Chocolate Soufflé Cupcakes with Mint Cream

More cupcakes! Cupcakes traditionally seem unsophisticated but not these.  A new trend in this area is to have a bunch of cupcakes for your wedding instead of a big wedding cake.  Certainly easier to serve, no cutting required.  I don't know what it is about cupcakes that is so appealing, is it the childhood memories they illicit or the completeness of each one (you get your own, not just a piece).  Whatever it is they seem to be hugely popular.

I have to tell you about the frosting, which barely fits into that category.  It is white chocolate mint whipped cream.  It is one of the best things I have ever tasted (being a big mint and white chocolate fan).  It is so good, a little more work but worth it.  It was hard not to eat the whipped cream all up without leaving any left for the cupcakes.
These cupcakes don't have any flour in them.  All their light fluffiness comes from beating eggs and egg whites.  You can use an electric mixer but I used my awesome wire whisk which made short work of it.  It doesn't work so well if you have neither a good wire whisk nor an electric mixer and are forced to use a fork.
These cupcakes are light and airy, with a slightly crispy top and a fudgey center.  They are a little more work than I usually make, because you do have to mix the ingredients separately and getting the egg whites whisked enough takes a little while.  But this recipe is totally worth a little extra work because they are so fancy and delicious they will knock your socks off.
They poof up in the oven but then fall again after a few minutes out of it.  This is supposed to happen, it is how souffle's work.  It leaves a nice little indentation for some of that amazing white chocolate mint cream, if you have any left that is.

Chocolate Soufflé Cupcakes with White Chocolate Mint Cream

6 ounces (170 grams) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped (I preferred this with bittersweet)
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) (86 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) espresso or instant coffee powder
3 large eggs, separated
6 tablespoons (97 grams) sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ounces (56 grams) white chocolate, finely chopped
3 ounces heavy whipping cream
1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract
1. For cream: Place the white chocolate in a small bowl. Bring the cream to a simmer, pour it over the chocolate and let it sit for a minute to melt the chocolate. Whisk well. Add the peppermint extract and whisk again. Lay a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the cream. Chill until very cold, about two hours.
2. For the cupcakes: Stir chocolate, butter and espresso powder together in heavy medium saucepan over low heat mostly melted, then remove from the heat and whisk until it is fully melted and smooth. Cool to lukewarm, stirring occasionally.
3. Using electric mixer beat egg yolks and 3 tablespoons 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.
4. Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites in another medium bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and all of the salt, beating until medium-firm peaks form.
5. Fold whites into chocolate mixture in 3 additions. Line 9 standard-size (3-ounce) muffin cups with paper liners. Divide batter among prepared cups, filling each three-fourths of the way.
6. Bake in a 350°F oven until tops are puffed and dry to the touch (some may crack, embrace it) and a tester inserted into the centers comes out with some moist crumbs attached, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool in pan on a cooling rack.
7. To finish: Beat mint white chocolate cream with electric beaters until soft peaks form. Remove cupcakes from pan, arrange on a platter. Fill each sunken top with a healthy dollop of white chocolate mint cream.

From Smitten Kitchen

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  1. Omg will you make cupcakes for my wedding? These ones? I will pay you handsomely.

  2. Of course! If I get to pick my own bridesmaid dress :) Alternatively we could make them for dessert for brunch.