Mocha Cupcakes with Chocolate SMB, Coffee Pastry Cream and Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans

After a brief hiatus, I'm back in the kitchen baking some yummy cupcakes. These mocha cupcakes are the perfect pairing of chocolate and espresso.  

Mocha Cupcakes

 Mini cupcakes are the perfect size and the logic for me is that 4 minis equal one regular size cupcake. So, you might as well eat 4 (or more)! 

Mocha Cupcakes

Ingredients:

Vanilla Cake

    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 cup flour
    • 3/4 tsp baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp baking soda
    • a pinch of salt
    • 1/2 cup buttermilk  

    Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

            • 1/2 Sweetalopia SMB recipe here (she does a great job describing the process :)
            • 300g Melted Semi-Sweet Chocolate

            Espresso Pastry Cream

            • 1 cup milk
            • 2 Tablespoons white sugar  
            • 1 egg yolk
            • 1/2 egg
            • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
            • 1 Tablespoon butter
            • 1 shot of espresso (I used a teaspoon of instant espresso powder and a 1/4 of a cup of sugar.  
            • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract  

            A handful of chocolate covered espresso beans chopped. 

             

            Directions:

            Cupcakes:

            Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

            Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. 

            Meanwhile, in a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 

            Add egs to the butter mixture 1 at a time. Then alternatively add flour mixture and buttermilk to buyer mixture (beginning and ending with flour) and beat until just combined.  

            Divide the batter into a lined mini muffin pan. Bake for 10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Then, move to a wire rack to cool.  

            Buttercream:

             Follow the buttercream recipe and then fold in the melted chocolate. 

            Pastry Cream:

            In a heavy saucepan bring the milk and 1/4 cup of sugar to a boil over medium heat.

            Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and egg, remaining sugar and cornstarch until smooth.

            When the milk comes to a boil, drizzle it into the bowl with egg mixture in a thin stream while mixing. Return the mixture to the saucepan, and slowly bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

            Once the mixture comes to a boil and thickens, remove from the heat and stir in the butter, espresso, and vanilla.

            Pour into a heat-proof container and top with plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled.

             Assembly:

            Fill a pastry bag fitted with the pastry tip of your choice with the chocolate buttercream.

            Cut a small cone shape in the cupcake. Remove the cone and fill with the pastry cream. Then, top with buttercream. 

            Yields about 4 dozen mini cupcakes. 

             

            Mocha Cupcake
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