Cocoa-Buttermilk Cupcakes

makes 20 cupcakes

2 cups  flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners or silicone baking cups.
  • Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl and set aside.
  • Beat the butter in a stand mixer for a few minutes on medium speed to soften it up. Add the sugar and beat for several more minutes until it is light-colored and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, one a a time, to the the batter, letting the first one incorporate fully before adding the second. Repeat with the egg yolks.
  • Add in the vanilla.
  • Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add the sifted dries in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk so you start and end with the dries. Beat each addition just until it is combined into the mixture; do not overbeat. Scrape down the bowl as necessary between additions.
  • Pour in the melted chocolate and use a rubber spatula to fold it in until it is combined.
  • Divide the batter between the cupcake tins, filling each cup about 3/4 full.
  • Bake in the oven for about 15- 20 minutes, until the tops feel firm and springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Remove cupcakes from oven and let cool on wire rack.

Coffee Buttercream

makes about 3 cups

1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
5 egg yolk
1 tablespoon granulated coffee flavoring

  • The butter should be very soft but not melting for this recipe.
  • Heat the milk and coffee flavoring and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, until small bubbles appear around the edge of the pan.
  • Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks and remaining sugar in the mixer bowl with the whisk attachment until pale and thick (ribbon stage). Reduce speed to low and pour in the hot milk mixture. Return the entire mixture to the saucepan.
  • Cook the mixture in the saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it registers 170 degrees on a thermometer. Pour the mixture into a clean mixer bowl and beat with the whisk on medium until cool, about 5 -10 minutes. Add in the butter in 4 additions, allowing each addition to incorporate before adding another.
  • The buttercream can be used immediately, or stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you store it in the refrigerator, let it soften first and whisk by hand or in the mixer to bring back to proper consistency.

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