makes ~eight 3 x 2″ cupcakes
- 10 Tbspn butter
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 6 eggs, separated
- 12 oz. dark chocolate, melted and cooled
- 1 1/2 Tbspn espresso
- 1 Tbspn vanilla
- 1/2 tspn salt
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Butter and flour the cake molds or tins. Line the bottom with parchment paper and grease again. Set aside.
- In a mixer bowl, beat the butter and light brown sugar on medium until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add the egg yolks one at a time to the butter and sugar mixture, beating well between each addition.
- Beat the melted dark chocolate, espresso, vanilla, and salt into the batter until well-combined.
- In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until soft peaks.
- Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate batter, then fold the remaining egg whites into the batter just until combined. Be careful not to overmix!
- Divide the batter evenly amongst the prepared pans. Immediately place in the oven and bake for 15 – 18 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the meringue.
for meringue layer:
- 2 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
- 1/2 Tbspn cornstarch
- 2 egg whites
- 2 Tbspn sugar
- Combine the dark chocolate, hazelnuts, and cornstarch
- Whip the egg whites to stiff peaks, gradually adding the sugar as you whisk.
- Fold in the hazelnuts and chocolate mixture to the egg whites, being careful not to deflate the whites too much.
- Remove the chocolate cakes from the oven and spoon the meringue over the chocolate cakes.
- Return the cakes to the oven for ~15-20 minutes until the meringues are set.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Using a knife, unmold the cakelettes and let cool completely before frosting.
for basil buttercream:
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 large handfuls of basil, roughly shredded
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 sticks butter, at room temperature
- green food coloring, optional
- In a small saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, combine the milk and the basil. Bring to just a simmer, cover, and let steep for ~30 minutes.
- Strain the basil from the milk and discard the basil. Set the milk aside.
- Whisk together the sugar and flour in a saucepan. Gradually whisk in the prepared basil milk and the cream, making sure that there are no clumps.
- Cook the flour and milk mixture over medium heat until it boils and thickens, about 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer into a bowl.
- Beat with a paddle attachment on high until the flour and milk mixture is completely cool.
- With the mixer on low, gradually add the butter. Then, increase speed to medium-high and whip until light and fluffy. (If the buttercream gets too soft, put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes before re-beating.) Briefly beat in a few drops of green food coloring, if desired.
- Use immediately to frost the cakelettes.