I think I have found the staircase to cupcake heaven! And I am truly becoming a crazy cupcake lady as this recipe is my own concoction (based upon a variety of ideas). They don't look like much, but they are jam packed with flavor! I'm calling them Kahlua Mocha cupcakes with Dulce de Leche. All the things that I love -- chocolate, coffee, alcohol (Kahlua), and dulce de leche (which I have a love affair with) in one perfect sized bite (they're mini cupcakes). I don't know what else to say except that when I gave one to Leila, she scarfed it down and asked for another one. When I said no, she actually began to cry! And when she woke up from her nap, the first thing she asked was "Mommy, can I have a cupcake?" That's my girl :-)
1 box devil’s food cake mix
1/3 c. Kahlua
1/3 c. water mixed with 4 tbsp. instant espresso coffee granules
2/3 c. milk
3 eggs, separated
½ tbsp. vanilla extract
½ c. vegetable oil or melted butter, cooled
1 (14-ounce) can dulce de leche (Super Walmart carries it or you can make your own )
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
½ c. powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.
In large bowl, beat the egg yolks. Gradually add in the cake mix, Kahlua, coffee water, milk and vegetable oil, alternating between the wet and dry ingredients.
With clean beaters and a large bowl, beat the egg whites on high until stiff peaks form. With a rubber spatula, fold the meringue into the batter. Fill cupcake liners ¾ full and back for 20-25 minutes. Cool cupcakes in pan for 10 minutes before removing to cooling rack.
To make frosting, place egg yolks in a medium mixing bowl. Stir the sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in a small, heavy saucepan. Whisk in the water first, then the dulce de leche and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat. Gradually whisk the dulce de leche mixture into the 2 egg yolks. Stir in the vanilla. Strain through a wire mesh strainer into a small bowl and set aside to cool completely.
Beat the butter on high speed in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the cooled dulce de leche mixture. Beat in the powdered sugar until smooth and spreadable.
Frost and dust with cacao powder.
Makes 24 regular cupcakes, or 48 minis. Enjoy!