The Second Weeki: Espresso Cupcakes

1/2 cup soft unslated butter
1/2 cp dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup self-rising cake flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 tablespoon espresso coffee powder
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
1-2 tablespoons milk

11 ounces bittersweet chocolate
scant 1/4 cup unslated butter
2 teaspoons instant espress coffee powder

12-cup muffin pan with paper baking cups

Preheate the oven to 400 degrees

Pulse the butter and sugar in a food processor, then add the eggs, pulsing again. Tip in the flour, cocoa, and coffee powder, and process until you have a smooth batter. Finally, add the chocolate, and thin the batter with the milk. Pour into the muffin baking cups in their pan and cook for 15-20 min. A quick poke with a cake tester should let you know if they're sufficiently cooked. Let the cakes cool out of the oven in the pan for a few minutes, then take them out to cool completely on a rack.

While they're cooling, get on with the icing. Just put the chocolate, butter, and instant espresso powder in a large bowl and put it in the microwave till the chocolate's melted. Whisk together to combine, then lop off a slice from the top of each cupcake so that you've got perfectly flat surface. Spread the icing over this surface, until you've got 12 dark chocolate cupcakes doing their best to look like espressi. If you want, stud the center of each with a chocolate-covered coffee bean.

Makes 12.

From "How to Be a Domestic Goddess" by Nigella Lawson

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