At the risk of being so last year (or even so last year's last year) it's another cupcake recipe from me. I would like to think of this cupcake as "retro" instead of passé. Nevertheless, I present to you my deep dark chocolate espresso cupcake. I know it bears a slight resemblance to those brand name cupcakes that you can buy at the supermarket or convenience store and probably ate as a child. But appearance is where the similarity ends. My cupcake is a dark chocolate cupcake filled with a creamy espresso mascarpone cheese, chocolate glazed and decorated with a squiggle of icing. Although I couldn't really taste the coffee in the cupcake, it adds some depth of flavor when paired with chocolate. The filling is all about espresso. Creamy mascarpone cheese is transformed with ground espresso beans making this a grown-up version of a childhood favorite.
Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes
(makes about 30 cupcakes)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
1 1/4 cup whole milk
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup brewed coffee (with 2 tsp instant espresso powder dissolved in the coffee)
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp finely ground espresso beans
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 cups (6 ounces) semi or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 tbsp (3 ounces) unsalted butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
To make cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350F. Line 30 standard (4 fl oz capacity) muffin cups with paper liners.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, sift together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the eggs, egg yolk, milk, oil, vanilla and coffee and beat on low speed until well combined.
Fill your prepared muffin cups about 2/3 full. Bake until a cake tested comes out clean, about 18-23 minutes. Leave cupcakes in pan for 5 minutes then remove from pan and cool completely on cooling rack.
To make filling
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the mascarpone, milk, vanilla and espresso until fluffy. On low speed, slowly beat in the sugar until smooth. Transfer filling to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch plain tip. Insert tip into the top center of cooled cupcake and dispense about 2 tsp filling into the cupcake.
To make glaze
Combine chocolate, butter and corn syrup in a small saucepan. Stir over low heat until well combined about 2-3 minute. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Frost the filled cupcakes with the warm glaze.
EDITED (January 25, 2007)
Kitchen Wench Ellie told me about the cupcake round-up event hosted by Cupcake Bakeshop’s Cheryl and Vanilla Garlic’s Garrett. Fellow San Franciscan Cheryl blogs exclusively about her super creative, out-of-the-box cupcake masterpieces and Garrett does Sacramento proud with his culinary shibby-ness in the kitchen and about town.
I’ve created quite a few fun cupcake combinations in the past few months (like my mojito cupcake and Boston cream pie cupcake), but I thought I would submit my chocolate espresso cupcake since it’s my most recent one. There’s nothing ground breaking as far as the flavors go but this one was all about taking a humble snack food and turning it into fancy food. And thanks to Sarah for making my cupcake Slashfoodpornalicious!
Whew! Now that’s a whole lotta linky love.