A cupcake version of the delicious Italian coffee dessert. I have made this in a cake version (the header picture) using layers of genoise sponge and a similar cream filling, the only main difference is that I used more mascarpone in the cream filling of the cake version to make it more richer.
There are three main components to this cupcake: the cupcake, the coffee and the mascarpone cream topping.
To make the cupcakes:
8 oz softened butter
7 oz caster sugar
1 vanilla bean pod (but if you don’t have a pod, you can use extract as most of the vanilla flavor will be overtaken by the coffee)
4 eggs at room temperature
10 oz self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
a small splash or two of milk
Preheat the oven to 170C and line 2 cupcake trays with paper cases (approx. 20)
Cream the butter and sugar until pale. Add the vanilla seeds and beat.
While the vanilla infuses into the butter mixture, sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a separate bowl.
Add the eggs into the creamed butter/sugar mixture one at a time, beating each one in before adding the next
If you are using an electric mixer, do the next step by hand. Use a spatula to mix in the flour 1/3 at a time, adding a splash of milk ( about a couple of tablespoons) in between. Finish by using the electric mixer for a 5 second blast to make sure it’s all mixed in.
Load up 20 or so cupcake cases using an ice cream scoop.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until springy to the touch or when an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool down completely.
The next step is to soak the cupcakes with coffee.
1 heaped tablespoon instant coffee
1 tablespoon sugar
300 ml boiling water
cocoa powder to dust
Prick each cupcake with a fork.
Place the coffee and sugar into a measuring jug, pour in the boiling water and stir. Alternately you can make up 300ml of fresh ground coffee (2 cups in the espresso machine). Don’t forget to add sugar!
Using a tablespoon, pour 3 to 4 spoons of coffee onto each cupcake. Dust each cupcake moderately with cocoa powder Allow to cool. In the mean time, make up the cream topping.
To make the mascarpone cream topping:
300ml double cream (cold)
150g soft cheese preferably mascarpone cheese (room temp)
4 tablespoons condensed milk (room temp)
Whip the cream until very soft peaks. Do not over whip. You want it to a stage where it’s still very floppy and can’t hold any shape yet. Add the mascarpone and condensed milk. Combine carefully being careful not to over whip. The end product should be soft peaks. If you have over whipped, loosen with normal milk and another tablespoon of condensed milk.
Fill a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle/tip or just cut of the top of the bag. Pipe a generous amount onto each cupcake. Alternately, if you are very neat, you can spoon the topping on. Using a hot palette knife*, flatten the topping, trying to make it as smooth and level as you can. Pipe and smooth a few at a time and work fast as the topping may start to set making it hard to pipe out. When they are all done, let them set for ten minutes.
To make the cocoa dusting design use a cappuccino stencil or any thing clean and flat that can be used as a stencil. I used a grid design. Place the stencil on the cupcake and dust with cocoa powder using a fine sieve. You can if you like, not use a stencil at all and just dust the tops for a more simple look.
Cool and store in the fridge, removing ten minutes before serving.
*to make the palette knife hot, place in boiling water for a minute and wipe off the water before using. Place back into the water after each use.
These cupcakes are easy to make, you don’t need fancy equipment and you can dress them up or down as much as you like. And above all they taste absolutely dreamy!