For the cake
1 1/4 cups cake flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup milk
1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 large eggs + 3 egg yolks, at room temp
1 cup sugar
For the coffee syrup
8 Tbsp strongly brewed coffee
1/4 cup sugar
For the frosting
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
Chocolate coffee beans, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 325. Line two muffin pans with paper liners (24 total). Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl and set aside. In a small microwave-safe bowl, add milk, butter, vanilla bean paste, and butter. Heat in 15 second intervals until butter is melted.
2. Whisk the eggs by hand over a simmering pot of water for 6 minutes, until warm. Then move mixer bowl to your stand mixer. Whisk mixture until pale, fluffy and thick enough to hold a ribbon on the surface for several seconds when the whisk is lifted.
3. Switch to the paddle attachment. With the mixer set on low, add flour mixture and slowly add the milk mixture, mixing until just combined. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned and a skewer comes out clean. Let sit in pan until just warm to the touch. Using a knife or fork, gently poke 4-5 holes in each cupcake (you want to give the syrup a way to travel down the cupcake but you don’t want to tear up the cupcake).
4. To make the coffee syrup: Mix coffee and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Using a silicone pastry brush, brush the tops of the cupcakes, letting the first round soak in completely before making another pass. Repeat until all of the syrup has been used.
5. Make the mascarpone frosting: With the whisk attachment, whip the cream on high until stiff peaks just form. Add the mascarpone, powdered sugar, and vanilla and whisk on medium-high for 1-2 minutes. Frost cupcakes when they have completely cooled. Garnish with a dusting of cocoa powder and chocolate coffee beans.
*Adapted from Martha Stewart Cupcakes
-- Becky, North Carolina, http://www.cakesbybecky.blogspot.com