(recipe adopted from Annie’s Eats)
Makes 24 Cupcakes
For the Cupcakes:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1½ cups sugar
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup brewed coffee with a shot of esspresso
For the ganache and toffee layer:
- 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ¾ tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1½-2 cups toffee bits ( I get the English toffee from TJs and pound it into bits)
For the frosting:
- 5 large egg whites
- ¾ cup sugar
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ tsp. coarse salt
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- to taste (~4 tbsp) caramel sauce (I bought the fleur de sel caramel from TJs)
- Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
- In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt).
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar and butter and beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla.
- With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients into the sugar-butter-egg mixture alternating with the coffee, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix each addition just until incorporated.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners (~1/3 cup).
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let the cupcakes cool in the pans 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
- Add the cream to a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
- Remove from the heat and pour the hot cream over the chocolate; let stand 1-2 minutes. Whisk together until a smooth.
- Whisk in the butter, half at a time, until completely incorporated.
- Transfer the bowl to the fridge or freezer to chill the ganache to a spreadable consistency (kind of like nutella), whisking every 5-10 minutes to ensure even cooling.
- When slightly thickened, spread ganache on the top of each cupcake.
- Add the toffee bits to a bowl and dip the ganache portion of each cupcake into the toffee bits, pressing very gently to adhere.
- Let the ganache set.
- Combine the egg whites and the sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture reaches 160° F and the sugar has dissolved.
- Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 8 minutes. (The bowl should be cool to the touch.)
- Reduce the speed to medium and add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, adding more once each addition has been incorporated.
- *If the frosting looks soupy or curdled, continue to beat on medium-high speed until thick and smooth again, ~3-5+ minutes*
- Blend in the salt, vanilla, and caramel until smooth and completely incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Fill a pastry bag and pipe frosting on top of each cupcake. ( I like to use a star tip)
- (optional) Top with additional toffee pieces.