Friday, August 27, 2010

Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes

nearly a year ago, i had one of these chocolate espresso cupcakes. the moment i bit into it i knew i had to get the recipe. i had to have it. i would stop at nothing to get it! come hell or high water - there is no price i wouldn't pay - i would beg, borrow, and steal . . .
good thing E's wonderful aunt C not only had the recipe but was willing to share it with me, thus avoiding groveling, embarrassment, and possible jail time. thank you, thank you, thank you aunt C! i think of you with every bite.
fast-forward 10 months and i am just getting around to making them. good lord, what took me so long?!? well, funny story . . . i had a lot of time on my hands last weekend in a place with very limited access to television and no internet. that's right, you heard me. not just no high-speed internet, no internet. at all. what's a girl to do??? i hauled all of my recipes i have been meaning to organize in a big box, poured myself a big glass of wine, and sorted through them. (if you must know, i organize by category - you know, chicken, seafood, beef, soup, sides, etc. - a place them all in plastic sheet protectors. this keeps me from getting splatters on my printed recipes.
so, wow, i found so many recipes i have been meaning to make were buried among old favorites. it was like discovering new treasures. as soon as i spotted this one, my mouth began to water and i put it at the top of the pile. i tasted batter and icing along the way and when i finally sunk my teeth into an iced cupcake, they were as amazing as i remembered. i savored inhaled every bite. again, thanks aunt C!
if you are smart, you will make these. if you are wise, you won't share.

a couple of things . . . as ina garten always says, coffee really does bring out the chocolate flavor in baked goods so don't skip it. it's worth having instant espresso powder around just for baked goods. i cut back on the sugar (i just can't help myself) and the espresso in these. i found them plenty coffee-y and sweet, but if you want the extra sugar and caffeine (i didn't miss it one bit), you can find the original recipe here. the is actually for cake, so i adapted the baking time for cupcakes. i found that 18 minutes was perfect in my oven but i recommend checking your after 15 minutes just in case your oven is different. i also turned the pan halfway through the baking time for even cooking.

Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes
makes 24 cupcakes
(adapted from Bon App├ętit)

2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
2 tsp instant espresso powder dissolved in 1/2 cup hot water

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1 1/2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream, divided
1 cup sugar
2 8-ounce containers chilled mascarpone cheese*

preheat to 325°F. line cupcake pan with paper cups.

Sift 2 cups cake flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add brown sugar and beat until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with buttermilk in 2 additions, beating just until blended after each addition. Gradually add hot espresso-water mixture, beating just until smooth.

Divide batter between pans; smooth tops. Bake cupcakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on rack 15 minutes. Run small knife around sides of pans to loosen cakes. Invert cakes onto racks; lift pans off cakes and remove parchment. Place wire rack atop each cake; invert again so top side is up. cool completely.

sift cocoa powder and espresso powder into large bowl. bring 1 cup of cream to boil in small saucepan. slowly pour cream over cocoa mixture, whisking until cocoa is completely dissolved, about 1 minute. add remaining 1/2 cup cream and sugar, whisking until sugar dissolves. chill until cold (at least 2 hours).

whisk cold mascarpone in mixer with whisk attachment. slowly pour in chilled chocolate/cream mixture and whisk on low until blended and smooth. increase speed to medium-high and beat until mixture is thick and medium-firm peaks form when beaters are lifted, about 2 minutes (do not over beat or mixture will curdle).

frost cupcakes, store in airtight container and keep chilled.

don't forget to enter my giveaway before september 6th! simply leave a comment on this post and you are entered to win!

1 comment:

  1. Ummmm I am practically drooling all over my keyboard right now!!!


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