In case you missed it, I recently made a delicious milk tea cupcake recipe in order to knock off one of the flavours I had in mind to create my wedding cake. I have been on the hunt for interesting flavours and figured I’d also include some classic flavours such as coffee and chocolate.
I didn’t want to create an all-coffee cake because I felt like the flavours would be a little too monotone. Regularly I would make a chocolate cake to eat, but as much as I love chocolate, I’m leaning away from chocolate cake due to the aesthetic design I have in mind for my cake, just because it’ll need more buttercream and more work to create a blank canvas for the decorations. Although I’m not totally against having a chocolate cake, I’m open to seeing all my other options that may be a little less labor intensive, since chocolate cake + white buttercream has the potential to be very messy.
I thought of adding in a layer of chocolate ganache between the cakes, in order to get the chocolate flavour without the chocolate cake mess, while adding in a delicious, and slightly bitter taste to a sweet cake, leaving the cake flavours balanced. In the end I came up with these coffee chocolate ganache cupcakes, inspired by the Opera cake, a classic French cake made of layers of almond sponge cake, coffee buttercream, coffee syrup, and chocolate ganache. My cupcakes, a simple vanilla cake base, filled with coffee pastry cream, topped with chocolate ganache, as well as coffee buttercream. The result are these super delicious cakes that are not too sweet, with delicate flavours and texture.
Although I’m not entirely satisfied with my wedding cake tasting series, these cupcakes definitely hit the spot — I might even recreate these in the future with a chocolate cupcake base instead of vanilla.
Here is the recipe for the vanilla cupcakes , and the Italian meringue buttercream, which I mixed with some coffee extract (1 tbsp of instant coffee mixed with 1 tsp hot water, until it is smooth), and added to taste.
Coffee Pastry Cream
This recipe makes 1-1/2 cups pastry cream.
300g (1 cup) milk
3 egg yolks
60g (1/4 cup) sugar
30g (2 tbsp) cornstarch
30g (2 tbsp) flour
5g (1 tbsp) instant coffee
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and flour, until fully combined and the egg yolk mixture is pale and yellow. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, bring the milk and the instant coffee to a boil.
- As soon as the milk comes to a boil, take off heat, pour or ladle in 1/3 of the milk into the egg yolk mixture, while whisking the egg yolk mixture at the same time. This will temper the egg yolks so that they rise in temperature without cooking/curdling in the milk. Pour the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan and whisk on medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil and the mixture becomes very thick — about 1-2 min.
- Pour into a bowl and lay the plastic wrap directly on top of the custard so it doesn’t form a skin as it cools.
- Let it cool completely before using, and enjoy!
For the chocolate ganache, feel free to use 50g (1/4 cup) dark chocolate, and 50g (3 tbsp) cream, or if you don’t have cream on hand, use 40g (2-1/2 tbsp) milk and 10g (2 tsp) butter, melt over a double boiler, and leave in the fridge, taking it out every 5-10 min to whip up with a whisk.
Here is the video tutorial below!