Chocolate cloud mini cupcakes with mocha frosting

A light chocolate dessert … sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? Chocolate desserts aren’t often light, but the description fits these chocolate mini cupcakes. With reduced butter and sugar, almost no flour and leavened by whipped egg whites, they combine an airy, delicate texture (think angel food cake) with a tantalizing chocolate taste. Refined and subtle, they’re not cupcakes for a kids party; share them with adults who’ll appreciate their understated appeal.

If you want a frosting to contrast with the cake’s lightness, choose the mocha buttercream frosting in the photograph or a chocolate ganache; both add a lush richness. If you prefer a frosting that adds to their airiness, top them with a rosette of sweetened whipped cream and, perhaps, a single raspberry.

When beating the egg whites, be sure they’re free of any yolk and that the bowl is squeaky-clean. Fat of any kind (even residue on a washed bowl) will prevent the whites from whipping.

Vera Dawson is a high-elevation baking instructor and author of three high-altitude cookbooks (available at Garcia Street Books in Santa Fe). Contact her at veradawson1@gmail.com.

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