Chocolate cupcakes filled with coffee caramel mousse topped with toasted meringue.
These cupcakes are definitely a crowd pleaser.
I used Averie Cooks chocolate cake for these cupcakes. I liked how it uses greek yogurt (healthier), so I thought I should switch it up a bit with the chocolate cake. Please feel free to use any chocolate cake recipe you like. You can also use this chocolate cake recipe from this post. I will just be providing you with the recipes and ‘how to’s for everything else to make this SUPER COOL cupcake.
coffee caramel mousse
2 tbsp crushed coffee beans
4 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp cornstarch
1/2 packet gelatin powder
2/3c heavy cream (whipped)
4 large egg whites
1 1/4c sugar
1/4 packet gelatin powder
While your chocolate cupcakes are cooling, start by infusing the coffee beans into the milk by heat it up to a simmer. Take it off the heat and cover, letting it sit for 30 minutes.
Make sure you have the 2tbsp cream scaled out and ready to pour. In a small pot, put your sugar in and turn the heat up high. With a spatula, push the sugar around as it melts and caramelizes. You will see that certain spots will caramelize faster than others. The goal is to push the sugar around to keep all of the sugar cooking evenly. Immediately add the cream once it starts looking foamy, and you should end up with caramel that looks like this:
Strain the coffee milk into the caramel and mix. Temper this coffee caramel mixture into the egg yolks (slowly add the coffee caramel mixture into the yolks as you whisk the yolks). Add the vanilla and cornstarch.
Get your gelatin ready by adding 1tsp of water to it in a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin into the water, making sure each layer is wet before adding more. This is called blooming the gelatin.
Cook on low heat, constantly stirring until thickened. Add the gelatin and strain. You will have to push it through with the spatula.
Whip the 2/3c of heavy cream to soft peaks. Add about 2 tbsp of whipped cream into the coffee caramel mixture to loosen it up and to also cool it down. Then add the rest of the whipped cream and fold.
Put in a piping bag (or ziploc bag) and chill in the fridge while we make the meringue.
For the meringue, we will be making an italian meringue. For this you need a candy thermometer.
Put the water in the pot first, than the sugar in the middle, making sure you don’t get any on the sides. This way, you don’t have to go back and wipe down the sides or worry about drys spots caramelizing. If you do happen to get sugar on the sides of the pot, just wet a pastry brush (or your hand) and wipe it down into the syrup. You want the pot to be small enough so that the sugar/water will touch the thermometer bulb. The syrup will be cooked to 121°C/ 250°F
As soon as your sugar reaches 121°C/ 250°F, turn your mixer to high and pour the sugar in a thin stream.
After you’ve added all the sugar, microwave the bloomed gelatin for 15 seconds in the microwave. Pour the melted gelatin into the meringue just like you did the sugar. The gelatin acts as a stabilizer and helps hold the cupcakes in humidity and in the fridge.
Give it about 10 seconds after you’ve finished adding the gelatin, and turn the mixer down to medium and let it cool.
While the meringue is cooling, lets cut the holes in the cupcakes for the filling. Take a knife and angle it so that you will be cutting an upside down cone out of the middle of the cupcake
Don’t go too far towards the edge or you will have to frost all the way towards the edge to cover it up.
The meringue is ready when the bottom of the mixer bowl is slightly warm. You don’t want this cold because then the gelatin will start to set and it will be harder to pipe. It should be nice and shiny.
Put the meringue into a piping bag with the desired tip. I used an Ateco 807 which is a large round tip
Fill the cupcake to the top with the caramel coffee mousse
Then pipe the meringue on top
Then torch it to give it color
I know not everyone will have a torch at home, so I experimented with a couple different ways to torch the meringue.
Next best option would be an electric cooktop. Tilt your cupcake towards the heat and turn as it browns, just like you would to toast a marshmallow over a campfire.
The second best would be the broiler in the oven, but I found that it dried out my meringue more before toasting it, and it toasted just on the top.
The last option (not recommended) is the gas stove. I almost burned my fingers and it was hard to get an even color without burring the meringue.
You don’t HAVE to toast the meringue, but it just looks and tastes so much better this way!
Coffee Caramel Mousse
- Infuse coffee into milk by bringing to a simmer and steeping for 30 minutes
- Make dry caramel and deglaze with the 2 tbsp of cream
- Add coffee milk and temper into yolks, add cornstarch and vanilla
- Cook until thickened
- Add gelatin and push through strainer
- Whip 2/3c of cream to soft peaks
- Whisk 2 tbsp of whipped cream into the coffee caramel to slightly cool
- Fold in the rest of the cream
- Pipe onto desired cake or dish, and chill until set.
- 5 min
- 10 min
- Ready in:
- 25 min
- Put the sugar and water on high heat with a thermometer.
- Whip egg whites to soft peaks, and turn down mixer to low until sugar reaches 121°C/ 250°F
- Bloom gelatin
- Turn up mixer to high when sugar comes to temperature
- Slowly pour sugar into egg whites in a thin steam
- Melt gelatin in microwave for 10 seconds and pour into meringue
- Once incorporated, turn mixer down to medium and let cool to slightly warm
- Torch after frosting to toast.