This chocolate cupcake recipe is one of my absolute favourites. They’re light, but have this intense dark chocolate flavour that is just so good. And lately I’ve been feeling the need to make meringue frosting. A LOT. I mean, I want it on everything. You know how you go through fads? I seem to go through fads with baking. I’ll literally bake the same cake or pie (or whatever) and make it a hundred times. I don’t really know why… I remember a few years ago I called downstairs to my husband and asked “do you feel like Lemon Meringue Pie for dessert tonight?”. His response was “I’m a bit sick of Lemon Meringue Pie”. Um… who in the history of the universe has EVER said that?! It still makes me laugh when I think of it… He’s precious. Gets offered home made Lemon Meringue Pie and says he’s sick of it… You know what? He got Lemon Meringue Pie…
Anyway, back to making meringue frosting. Even though I don’t drink coffee I love coffee flavoured sweet things. Is that weird? So I thought, what about coffee flavoured meringue frosting? I did have a few failures adding espresso to the meringue, I won’t lie, but that’s good, because then you don’t have to make those mistakes
It’s funny, because I started this recipe with the frosting. All sorted. I want espresso meringue frosting. But what am I going to put the meringue frosting on? So usually I’ll match the frosting with the cupcake or cake, not the other way round! And of course immediately I thought of dark chocolate. Dark chocolate and espresso – perfect !
I won’t lie, I had a few failures making this meringue frosting, because I was adding espresso, not because the frosting is hard to make. I was adding the espresso to the water/sugar mixture while it was on the stove. Yeah, it got all frothy and just didn’t work, so my advice is to make the meringue (my favourite thing in the world) and then drizzle in the cooled espresso as you finish beating the meringue. Too easy.
Dark Chocolate and Espresso Cupcakes
- One quantity of Meringue Frosting
- 300g / 10 ½ oz softened unsalted butter
- 460g / 16oz dark brown sugar
- 5 eggs
- 500ml / 17oz Guinness or dark beer
- 130g / 4 ½ oz Cocoa
- 300g / 10 ½ oz plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2/3 tablespoon bicarbonate of soda or baking soda
- 4 tablespoons espresso
Preheat oven to 180°C or 350ºF. Place cupcake liners into a cupcake pan.
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until nice and pale and thick. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating a little after each egg
In a separate bowl whisk the beer and the cocoa until well combined.
Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda together.
Add half of the beer mixture to the butter and sugar mixture and mix gently. Then add half of the flour mixture and mix again. Add the remaining beer mixture, mixing again, then the remaining flour mixture. Mix well, but gently, until combined. The batter might be a bit curdled, but don’t worry, this won’t affect the end result.
Pour mixture into cupcake liners to about 2/3 full so that they have room to rise.
Bake for around 15 – 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool in the pan.
Make the Meringue Frosting as per the directions. When you have added all of the sugar mixture, continue to beat for another 2-3 minutes until nice and glossy. When the meringue mixture is glossy, drizzle in the cooled espresso and beat until just combined.
Spoon into a piping bag and wait until the piping bag is just warm but not hot (otherwise the piping isn’t as crisp). Pipe onto your cooled cupcakes.
Ooh la la, eat up and enjoy!