These are chocolate cupcakes, filled with dulce de leche, frosted with a swirl of Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Dulce de leche, finally topped with a cute alfajor cookie.
1 1/2cupsall-purpose flour190 grams 6.75 oz
1/4cupunsweetened cocoa powder31 grams 1.125 oz
1cupgranulated sugar200 grams 7 oz.
1/2teaspoonfine sea salt
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
3/4cupgranulated sugar150 grams, 5.3 oz
18tablespoonsunsalted butter255 grams, 9 oz
1cupdulce de lechestore-bought or homemade (read post above for instructions on how to make dulce de leche)
Pre-heat oven to 350F. Line a 12-cupcake pan with cupcake liners or grease it with butter and flour.
Sift flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, espresso powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
In another bowl, mix coffee, vinegar, vanilla and oil. Pour dry mixture over wet ingredients. Whisk briefly, until incorporated. Be careful not to overmix. As soon as you see no more streaks of dry mixture, stop whisking.
Distribute batter evenly in cupcake pans.
Bake for 15-20 minutes.
Remove and let it cool.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
About 30 minutes before you start to make your buttercream, remove butter from the fridge. Cut it into thin slices, about 1/4 inch thick. Set aside and let it come to room temperature. Depending on the temperature of your kitchen, you might need an hour or so to have the butter soften. Please note that you don’t want your butter to be too hot and melted either.
Place egg whites and sugar in a heat-proof bowl or in a double boiler pan.
Bring a pot of water to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer. Set bowl on top of the pan with simmering water.
Whisk constantly until egg whites and sugar reach 138F temperature. This ensures that the egg whites will have reached a safe temperature. The temperature of pasteurized egg whites is actually 140F, however, if you bring it up to 138F, the temperature will raise a couple degrees even after you take it out of the heat source.
Keep whisking mixture for about 30 seconds after you take it off the heat.
Pour mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer. Be sure to wipe dry the bottom of the bowl to get rid of the condensation that formed before you transfer mixture. Because if a drop of water gets in contact with your egg white/sugar, it will ruin your meringue.
With the whisk attachment, beat meringue on medium-high speed.
You are going to beat the meringue until stiff peaks form. Now, this might take a while. Usually takes me about 10 minutes. The reason for that is that the egg whites have to cool down first and then they will be able to reach stiff peak.
Just let the mixer do its job and cool down the meringue as it whisks it.
Once your meringue has reached stiff peaks, start adding butter, with the mixer on medium-high speed.
Add one slab of butter at a time. Waiting a few seconds before adding the next one.
At times, you will question yourself if your meringue will ever form, the answer is mostly likely: yes it will form. Just be patient. Keep whisking it.
Add vanilla once you’re done adding the butter.
At this point, you should see your meringue having hardened up and formed into a smooth cream.
Use a spoon to remove the inside of each cupcake. Then fill cupcakes with dulce de leche. Place the top of the cupcake back to close it.
Lay a piece of plastic wrap on the counter. Pipe or spread some dulce de leche over the plastic wrap (check pictures in the post above for reference), then spread some of the Swiss Meringue Buttercream on top of the dulce de leche.
Roll the plastic wrap over to close.
Place it inside a piping bag fitted with the piping tip of choice.
Pipe swirled frosting over cupcakes. Place an Alfajor Cookie on top.
Cupcakes will be fine in the fridge, covered in an air-tight container for up to 4 days.
Amount Per Serving
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.