My last attempt at chocolate amaretto cupcakes left me very underwhelmed. The cake was blah, and while the frosting was good, I knew I could do better.
This time around I used a tried-and-true chocolate cake recipe (the same one I used for THESE cupcakes) and made an amaretto Swiss meringue buttercream. I swirled on a generous amount of the buttercream, since Swiss meringue buttercream is not overly sweet. I then topped half of them with an amaretto cordial and the other half with chocolate sprinkles.
This time, I was very, very pleased with the results!
Chocolate Cupcakes with Amaretto Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Rich & Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup premium cocoa powder (I use Cacao Barry Plein Arôme)
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup strong, hot black coffee
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.Line muffin/cupcake tim with paper of foil cupcake liners. In the bowl of an electric mixer, sift all dry ingredients. Add all remaining ingredients to the bowl with the dry ingredients, and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes, using the paddle attachment. Pour into prepared cupcake pan, filling each liner no more than 2/3 full. Batter will be liquidy.
2. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick or skewer comes out with a few crumbs. (Try not to overbake.) Cool on wire racks for 5 minutes, then gently turn cupcakes onto racks until completely cool.
*Adapted from Sweetapolita
Amaretto Swiss Meringue Buttercream
5 large egg whites
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated or superfine sugar
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still cool, cut into cubes
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup amaretto
1. Combine egg whites and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer, clip on a candy thermometer, and place over a pot of simmering (not boiling) water. Cook, whisking constantly, until the temperature reaches 160°F. (If you do not have a candy thermometer, cook until the sugar has completely dissolved, and the egg whites are hot.)
2. Attach bowl to mixer, and using the whisk attachment, whip until the mixture is thick, glossy and completely cooled (the outside and bottom of the bowl should not feel warm at all – it may take a while). Switch to the paddle attachment, and with the mixer on medium speed add the butter in chunks until incorporated, and mix until it had reached a silky smooth texture. If the mixture curdles, keep mixing and it will smooth out again. Add the vanilla, salt and amaretto, and mix well.
Makes about 2 dozen cupcakes