August 27, 2012

Espresso Cupcakes

I hate coffee. Plain and simple. I don't think it smells good. It tastes icky. And it ruins anything that remotely tastes like it.

So, I didn't eat these cupcakes from the Betty Crocker Big Book of Cupcakes. But my co-workers did.

Espresso Cupcakes
2 cups flour
1 Tbsp. instant espresso granules or powder
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 cup hot water
2/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
3/4 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
8 oz. mascarpone cheese
2 tsp. milk
2 tsp. instant espresso powder or granules
1 cup powdered sugar
4 oz. semisweet baking chocolate
6 Tbsp. butter, softened
3 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. instant espresso powder or granules
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Dash salt
3 cups powdered sugar
24 chocolate-covered coffee or espresso beans

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place paper baking cups in each of 24 regular-size cupcake tins.

In medium bowl, combine flour, espresso powder, baking soda, salt and baking powder. In a small bowl, combine water and cocoa.

In a large bowl, beat shortening on electric mixer on medium speed 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. On low speed, alternately add flour and cocoa, starting and ending with flour. Beat just until blended.

Divide batter evenly among cupcake tins, filling each 2/3 full. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in tins 5 minutes, and then remove cupcakes to cool completely on wire racks.

To make filling, beat all ingredients together until smooth. Using a bismark tip, pipe filling evenly into cooled cupcakes.

To make frosting, melt chocolate and then let cool to room temperature. Beat together butter, milk, espresso powder, vanilla and salt on low speed until well blended. Beat in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating until smooth. Beat in melted chocolate. Pipe frosting onto cupcakes, and top with espresso beans. Makes 24 cupcakes that need to be kept chilled until eaten. 

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