(Makes 12 cupcakes)
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fiori di sicilia (optional)
1-1/2 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2 ounces (1/4 cup) heavy cream
8 ounces mascarpone, room temperature
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup pistachios, finely chopped
To make the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
With an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add the orange zest, vanilla, and (optional) fiori di sicilia. Beat just to incorporate
the ingredients. Add the eggs and beat until well combined.
Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk.
Beat the mixture until a smooth batter forms, about 2 minutes.
Evenly divide the batter among the cupcake liners, about 1/3 cup per liner.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove the cupcakes from the pan and set aside to cool.
To make the filling:
In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon.
Stir the ingredients until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
To fill the cupcakes:
Insert a small paring knife into a cooled cupcake at an angle, about 1/2-inch from
the outside edge. The exact angle isn’t crucial, but it should be around 45
degrees and the knife should go into the cake about 1-inch. The idea here is to
cut out a circular cone of cake. Once you have your cone of cake, remove it and
slice off the pointy end of the cone, leaving just the circular base (which was the
top of the cupcake). Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the filling in the hole once filled
by the cake cone, and replace the circular piece of cake (the top of the cupcake)
over the filling.
To make the ganache:
Chop the chocolate into small bits and put them into a bowl.
Heat the cream just to a simmer or microwave until hot, about 30 seconds.
Pour the cream over the chocolate. Let this mixture sit for 1-2 minutes.
Stir the mixture with a whisk or spoon to combine into a rich, shiny emulsion.
Spread the glaze on the tops of the cupcakes with a spoon.
To make the mascarpone frosting:
Use an electric mixer to combine all the ingredients until creamy and smooth.
Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag; pipe onto the tops of the cupcakes.
Sprinkle with the chopped pistachios.