Preparation time 60 minutes (plus waiting time for the frosting to thicken) Bake time 10-15 minutes Makes 18 cupcakes
For the cupcakes
150 grams (5.3 ounces or 1⅓ sticks) butter, cubed
85 grams (3 ounces or ½ cup) chocolate, semi-sweet or dark, in pieces
85 grams (3 ounces or ¾ cup+2 tablespoons) almond flour
15 grams (2 tablespoons) unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
4 eggs, separated
150 grams (¾ cup) sugar
pinch of cream of tartar
(Optional) 1 tablespoon brewed coffee to enhance the chocolate flavor
For the fudgy frosting
60 milliliters (¼ cup) heavy cream
30 grams (2 tablespoons) sugar
110 grams (3.9 ounces or ⅔ cup) semisweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
pinch of salt
55 grams (1.9 ounces or ½ stick) butter, at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 175C (350F).
Line with cupcake liners (or alternatively generously butter) two muffin tins. It will be easier to take out the cupcakes if you use liners. Place the muffin tins on a baking tray and set aside.
Measure all the ingredients.
To make the cupcakes, place the butter and chocolate in a large bowl and melt over a bain-marie or pot of simmering water. Make sure that the mixture does not have direct contact with the flame or it will burn. When the mixture is melted halfway, remove from the heat and stir to finish melting the ingredients. Stir until smooth.
Stir in almond flour, cacao, salt, vanilla and then yolks into chocolate/butter mixtures. Make sure that the mixture is warm (not hot) or the yolks will cook and congeal. Add coffee, if using. Mix to incorporate. Set aside.
In a large (and clean!) bowl, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar until frothy or foamy. Gradually add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, and increase the speed. Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
Fold ¼ of the egg white mixture into chocolate/butter mixture to lighten the batter. Continue to fold the remaining egg white mixture into the chocolate/butter mixture until incorporated. There should not be any egg white streaks in the batter.
Immediately and gently spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin tins. Fill the muffin cups about ¾ full (about 2 spoons per cup).
Bake for 15-20 minutes. The cupcakes will rise as they bake and then fall as they cool. Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting them.
To make the frosting, heat the cream and sugar in a medium saucepan until bubbles form around the edges of the pan, whisking continuously. Place chocolate and salt in a bowl and pour the hot cream over it. Let stand for 1-2 minutes and then stir the mixture together until smooth and homogenous. Add the butter and whisk until smooth. Set aside, stirring occasionally, for about an hour to allow the mixture to thicken to a spreadable consistency.
To decorate, place the cupcakes on a serving platter and pipe or dollop a small spoonful of frosting on the top of each cake. Don’t use too much frosting as you don’t want to overwhelm the delicate texture of the cupcakes and the frosting is very rich. The recipe is also meant to make a small amount of frosting.
Serve immediately. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving again.