Combine 1 1/4 cups of the sugar, the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
Combine the egg yolks and water in a small bowl. Add to the dry ingredients in 3 stages, stirring until smooth. Add the melted butter and vanilla and stir until well incorporated.
In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites and the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar to soft peaks. Gently fold the whites into the cupcake batter, just until incorporated.
Divide the batter into a 12-cup baking tin and bake until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out dry, about 20 minutes.
For the truffles:
In a small saucepan add the cream and bring just to a boil over low heat. Put the chocolate into to a medium bowl and pour in the hot cream. Let stand for 1 minute, then stir until smooth. Stir in the butter and mix until incorporated. Put plastic wrap directly on the surface of the chocolate and refrigerate for 1 hour. When the chocolate is cool, transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a large tip.
For the batter:
In a deep-fryer or heavy-bottomed pot, heat enough peanut oil to come halfway up the sides of the pot, to 350 degrees F.
Combine all the batter ingredients in a large bowl and stir until just combined. Do not overmix. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
With a paring knife, remove the middle of the cupcakes, but leave the tops intact. Using the pastry bag, fill the holes with the chocolate. Replace the top firmly.
Coat the cupcakes in batter and deep-fry, in batches, until golden brown on all sides. Remove from the fryer and drain on paper towels for a few seconds. Transfer to a serving platter, then indulge.
A viewer or guest of the show, who may not be a professional cook, provided this recipe. It has not been tested for home use.