Belgian Barista Cupcakes

Saturday, January 8, 2011

These cupcakes all the sweetness of a mini Starbucks all packed into one handful of deliciousness. A moist chocolate cake, riddled with savoury pistachios, and topped with a Belgian dark chocolate and espresso butter cream icing. They're rich and decadent, and they're a perfect midday pick-me-up. Try your best not to fall in love with these cupcakes. Your hips will thank you.

Cake recipe

1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 cup boiling hot water
1 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup raw pistachios
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. In a small bowl, whisk cocoa powder and boiling water together. Let set in refrigerator until it reaches room temperature.

2. In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt together. Stir in pistachios.

3. In a medium bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add one egg at time, incorporating completely before adding the next one. Then add the vanilla.

4. Combine the flour mixture and the butter/sugar mixture, and then add the cocoa/water mixture. Beat until completely incorporated.

5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line 16 muffin cups with paper liners. Fill each liner about two-thirds of the way full. Bake for 16-22 minutes (depending on your oven). Let cool completely before icing.

Belgian dark chocolate butter cream frosting with espresso

6 oz Belgian dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup whipping cream (35%)
2 tsp instant espresso powder, heaping
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar

1. Using indirect heat - place a glass bowl over a small pot of bowling water. Whisk espresso powder and cream together in the bowl while it warms up. Add chocolate and continue stirring with a spatula until it's completely melted and combined. Remove bowl from heat and let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

2. Once chocolate mixture has cooled, beat together with butter until smooth.

3. Sift powdered sugar and use a spatula to fold it into the chocolate/butter combination (to avoid sugar flying everywhere). Beat on high until fluffy.

To frost the cupcakes, you can either be lazy and use a spatula/knife to slather it on, or you can use a piping bag and make it look a little fancier. Extra icing will keep in the fridge for about a week.


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