These cupcakes are a wonderful mouthful not just in name, but in taste too. It is a beautifully soft chocolate coffee sponge with coffee and Irish Cream Liqueur topped with a smooth Cocoa Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting. I made a few changes to Cupcake Jemma’s chocolate cupcake and Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipes, as so far I have never encountered a better chocolate cupcake recipe. It is soft, delicate and moist. I used this recipe to analyze why my cupcakes don’t rise properly and I think I found the solution, but more on that in another post.
Chocolate Irish Coffee Cream Cupcake with Cocoa Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Ingredients for about 30 cupcakes:
• 350 gr flour
• 370 gr caster sugar
• 60 gr cocoa powder
• 1 tsp baking soda
• ½ tsp salt
• 1 cup of very strong coffee, cold
• 3/4 cup buttermilk (stir 1 tbl of lemon juice into 3/4 cup of milk and leave it aside if you have non at hand, it works with almond milk, too)
• ¼ cup Irish Cream Liqueur (Baily’s or a cheaper alternative)
• 225 ml vegetable oil
• 3 large eggs
• Cocoa Swiss Meringue Buttercream
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
2. Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk them together.
3. Mix all the wet ingredients in another bowl and whisk them together.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk until well combined.
5. Line 24 cupcake moulds with liners and fill them 2/3 of the way full.
6. Bake for 24 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. If you wanted to enhance the Irish coffee flavour you could poke a few holes into the cupcakes with a skewer and drizzle a mix of half coffee and half Irish Cream liqueur onto the cupcakes.
7. Leave them to cool before spreading or piping the buttercream onto the cupcakes.
Cocoa Swiss Meringue Buttercream* (adapted from Cupcake Jemma)
Ingredients (for cake with 20 cm diameter or about 60 cupcakes):
• 2 egg whites
• 150 gr fine caster sugar
• 200 gr soft butter
• Cocoa powder
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Make sure the entire equipment your working with is grease free by wiping down the whisk attachment and the bowl with a little vinegar on a paper towel.
2. Put a small pot with a little bit of water on low heat and bring it to a simmer. Your heatproof bowl should fit the pot without touching the water as to not scramble your egg whites.
3. Mix your egg whites and sugar in said bowl and put it on the double boiler. Stirring in between regularly until all the sugar has dissolved. You should be able to comfortable rub the mixture between your fingers without burning yourself. In videos it is often frothy, mine was completely smooth and white. Don’t worry it takes quite a bit of time but you will get there.
4. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove the bowl from the heat and put it into your stand mixer. With the whisk attachment start beating it at medium speed (5 out of 7 for reference). Once the merengue is white and glossy, with the bowl completely cool, turn up the speed by one level. This will make it really stiff.
5. Turn the speed down to medium speed (4 out of 7) and add the butter one tablespoon at a time mixing in between. Don’t worry it will get almost soupy, that is fixed by turning speed back to high (6 or 7 out of 7) and whipping it back up.
6. Turn the mixer off and add your flavourings, vanilla extract and sifted cocoa powder. Add as much cocoa until it has the colour you desire. Mix until smooth on medium speed. Should you find the merengue a little too soft, you can chill it so the butter firms up a little. It depends how hot your kitchen is.
7. Frost your cake with a crumb layer and let it rest for 30 minutes, preferably in the fridge. Add a second layer or pipe on some decorations (not with Russian piping nozzles, the buttercream is too soft and smooth).
*This recipe makes a lot of buttercream which freezes incredibly well. Freeze the leftovers, thaw them in the fridge a day before you need them, let them come to room temperature and whip it up before you need it. Now you can decorate whatever you want with the leftover buttercream.