Much of my professional and personal life includes hours on end scrolling through and reading stories online. You’d think I’d see tons of items that interest me, but it’s rare something captures my attention enough for me to click through it for a read.
It’s even more rare that I find something that really inspires me — especially into action.
Yet that is what happened when I saw this cappuccino meringue recipe from Confectionalism.
It stood out for two reasons: the espresso flavor and the ability to pipe them into different forms.
Now, I don’t straight up drink espresso or coffee, but I do love a good cappuccino mashup — mocha frappuccinos, anyone? So my thoughts naturally veered toward a coffee/chocolate pairing.
I also knew that I really wanted to make mini cupcakes with the meringues to adorn the top. In other words, the meringues offered an opportunity to decorate the cupcakes with something other than frosting.
What I ended up with was a vanilla cupcake (you can do chocolate but I didn’t want to go too rich) made with Nestle’s Bailey creamer, whipped ganache and an espresso meringue.
So basically heaven.
The great thing about this mashup is that it’s super easy to make. The meringues can be a little time-consuming, especially if you stick to mini cupcake size, but the rest is a cinch since I cheated on the cake recipe (you don’t have to use a box mix, I just did for expediency’s sake).
One note you’ll definitely want to keep in mind: The meringues will start to soften and kind of melt after sitting on the ganache for a while, so make sure to top them just before serving.
BAILEY’S CREAM CUPCAKES WITH WHIPPED GANACHE AND ESPRESSO MERINGUE
Prep time: 30. Cook time: 1-1.5 hours. Rest time: 2-4 hours.
Makes: 96 mini cupcakes, 125-plus meringues
White cake mix (plus oil, water, eggs or whatever yours calls for)
3/4 cup Nestle Bailey’s creamer
8 oz chocolate (I use Ghirardelli dark melting wafers)
8 oz heavy cream
Follow the recipe at Confectionalism
Note: Read through these carefully, as some ingredients and times will differ from what is provided on your cake box and the Confectionalism recipe. Also, this will take some time. I started by making the cake then the meringues and ganache. But do what works best for you. They’ll all need to be cool before you assemble.
For the most part, you are going to follow the directions on the box. But instead of using all water, you’ll want to sub in some of the Nestle Bailey’s creamer instead. I used 3/4 cup of that and then 1/2 water (for 1 1/4 cups total). So just subtract the difference. Before you pour the creamer in, though, whisk or mix it until it begins to bubble. You want it to become airy so the cake is less dense.
Be warned, however: The cupcakes will rise higher than normal, so fill your trays no more than half full. I’d aim closer to 1/3 full, but you can easily do a test to figure that out.
Since I made mini cupcakes, they took about 12 minutes to cook. But you can check with a toothpick or feel the tops for firmness. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Lower the oven to 200 degrees for the meringues.
Follow the Confectionalism recipe to the letter in creating the meringue batter. If you want mini cupcake sized meringues like I did, you will need an icing tip that produces about 1 inch round stars or whatever design you like.
After you pipe those out, the baking time will differ. The recipe calls for 45 minutes on each rotation but for this size, that is way too long. You’ll want to do about 15 minutes each rotation, then let them cool in the oven for the two hours.
Measure chocolate into a heat-resistant bowl. On the stove, bring the heavy cream in a medium saucepan to a boil. Immediately pour it over the chocolate. Let it rest for a couple of minutes, then whisk until all the chocolate dissolves. Refrigerate for a few hours until the mixture thickens some then beat on high until soft peaks form.
Pipe the ganache onto the center of the cupcakes, maybe a teaspoon or so for each. Top with the meringues when you are nearly ready to serve, pushing down slightly so the ganache spreads out over the cupcake.