via I Made Dinner
* 1/2 cup (50 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
* 1 cup (240 ml) boiling hot water
* 1 1/3 cups (175 grams) all purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
* 1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
* 2 large eggs
* 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly butter, or line 16 muffin cups with paper liners.
In a small bowl stir until smooth the boiling hot water and the cocoa powder. Let cool to room temperature.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Then in the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat only until incorporated. Then add the cooled cocoa
mixture and stir until smooth.
Fill each muffin cup two-thirds full with batter and bake for about 16-20 minutes or until risen, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost with icing.
Italian Meringue Buttercream
* 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons white sugar
* 1/3 cup corn syrup
* 1/3 cup water
* 3 egg whites
* 2/3 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
* 1 cup shortening
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring just enough to dissolve the sugar. Heat to between 223 and 234 degrees F (106 to 112 degrees C), or until a small amount of syrup dripped from a spoon forms a soft thread. It should take 1 or 2 minutes.
2. When the sugar mixture has reached the thread stage, remove it from the heat and set aside. Whip the egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer. When the whites can hold a stiff peak, pour in the sugar syrup in a thin stream while continuing to whip at medium speed. Be careful not to pour too quickly, or it will all end up at the bottom of the bowl. When the syrup is incorporated, continue to mix for 10 more minutes to allow it to cool. The egg whites will be fluffy and glossy.
3. Add pieces of cold butter one at a time to the egg whites and continue to whip at medium or low speed. Then do the same with the shortening. The buttercream will break down and look curdled, but keep mixing and it will come back together in about 10 minutes. When it comes back around, mix in the vanilla. Store at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.