Make the cupcakes: transfer the flour, the cocoa, the salt, the baking powder, and the sugar in a bowl and mix to combine. Make a large well in the center and add the olive oil, the egg, the coffee, the brandy, and the vanilla. Beat with a whisk until just combined.
Bake: Divide the batter into 11 cupcake liners and bake for 20 - 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Don't overbake.
Transfer the cupcakes to a rack and let them cool completely.
Make the chocolate Mascarpone frosting: Add the cocoa powder, the icing sugar and the milk to a small pot and stir to combine. Add the Mascarpone cheese and heat over low heat until hot. Remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate. Stir well until the chocolate is melted (if all the chocolate is not melted return to heat and stir until the mixture is smooth).
Refrigerate until the frosting reaches a spreading consistency. If the frosting gets too stiff, let it come to room temperature
Frost the cupcakes: work the frosting with a spatula to make it soft and transfer it into a piping bag (a star tip number 1M is recommended). Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles. Eat.
Substitute the brandy with water if you don't want to use alcohol.
Watch this video with 4 ways to frost a cupcake.
The cupcakes are dairy-free but the frosting is not. If you follow a dairy-free diet, you should use another type of frosting.
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