Red Velvet Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Filling

Silky red velvet cupcake, filled with Chocolate Ganache and then topped with a cream cheese frosting with the touch of rum. These easy to make gourmet cupcakes will be the hit of your next get together.

Makes 2 dozen cupcakes

Ingredients
Cupcakes:
3 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs, 
5 Tbsp. red food coloring
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1Tbsp. white vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
Frosting:
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, 
3/4 Cup powdered sugar
1.5 cups cold heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. rum
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Ganache Filling 
8 ounces dark chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. rum

Direction:
Preheat oven to 350. Line 24 muffin cups and set aside. 
In a medium bowl, sift the cake flour and cocoa set aside. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition; and then mix in the vanilla and salt. In a small bowl, stir together the vinegar and baking soda. Add to the batter and mix well. In small bowl whisk together buttermilk and food coloring; add to the batter in two parts alternating with the flour mixture. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not over beat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth.

Bake the cupcakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 17-19 minutes.

Cool the cupcakes in the pan 5 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely on a rack before icing. 


Direction for the Ganache Filling: 
Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. Add the butter and rum and stir until combined. Cool.
Using knife cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes. You want to go most of the way down the cupcake but not cut through the bottom. Put the ganache filling into a piping bag with a round tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.
Direction for the Cream Cheese Frosting: In the bowl of your electric mixer beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla, rum and powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Using the whisk attachment, gradually add the heavy cream and whip until the frosting is thick enough to pipe.

Put the filling into a piping bag with a round tip and pipe over the cupcakes. Decorate as desired. 
***Adjust sugar as needed.
*** The key to really creamy frosting is to NOT beat too much air into the frosting but rather, on a medium speed, beat it until it is creamy.

Enjoy!!!

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