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Chocolate Souffle Cupcakes with Mint Cream

From smittenkitchen.com: Cupcakes adapted from Bon Appetit; Frosting adapted via Claudia Fleming.

Difficulty Rating: 3 out of 10

Makes between 9 and 12 cupcakes. (I got 11.)

Making the mint cream:

  • 2 oz. white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3 oz. heavy whipping cream
  • 1/8 tsp. peppermint extract
  • (Optional: 1 drop green food coloring; add after mixing in the peppermint extract.)

Do this first so it has time to chill. 

Chop the white chocolate into small pieces and place in a small bowl.

Bring the cream to a simmer, then pour over the chocolate and let sit for a minute to melt the chocolate, then whisk well. Add the peppermint extract and whisk again.

Lay a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the cream and chill for about two hours.

Making the cupcakes:

  • 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I found both chocolate blocks at Whole Foods. Though for accuracy's sake, I'm going to have to invest in a scale.)
  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • Heaping 1/4 tsp. espresso or instant coffee powder
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 6 Tbsp. sugar, divided
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin pan with paper liners.

Stir butter, bittersweet chocolate and espresso powder together in a medium saucepan over low heat until mostly melted, then remove from heat and whisk until smooth. Let the mixture cool to lukewarm, stirring occasionally.

Using a hand mixer, beat egg yolks and 3 Tbsp. sugar in medium bowl until mixture is very thick and pale, about 2 minutes. Briefly beat lukewarm chocolate mixture, then vanilla extract, into yolk mixture.

Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites in another medium bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 3 Tbsp. sugar and the salt, beating until medium-firm peaks form.

Fold whites into chocolate mixture in 3 additions.

Divide batter among prepared cups, filling each three-fourths of the way.

Bake cakes until tops are puffed and dry to the touch (some may crack) and a tester inserted into the centers comes out with some moist crumbs attached, about 15 minutes, adding a few minutes if necessary.

Cool in pan on a cooling rack, where the cupcakes will almost immediately start to fall and shrink.

Lastly, take the mint cream out of the fridge and beat with hand mixer until soft peaks form. Remove cupcakes from pan, arrange on a platter. Fill the center of each top with a dollop of white chocolate mint cream. (I just cut a hole in the corner of a sandwich baggy when icing any cupcakes, having still not puchased a pastry bag. Someday I'll get one!) Top with shaved chocolate. 

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