1 tsp (5ml) salt
1 tsp (5ml) baking powder
2 tsp (10ml) bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
¾ cup (60g) unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups (260g) sugar
1 cup (250ml) vegetable oil
1 cup (250ml) strong coffee
1 cup (250ml) Sambuca
2 large eggs
1 tsp (5ml) vanilla essence
1 cup (225g) chopped dark chocolate
¾ cup (187.5ml) heavy cream
2tbs (30ml) butter
2tbs (30ml) Kahlua
2tbs (30ml) Sambuca
2 chocolate-covered coffee beans per cupcake
Cake glitter dust
Preheat oven to 180°C and line 24/48 cupcake moulds or muffin tins with paper liners.
Sift all dry ingredients together. Add oil, coffee and Sambuca and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Scrape the bottom of the mixing bowl with a spatula to make sure all ingredients are combined. Add eggs and vanilla essence and beat for 2 more minutes.
Fill liners to halfway. Bake for 17-20 minutes for regular cupcakes or 12-15 minutes for mini-cupcakes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before turning out onto a rack.
To make the ganache, place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream in a saucepan until just boiling and pour over the chocolate. Cover and allow to stand for 2 minutes for the chocolate to soften. Uncover and stir with a whisk until smooth and silky. Stir in butter until fully combined and then add the Kahlua and Sambuca and stir well.
The ganache will thicken as it cools. Dip the mini-cupcakes in the slightly cooled ganache and allow to set completely on a wire rack or pour over the top of regular cupcakes and allow to set on a wire rack. Top with 2 chocolate covered espresso beans and dust with a little cake glitter.
Tip: Try a pinch of paprika in the cake batter for an extra chilli zing.