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Monday, January 02, 2006

Coffee Buttercream Filled Almond Cupcake with Valrhona Ganache

I saw an opera cake recipe on the epicurious homepage a couple of weeks ago that inspired the latest cupcake recipe. I took the recipe from the site and made some changes. Overall the cupcake was fine, due to two of the three components being extremely tasty. I was not happy with the almond cupcake recipe though, which I found to be too eggy tasting. I recommend substituting the almond-based recipe with just about any recipe that goes well with coffee and chocolate that you like.

I was visiting my parents in the east coast for the holidays. It's always tricky working in an unfamiliar kitchen, but they have a great setup so it all went well. Taking pictures proved difficult though as it was an overcast, rainy and dreary day - perfect for cupcake baking but not for available light photography.

12 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven

2 eggs, room temp
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons flour
2 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tarter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

1. Beat 2 eggs for 2-3 minutes.
2. Add almond meal and flour. Sift in powdered sugar and flour.
3. Beat until combined.
4. In another bowl, beat egg whites with the whisk attachment until foamy.
5. Add cream of tarter and salt and whisk until soft peaks form.
6. Gradually add sugar and whisk on high until stiff peaks form.
7. Stir in one third of the egg whites into the batter mixture.
8. Fold the batter mixture gently into the egg whites. Then fold in butter.
9. Scoop into cupcake papers about half full (we don't want the cupcakes to come out over the top as we want to pour ganache into them).
10. Bake for 12-15 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.

ready for baking

Coffee Buttercream from Epicurious

2 teaspoons instant espresso powder (available at whole foods)
1/4 cup plus one tablespoon water
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 egg yolks
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and softened

1. Stir together espresso powder and 1 tablespoon water until powder is dissolved.
2. Bring sugar and remaining 1/4 cup water to a boil in a very small heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
3. Boil, without stirring, washing down any sugar crystals on side of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water, until syrup registers 238°F on thermometer (soft-ball stage)
4. While syrup boils, beat yolks in a large bowl with cleaned beaters at medium speed 1 minute.
5. Add hot syrup to yolks in a slow stream (try to avoid beaters and side of bowl), beating, then add coffee mixture and beat until completely cool, 3 to 5 minutes.
6. Beat in butter, 1 piece at a time, and beat until thickened and smooth.

coffee buttercream

Valrhona Ganache

6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
2 3.5 ounce packages of 71% cacao valrhona chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Melt the chocolate and half the butter over a double boiler.
2. Remove from heat and stir in remaining butter and vanilla.
3. Allow to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Watch it though, as the ganache will start to thicken and you want to pour it before that point.

1. Fill cooled cupcakes with coffee buttercream.
2. Pour ganache over the cupcake to the top of the paper. If you are using regular cupcake papers, put the cupcakes back in their pans before pouring in the ganache.
3. Decorate as you wish. I had planned to top the cupcakes with a marizpan star (rolled out marzipan cut with star shaped cutter) dusted with silver dust. But I left those things behind in San Francisco.


Blogger The Cookie Club said...

i love your blog and your delicious creativity!!!!!!

1/03/2006 12:53 PM  
Blogger Basak said...

Coffee Buttercream looks gorgeous!. I'll try it. Thanks for the recipe, I loved it.

1/04/2006 11:51 PM  
Anonymous Dr AA said...

Hi there from Sydney!

I very much enjoy reading your blog. I was wondering if you can tell me what the difference is between almond meal and almond flour. I'd like to make these cupcakes but don't know what almond flour is.

1/05/2006 6:38 PM  
Blogger chockylit said...

Almond flour is just finer almond meal . They are both just ground up almonds. I find that when you see them in stores, the meal is coarse - you can tell its a nut, where the flour is finer to the point that you might not know it came from a nut (from looking at it). Hope that helps. Thanks for reading!

1/05/2006 9:01 PM  
Anonymous dr aa said...

Thanks. Makes perfect sense.

1/06/2006 1:24 AM  
Anonymous Julie said...

Chockylit, your site is amazing! So many scrumptious bakeables to drool over and hopefully, when time permits, to try! This last post really has me jonesing, since I adore opera cake and those particular flavor combinations. Tell me which "almond case" recipe you're referring to, though, when you recommend it above the one you used -- I'd love to see it.

1/08/2006 2:53 PM  
Anonymous Kathy said...


1/09/2006 12:48 PM  
Blogger madame_leiderhosen said...

Oh my. This is the sound of the top of my head coming off at the thought of the taste of this recipe. Brilliant. You are brilliant.

1/09/2006 3:30 PM  
Blogger Bob Frank said...

This is one of the best blogs I've seen regarding baking. The recipes look excellent, rich and appealing. All of that could be said about the photos too.

That's why I've posted your blog on mine http://bakersdozen1.blogspot.com

1/09/2006 8:10 PM  

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