Mocha Tiramisu Cupcakes
Ingredients for the Chocolate cupcakes:
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, shaken, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
2 tablespoons brewed coffee
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup good cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Ingredients for the Espresso-Kahlua Syrup:
1/4 plus 2 tablespoons cup freshly brewed espresso
3 tablespoons Kahlua
3 tablespoons sugar
Ingredients for the Mascarpone Frosting:
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
12 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons Espresso-Kahlua Syrup (see above recipe)
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Chocolate cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and 2 sugars on high speed until light and fluffy. Lower the speed to medium, add the eggs, 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and mix well.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
On low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture alternately in thirds to the mixer bowl, beginning with the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix only until blended.
Divide the batter among the cupcake pans, around 1 rounded standard ice cream scoop per cup. Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, remove from the pans, and allow to cool completely before frosting.
For the Espresso-Kahlua Syrup:
Stir together, espresso, Kahlua and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Let cool. (Reserve 3 tablespoons of the Syrup for the frosting.)
For the Mascarpone Frosting:
With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Set aside. In another bowl, whisk together mascarpone and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Then beat in 2 tablespoons of the reserved espresso syrup and vanilla extract until well combined and smooth. Gently fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture until completely incorporated.
Brush tops of cupcakes evenly with the remaining coffee-Kahlua syrup; repeat until all syrup has been used. Allow cupcakes to completely absorb liquid. Place frosting into a pastry bag with large round tip. Generously pipe frosting on cupcakes. Dust with cocoa powder just before serving.