Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Insert paper liners into muffin tins and set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift the flour, salt and baking powder together.
Cut butter into small cubes and put in bowl of an electric mixer. Beat for about 2-3 minute on mid-high speed or until the butter is lighter and creamy in texture. Scrape bowl the bowl and beat again for another minute or so.
Add the sugar in three separate intervals, beating a minute after each addition. Scrape the bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure each egg is almost completely beaten before adding the next one.
Reduce the mixer speed. Add the vanilla and ½ of the pod to the buttermilk and stir to incorporate.
Add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk mixture. Mix only until just incorporated. Scrape the the bowl and mix for about 10 seconds.
Fill cupcake lined muffin tin with batter and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until cupcakes are lightly browned on top and toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes clean.
Make the frosting:
In medium bowl or food processor, beat room temperature mascarpone cheese until soft and creamy.
In large bowl, beat chilled whipping cream. Add 1 cup of sifted powered sugar. Continue to add powered sugar to taste, being careful not to over beat cream. Carefully fold in vanilla extract and ½ of vanilla pod.
Carefully, fold the whipping cream into the mascarpone cheese in three increments.
Frosting can be chilled covered in refrigerator overnight, if necessary.
Make the Cupcake Filling:
Add flavor of choice to about 1 cup of frosting and mix. Scoop filling into a piping bag fitted with a #3 tip. Stick tip directly into cupcake and pipe a small amount of in center of cupcake.
Finish cupcakes by piping a generous amount of frosting on top. Garnish as you wish.