Espresso S’mores cupcakes

oh so delicious

oh so delicious

I made these yesterday for my dear friend and colleague that just got tenure. He and everyone at the party loved them, especially his daughter Maya!  I really liked the graham cracker base and meringue  frosting with the piece of Hershey’s chocolate a dust of graham crackers.

Graham Cracker Base

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from 20 squares)
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup mini chips

Chocolate Espresso Cupcake

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon Hershey’s Dark cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2/3 cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon of espresso powder

Meringue Frosting

  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Toppings

1 package of Hershey’s chocolate bars (for decoration)

Directions

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Graham Cracker Base

  1. Reserve 2 tablespoons of crumbs to sprinkle on the top later.
  2. Place remaining graham cracker crumbs in a bowl with butter and mix to combine.
  3. Add approximately 1 tablespoon of mixture to each cup and firmly press crumbs down with the back of a small cup.
  4. Sprinkle the mini chips on top of the graham cracker base.
  5. Bake for about 8 minutes. Cool.

Cupcakes

  1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  2. Then combine eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add sugar and mix until combined.
  3. Then add flour mixture. Blend at low and then increase to medium. Beat for 2 minutes until blended and smooth.  Add boiling water with 1 tbsp of espresso powder.  Batter will be thin.
  4. Let batter rest for 15 minutes and stir again gently before using.
  5. Fill liners with prepared crusts three-quarters full with batter.
  6. Bake about 16-20 minutes until done.
  7. Cool in pan for 5 minutes and then remove to a rack to cool completely

Meringue Frosting

  1. Combine egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the heatproof bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water without letting the bottom of the bowl touch the water in the saucepan.
  3. Hold the handle of the bowl while whisking the egg white mixture until the sugar is dissolved… about 4 minutes. Then transfer bowl to the stand mixer.
  4. Using the whisk attachment, beat the mixture, starting on low and increasing to high speed. Beat until stiff, glossy peaks form and the meringue has cooled, 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. Add the vanilla and whisk just to combine. Use frosting immediately.

Assembly

  1. Place the frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a Wilton 4B tip.
  2. Pipe high swirls on the cupcakes and brown the meringue using a kitchen torch and serve immediately.
  3. Using a kitchen torch lightly toast marshmallow frosting.
  4. Place one small piece of chocolate on the top and sprinkle with graham cracker dust.
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