These are a caffeine shot in a cupcake! The almost bitter sponge is offset beautifully by the sweetness of the buttercream, and the chocolate coffee beans add a gorgeous crunch. I wasn't sure if my 9 year old would like these (he loves coffee and walnut cake) but he was as enthusiastic as the rest of us. They went down a storm and I'll certainly be making them again.
Makes 12 - 16 cupcakes
FOR THE SPONGE
20g instant espresso powder
80g unsalted butter, softened
280g caster sugar
240g plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
quarter tsp salt
2 large eggs
FOR THE BUTTERCREAM
10g instant espresso powder
270g icing sugar
120g unsalted butter, softened
1. Preheat the oven to 190 degs C and fill a muffin tin with paper cases.
2. Lightly warm the milk, without boiling it, and dissolve the espresso powder in it. Using a freestanding electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt on a low speed until they resemble fine breadcrumbs.
3. Pour the coffee flavoured milk into a jug, add the eggs and whisk by hand until combined. Pour three- quarters of the mixture into the dry ingredients and mix together on a low speed, then increase the speed to medium and keep beating until smooth and thick. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then pour in the rest of the milk mixture. Continue to beat on a medium setting until everything is combined and you have a smooth batter.
4. Divide this between the muffin cases, filling each case by two-thirds. Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes, or until risen and springy to touch. Leave in the tin for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.
5. To make the buttercream simply beat together the icing sugar and butter until soft and then add the coffee milk mixture (I always add it a little at a time as the mixture can end up being too runny.) Place spoonfuls of buttercream onto the cold cupcakes, smooth the tops and then swirl to finish. Decorate each cake with three chocolate coffee beans.
This recipe comes from Cake Days by The Hummingbird Bakery.