February half term is almost over, my 16th birthday has come and gone, followed the next day by Valentines. Those 9 pizzas and the 4 layer brownie-cookie-cake were devoured by 10 teenage girls with only countless photos as evidence…
..my friends were obviously super impressed by my dancing skills…
The intensity of that unfinished slice of ‘Chocolate Nemesis’ from The River Café is still lingering in my mind.
But I’m still dreaming about these cupcakes.
A dense, intense chocolate cake, filled with chocolate buttercream and frosted with toasted coffee meringue.
I brought them to school, which gave me an excuse for a lift in the car that morning. I mean, nobody wants a cupcake which has been bashed around on a bike for 20 minutes do they?
I admit, I should have made more of that frosting, it was divine. Slightly crisp on the outside, with a marshamllowy inside and an earthy coffee flavour. So I’ve put the full recipe below so you don’t have to suffer through a lack of frosting.
I also have to confess that I used chocolate buttercream from a can to fill the cupcakes, it tasted really good so I gave in and used it, therefore I regret to say I have no recipe for the filling. However I can say that when making these cupcakes, you’ll need about 1 cup of chocolate buttercream to fill them, store bought or from your favourite recipe.
Mocha Meringue Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups (12 oz / 325g) sugar
1/4 cup (2 oz / 55g) butter
1 egg white
1/4 cup (60 ml) vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp white vinegar or lemon juice
1 3/4 cups + 2 tbsp (8.7 oz / 240g) flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking power
1 cup (250 ml) milk
2/3 cup (2.5 oz / 70g) cocoa powder
2 tsp instant coffee, dissolved in…
1/2 cup (125 ml) hot water
1 cup of your favourite chocolate buttercream or ganache
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, line a muffin pan with paper liners.
Cream sugar, butter, egg and egg white together. Mix in the oil, salt, vanilla and vinegar/lemon juice.
Stir in the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and baking powder alternating it with the milk in no more than 3 additions.
Add the cocoa and dissolved coffee to the mixture, and mix until just combined.
Fill each muffin liner 2/3 – 3/4 of the way full (depending on how big you want the cupcakes to be). Bake for 20-30 minutes when a toothpick inserted into the centre of a cupcake in the middle of the pan comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool.
Once cool, cut an inverted cone, 1″ tall, out of of the centre of the top of each cupcake. Remove the cone of cake and set aside. Fill this cavity in the cupcake with chocolate buttercream. Cut the pointed end off of the cone of cake, and put the other end back on top of the cupcake to cover up the cavity.
Coffee Meringue Frosting
1 tbsp instant coffee
3-4 tbsp very hot water
1 cup + 2 tbsp (9 oz / 250g) granulated sugar
3 large egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup (80 ml) water
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Put the instant coffee in a small bowl. Add the very hot water, 1 tbsp at a time, until the coffee has dissolved.
In a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, whisk together the sugar, egg whites, cream of tartar, salt and 1/3 cup water using a handheld electric whisk. Continue whisking on high until the mixture holds stiff peaks, about 5 minutes.
Take the bowl off the pan and place it on a kitchen towel on your counter. Whisk again until the mixture is cool, (2-4 minutes). Beat in the dissolved coffee and vanilla extract. Frost the cooled, filled cupcakes.
To toast the frosting, either:
- Use a blowtorch to lightly and carefully brown the frosting
- Put the frosted cupcakes on a cookie tray. Turn the grill/broiler in your oven on to the highest temperature, and make sure the oven rack isn’t too high up in the oven for the cupcakes. Put the tray of cupcakes into the oven for 1-2 minutes so that the frosting browns lightly, remove the tray carefully and let the cupcakes cool.