Saturday, February 13, 2010

Chocolate Mousse Cupcakes

Chocolate Mousse Cupcakes


I have a good friend that is a bonafide chocoholic ( I guess like most women are) and I was asking he what would be her dream cupcakes. Something rich, decadent and chock full of well chocolate
So I came up with a dark chocolate cupcake, filled with a dark chocolate mousse and topped with a dark chocolate italan meringue buttercream. These are TO DIE FOR yummy.  I do have recipes and will come back to post later. So for now pics. The cake recipe is from Warren Brown's book, Cakelove. It's his chocolate buttercake. I used dark chocolate cocoa for the regular cocoa powder in his recipe. The mousse is a non egg mousse and the frosting is my normal recipe with melted and cooled 70% cacao bittersweet chocolate added. 

Started off with dark brown liners - white just wouldn't do for the FULL chocolate effect

I actually took a pic of my mise en place. ha ha

Fresh out of the oven - smelled amazing

The yummy dark chocolate mousse - which got a LOT darker when chilled
Filled cupcakes. I used my bismark tip to fill. Easier with a mousse to fill with a pastry bag and tip than with my apple corer method

Frosted yumminess

And the middle. I normally cut in half to take the pic not this time. Notice teeth marks. ha ha

You can barely see the mousse filling. But its there and SO good.

Cupcake Recipe
From Warren Brown's Cake Love:
Yield: two 9-inch round cakes or 24 cupcakes



  • unbleached all-purpose flour, 7 ounces (1¼ cups + 2 tablespoons), or 7¼ ounces (1¼ cups + 3 tablespoons) at high altitude
  • unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 ounces (½ cup), or 21/8 ounces (½ cup + 1 tablespoon + ½ teaspoon) at high altitude
  • baking powder, 1½ teaspoons, or 1 teaspoon at high altitude
  • salt, 1 teaspoon


  • half and half, 1 cup, or 1 cup + 2½ tablespoons at high altitude
  • brandy, 2 tablespoons
  • vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon


  • unsalted butter, at room temperature, 6 ounces (1½ sticks)
  • extra-fine granulated sugar, 14 ounces (1¾ cup), or 13 ounces (1½ cups + 2 tablespoons) at high altitude
  • eggs (large), 4, or 5 at high altitude


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (conventional) or 335°F (convection). Set the rack in the middle of the oven. For cupcakes, set racks in the upper-middle and lower-middle positions.
2. Set out the ingredients and equipment:
Sift the flour directly into a bowl on a scale for accurate measuring.
Measure the other dry ingredients into a separate mixing bowl, add the flour, and whisk for 10 seconds to blend. Set aside.
Measure the liquid ingredients into a separate bowl and set aside.
Measure the butter and sugar into separate bowls and set aside.
Crack the eggs into a separate bowl and set aside.
3. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on the lowest speed for 3 to 5 minutes.
4. With the mixer still on the lowest speed, add the eggs one at a time, fully incorporating after each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl.
5. Add the dry ingredient mixture alternately with the liquid mixture in 3 to 5 additions each, beginning and ending with the dry mixture. Move swiftly through this step to avoid overworking the batter. Don’t wait for the dry or liquid mixtures to be fully incorporated before adding the next. This step should take a total of about 60 seconds.
6. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl all the way down. Don’t miss the clumps of ingredients hiding on the bottom of the bowl. Mix on medium speed for 15 to 20 seconds to develop the batter’s structure.
7. Prepare the pans. For 9-inch-round cakes, line the bottom of each pan with parchment; do not spray the sides. For cupcakes, lightly spray the pan with a nonstick spray to help release any overflowing crowns. Line the pan with paper liners.
8. For 9-inch-round cakes, deposit the batter in three separate areas of each pan and smooth out with the rubber spatula or an offset metal spatula, making sure the pans are two-thirds full. For cupcakes, use a 2-ounce, trigger-release, ice-cream scoop to deposit batter into the lined pans so they’re two-thirds full.
9. Follow the approximate bake times listed below.
ITEM: 9-inch rounds - at Sea Level, bake 28 minutes; at High Altitude, bake 35 minutes.
ITEM: cupcakes - at Sea Level, bake 22 minutes; at High Altitude, bake 20 minutes.
10. Once the top of the cake doesn’t jiggle in the center, test for doneness by inserting a bamboo skewer in the center of the cake. An even dark brown color should extend from the edge to the center, and the cake’s edges may pull away from the pan. When the skewer shows just a touch of crumbs or comes out clean, the cake is done. Remove the pan from the oven and place on a heat-resistant surface or wire rack.
11. For 9-inch-round cakes, cool to room temperature, 25 to 30 minutes, before removing from the pans. Use a small offset spatula to loosen each cake from the rim of the pan. Carefully invert each pan onto a flat surface and remove the layers. Remove the parchment from the bottom of each cake and wrap the cake tightly in plastic. Refrigerate the layers for up to 5 days before frosting. (See page 200 for more information on layering and assembling.)
12. For cupcakes, cool to room temperature, 25 to 30 minutes, before carefully lifting each cupcake from the pan. Proceed with frosting or store for later use.

Dark Chocolate Mousse Recipe:


  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Cocoa
  • 2 cups (1 pt.)cold whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Sprinkle gelatin over cold water in small bowl; let stand 2 minutes to soften. Add boiling water; stir until gelatin is completely dissolved and mixture is clear. Cool slightly.
  2. Combine sugar and cocoa in large bowl; add whipping cream and vanilla. Beat on medium speed of mixer, scraping bottom of bowl occasionally, until mixture is stiff. Pour in gelatin mixture; beat until well blended. Spoon into dessert dishes.
  3. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Garnish as desired. Store covered in refrigerator. 8 servings.

Chocolate Frosting Recipe:

Italian Meringue Buttercream Frosting
Yield: 4 to 5 cups (enough for one 9-inch-round three-layer cake or 24 cupcakes)


  • egg whites (large), 5
  • extra-fine granulated sugar, 10 ounces (1¼ cups) separated into 1 cup, 1/4 cup
  • cold water, ¼ cup
  • unsalted butter (at room temperature), 1 pound (4 sticks) ( make sure not too soft but out of fridge for 35-45 min)
  • ***Mix in from flavor variations list below****


1. Set out the ingredients and equipment.
Separate the egg whites into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the wire whip attachment.
Measure 1 cup sugar and the water into a 1-quart, heavy- bottomed saucepan. Gently stir to combine (I use the candy thermometer for this).
Measure the remaining ¼ cup sugar into a small bowl and set aside.
Cut the butter into tablespoon-sized pieces and set aside in a medium bowl.
2. To make the sugar syrup, place the candy thermometer in the saucepan and heat the mixture over medium-high heat. Partially cover with a lid to capture the evaporating water—this helps to moisten the sides of the saucepan to prevent sugar crystals from forming.
3. With the mixer on high speed, begin whipping the egg whites to stiff peaks. When the peaks are stiff, you have a meringue.
4. Keep the mixer running and pour the ¼ cup of sugar into the meringue, and keep whipping
5. Raise the heat under the sugar syrup to bring the syrup to 245°F, if it is not there already. When the syrup is at 245°F, remove the thermometer and slowly pour the syrup into the meringue.
6. After 1 to 2 minutes reduce the mixer speed to medium-high for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the meringue is cooled. Add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time. Increase the mixer speed to high for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the butter is fully incorporated.

Flavor Variations:
The following flavorings can be added to the base recipe for Italian Meringue Buttercream:
Vanilla: 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
***Chocolate: 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled***
Rum: 2 to 4 tablespoons (to taste) dark rum
Amaretto: 2 to 4 tablespoons (to taste) amaretto
Raspberry: 1/4 to 1/2 cup raspberry puree ( same with strawberry)
Lemon: 2 tablespoons limoncello
Orange: 1 teaspoon orange oil
Lime: 1 teaspoon lime oil


EQUIPMENT: standing mixer, 1-quart heavy-bottom saucepan, candy thermometer

My notes : if the mixture gets soupy once the butter is added thats NORMAL. Just keep that whip going on HIGH and it will come together. I promise. I have had troubles with Swiss Meringue Buttercream having it never come together but this I promise you it will. You will hear a change in the sound once it comes together

Also leave at room temp IF you are using the same day. Otherwise put in an airtight container and pop in fridge until ready to use. Thaw at room temp for 30-40 min and whip again for 5 min on LOW speed.
This frosting tastes best at room temp. Its creamy, buttery and not overly sweet like some powdered sugar based frostings can be. But straight out of the fridge it tastes well more like butter. Hey some of you might not have the patience to wait the 30 min for frosting taste perfection. I know I haven't been able to before.

Also this makes A LOT of frosting enough to pipe giant 1M swirls on cupcakes with some leftover. I would say its enough for 40 cupcakes not 24. 

Any questions feel free to post! I am more than happy to help out!


    1. Those look delicious! I love chocolate!
      The teeth marks are awesome too!

    2. these look awsome! can you share the recipe for the cupcakes and mousse?

    3. These look you think I could substitute Kahlua for the brandy--would that work?

    4. These are awesome!! They take time but are worth every minute! The frosting is delicious! Thanks for sharing!