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Mini espresso cupcakes with chocolate ganache and espresso buttercream

Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Yields Serves 48
Mini espresso cupcakes with chocolate ganache and espresso buttercream
(Los Angeles Times)

Chocolate ganache

1

In a saucepan, bring the cream and corn syrup to a boil.

2

Remove from the heat and add the chocolate and butter. Let stand for a couple of minutes. Whisk until smooth.

Espresso buttercream

1

Dissolve the espresso powder in a tablespoon of water, making a paste.

2

Place the egg whites and sugar in the metal bowl of an electric mixer. Set it over a pan of simmering water, whisking until the sugar has dissolved (so you don’t feel any grains between your fingers). Be careful not to let the egg whites cook at this stage; constant beating is important.

3

Remove from the heat. Add the cream of tartar and, with an electric mixer using a whip attachment, beat on high speed until stiff peaks form.

4

Add the butter a tablespoon at a time on slow speed. It may look like undercooked scrambled eggs for a while, but just keep beating it on low until it comes together into a smooth buttercream, about 15 minutes.

5

Add the espresso paste. If you want a stronger espresso taste, make more paste and add.

Cupcakes and assembly

1

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Put cupcake liners into mini-muffin tins.

2

Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and espresso powder.

3

In a bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs slowly, beating well after each addition

4

Alternately add the flour mixture and the milk to the butter mixture, about half at a time, mixing slowly. Do not over beat; mix only until well blended.

5

Fill each muffin tin three-quarters full.

6

Bake 10 to 12 minutes until the cupcakes spring back when you touch them.

7

Remove the cupcakes from the pan and cool completely.

8

Put a quarter-sized dollop of chocolate ganache in the center of each cupcake, leaving the cake exposed around the edges. (You can use a small teaspoon or a pastry bag; warm the ganache slightly over some simmering water if hardened.)

9

Put some espresso buttercream into a pastry bag fitted with a round tip. Start piping at the edge of each cupcake, working in circles to reach the center.

From Ledette Gambini of Leda’s Bake Shop in Sherman Oaks. She recommends this recipe for minis because the buttercream frosting is quite rich. If you do make regular-sized cupcakes, this recipe makes about 24.

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