As a university student one learns to live without many a thing out of a lack of time, but mostly out of a lack of money. 😛 However, there is one thing no student would be able to survive without during those long night hours of studying and that is coffein!
Personally, I don’t really enjoy coffee unless it doesn’t taste like coffee 😀 and because I am too lazy to brew myself my beloved cup of Vanilla Latte with a double shot of caramel at home, these little coffee cupcakes (from the book Cupcakes by Peggy Proschen – highly recommended) have become my lifesavers.
Let’s start baking!
For the chocolate filling (alias the ganache) you will need:
Combine water and sugar in a pot and bring to a boil. Stir until all the sugar granules have dissolved (= making glucose syrup). Add the heavy cream and bring to a boil again. Now take the pot of the heat and add the chocolate. Make sure the chocolate is completely covered with cream (shake the pot). Wait for 30 seconds (a bit longer if the chocolate pieces are quite big), then stir with an egg whisk until smooth. Allow to set at room temperature. The ganache should be soft and shiny.
- 115g butter
- 115g sugar
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1/2 vanilla pod
- 1 tsp espresso powder
- 2 eggs (M)
- 115g flour
- 5g baking powder
Once you have all the ingredients and equipment ready, turn your oven to 350°Fahrenheit/180°Celsius air circulation (390°Fahrenheit/200°Celsius bottom and top heat) and position 12 muffin liners in your normal baking tray or 24 mini-muffin liners in your mini-muffin baking tray.
Firstly, combine sugar, butter, salt, vanilla and espresso powder in a bowl and cream until light and fluffy. After lightly whisking the eggs in a seperate bowl, slowly add them to the butter mixture while beating on high. Lastly, add the flour and gently fold it in with a spatula. Don’t panic, the dough is rather thick!
For the syrup (optional!) you will need:
- 30ml water
- 30g sugar
- 1/2 tsp espresso powder
Bring water, sugar and espresso powder to a boil. Once all the sugar granules have dissolved, set it aside.Generously brush the cupcakes with the syrup while they are still warm!
For the frosting you will need:
- 100g butter
- 1/2 tsp espresso powder
- 250g powdered sugar
- 150g mascarpone cheese
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 4-8 ladyfinger cookies, cut in thirds (for 12-24 cupcakes)
Using an electric whisk, beat your butter and espresso powder until light and airy. Add your sifted sugar in two portions, beating vigorously at each stage. Now add the cream cheese and beat on the lowest possible setting. Don’t be tempted to beat on high! Beat only for as long as you need to receive a smooth consistency – the longer you beat, the softer the frosting becomes. While you prepare the cupcakes, allow the frosting to set in the fridge.
Before decorating the cupcakes with the frosting, they need to be filled. As soon as the cupcakes are completely cool, use a ball cutter (see Paddington Bear Cupcakes) or a small spoon to carefully make a whole in the middle of each cupcake. Save the dough to put it back on top after filling, munch on it or store it in the fridge for later use (eg. as Cake Pops). Stir the ganache with the wire baloon whisk one last time and fill 1/2 tsp of ganache into every cupcake. Remember: Less is more!
Now you can decorate the cupcakes with the frosting using a spatula or a piping bag (I always use the largest tip I can find :-D) and sift cocoa powder over each cupcake. To finalize, stick a piece of ladyfinger cookie into every cupcake. Done!