August 19, 2013

Italian Dark Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes

I've been on the search for a chocolate cupcake that actually rises and has a nice dome after it cools. I found it! I think this might end up being my go-to chocolate cupcake recipe. The espresso wasn't too strong of a flavor. In fact, if I make this recipe again, I'd probably increase the amount of espresso in the cake. For normal chocolate cupcakes I'll halve the espresso.

Italian Dark Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes:
Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
Whipped Ganache
Mascarpone Buttercream

~Dark Chocolate Cupcakes~
1 c butter, unsalted
1/2 c unsweetened dark cocoa powder
5 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tsp instant espresso powder
1 1/2 c sugar
4 large eggs
1 3/4 c all purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 c sour cream

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a medium saucepan, combine butter, cocoa, chocolate and espresso powder. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Let cool for 20 minutes.

Separate egg whites from egg yolks. In a large bowl, beat sugar and egg yolks at medium-high speed with a mixer until light yellow and fluffy. In another medium bowl combine flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

Gradually add to sugar mixture, beating until combined. Add chocolate mixture, stirring until smooth. Stir in sour cream. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add 1/3 of egg whites to batter to lighten up your mixture. Fold the remaining 2/3 of your egg whites until batter is homogenous and airy.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, and bake for 12-14 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes.

I used my cupcake corer to take out the center. You can use a paring knife and use the cone method to take the center out.

~Whipped Ganache~
1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate (or semi-sweet if you don't like a strong flavor)
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp espresso
1 tsp vanilla extract

Put all ingredients in a double boiler. Stir until melted. Take bowl and allow mixture to cool for at least 1 hour in the fridge. With an electric beater, whip ganache until it is between soft and stiff peaks. Don't over do it with the whipping otherwise it will set up too hard. Once it is whipped, allow the mixture to set for about 5 minutes before you pipe.

Pipe the ganache into your cupcakes.

~Mascarpone Buttercream~
8 oz Mascarpone Cheese, room temperature
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form. In a separate bowl, mix mascarpone and powdered sugar together. Add 2/3 cup of heavy cream to mascarpone/sugar mixture and then fold in remaining heavy cream. Allow it to set up in the fridge for about 5-10 minutes. Pipe onto your cupcakes.

Store your cupcakes in the fridge but if you are going to eat them then I would suggest letting them sit at room temperature for a little while. Hope you enjoy them!

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