.

Semi-Sweet Chocolate Ganache Filling:
1 pkg. bittersweet/semi-sweet chocolate chips (about 12-14oz.)
½ cup heavy whipping cream
1. It’s a good idea to chop your chocolate pieces in a food processor first so they blend with the cream easily and don't create lumps.
2. Heat the whipping cream in a saucepan just to boiling point. DO NOT BOIL!!!
3. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips, stir until smooth and glossy.
I usually have to make this recipe twice since my first batch always seems to get too high in temperature. I advise keeping an extra bag of chocolate chips and buying a big enough carton of whipping cream until you get the hang of it. Or maybe it's just me and my impatience...

It’s also a good idea to make this recipe after the cupcake middles have been scooped out so that it’s still an easily pourable consistency.
I like to let the ganache set before applying the frosting so I get a nice clean finish without the two running together. While the ganache was solidifying, I mashed up the red velvet cupcake middles into a dough-like cake ball and rolled it flat. I used a greased star shaped fondant cutter to cut the star shapes to place on top after icing... so festive!

I used a hybrid mix of cream cheese icing and vanilla buttercream to top these off. I’m not a big fan of cream cheese icing so I needed to add the buttercream to sweeten it up to my liking. I'm actually not a lover of cream cheese when it is not in it’s original cream cheese state… so yes, that means I’m not a fan of cheesecake. Tragic, I know. I really wish I was but I guess it’s a good thing (for my waistline) that I'm not.

I don’t have a recipe for that hybrid icing just yet. I just plopped some leftover sweet vanilla buttercream in my mixer along with the fresh cream cheese icing I had just made and blended it all together.

  I used and recommend Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Red Velvet Cake Mix. It’s tasty and very very very red – which on the upside keeps you from having to play around with that messy red food coloring!!

I should’ve made these for the 4th of July! They’d be cute with blue fondant stars on top! Maybe next year…

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