1 3/4 cups plus 2tbsp cake flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp milk
1 vanilla bean split lengthwise
6 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
5 large eggs plus 4 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup freshly brewed espresso (or very strong coffee)
5 tbsp Kahlua
9 tbsp sugar
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
12 oz mascarpone cheese at room temperature
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- Preheat oven to 325F. Line cupcake pans with liners. In a medium-sized bowl combine the cake flour(sifted), baking powder and salt. Whisk to blend. Set aside. Put a small saucepan over medium heat and add milk, vanilla bean seeds, and the bean. Heat until the mixture bubbles around the edge, and let it stand for 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean pod.
- In the bowl of an electric add eggs, egg yolks, and sugar and whisk until just blended. Put mixing bowl over a medium saucepan of simmering water. Whisk occasionally until sugar is dissolved and the mixture is warm about 6 minutes. Remove bowl from saucepan and place back in the electric mixer and whisk until mixture is fluffy, pale yellow and thick enough that it ribbons.
- Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture in 3 additions. Stir 3/4 cup of the batter into the milk mixture to thicken it. Then fold the milk mixture into the batter. Fill cupcake lined pan evenly and bake for 20 minutes. Rotate the cupcakes halfway through and take out when the edges are light golden brown and the cupcakes are set. Let the cupcake pan sit on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes then transfer cupcakes to a wire rack.
- In a small bowl mix together sugar, Kahlua, and espresso. Set aside. Use a metal skewer to poke holes in the cupcakes. Take the syrup and use a pastry brush to brush the syrup all over the top of the cupcakes.
- Use a double boiler or a bowl over simmering water to melt semi-sweet chocolate chips. Melt them until they are shiny and stir together. While melting cover a cookie sheet with wax paper. Once chocolate is melted add to a piping bag with small round tip and create zigzag designs or circles. Put in the fridge to harden.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed whisk the heavy whipping cream. Once hard peaks are formed scrape the cream out into a clean bowl.
- Put the bowl (not cleaned) back in the electric mixer and use the paddle attachment to mix the mascarpone cheese and sifted confectioners’ sugar together until its light and fluffy. (Note: Make sure the mascarpone is at room temperature otherwise the frosting will have little balls of mascarpone.) Gently fold in the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture until combined. I piped the frosting onto the cupcakes with a large round tip but you can get creative and use any tip or even use a knife to spread it on:). Sprinkle with unsweetened cocoa powder.
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