"I'm on a diet. I only eat cupcakes on days that ends in a Y."

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Mocha Cupcakes - Week 11

“Coffee makes it possible to get out of bed, but cupcakes makes it worthwhile."   Combine cupcakes and coffee and you have pure delight! 

If you know me, then you know I am a coffee addict.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE coffee, and I am fairly certain I need it almost like I need air.  (I can see my husband shudder as he reads the previous statement.  Insert his rant on my caffeine addiction here.)  This week's cupcake is a salute to my addiction.  This recipe is from the blog Life in a Peanut Shell.  

This cupcake creation is NOT overly sweet, but it is big on coffee taste.  If you are not much for coffee, this week will not be your favorite cupcake.  I think these are DELICOUS!!  I particularly enjoy  the light and fluffy whipped topping.  The whipped cream certainly makes the mocha!!!   If you'd prefer frosting on the sweeter side I suggest adding confectioners sugar to the whipped mocha ganache.

FRIENDLY WARNING - If you are like me and you taste as you go, caffiene/sugar buzz may directly co-inside with the making of these cupcakes.  Maybe my caffeine frenzy could be directly related to the fact that I had three cups of coffee prior to making these.

Chocolate Coffee Cupcake
(Recipe Adapted From Daniel Boulud)

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup instant coffee powder (I used nearly double this amount)
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter -- at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs

To make the chocolate-coffee cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin cups with paper liners.

Combine the milk, cocoa, coffee and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, constantly whisking, until the cocoa and coffee have dissolved. Let cool and pour into a liquid measure.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of a mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk mixture in three batches, ending with the liquid. Fill each muffin cup halfway with the batter. Bake 18 to 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and let cool completely on a wire rack. My cupcakes only baked for approx 16 minutes.  Watch these very closely because they go from being perfect to dry very quickly.  I got 20 cupcakes from the recipe.  

Espresso Buttercream  adapted from Life in a Peanut Shell

This is the frosting recipe I used to fill these cupcakes.  It is YUMMY!!!

1 cup butter, softened or at room temperature
3 cups confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
3-4 Tablespoons Starbucks Doubleshot Espresso & Cream, or until desired consistency

Cream butter, sugar, vanilla and salt until fluffy (Approimately three minutes.) Add Espresso until frosting reaches desired consistency.  This made more than enough frosting to fill the cupcakes.  You can probably half this recipe and still have extra frosting.  I choose to make the entire recipe and then enjoyed a spoonful or two.  :)  

 I topped the cupcakes with the suggested ganache and whip cream.  My adaptations of the recipes follow.  

Whipped Mocha Ganache adapted from Life in a Peanut Shell

1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup coffee beans -- crushed
8 ounces milk chocolate -- finely chopped 

Combine 1 cup of the heavy cream and coffee beans in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat, cover, and let infuse for 10 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean sauce-pan and bring back to a boil. Put the chocolate in a medium bowl and pour the hot cream over it, stirring slowly, until the ganache is smooth.  Let ganache cool to room temperature and then whip in a mixer until fluffy.  Spoon enough ganache over cupcakes.  

White Chocolate Whipped Cream adapted from Life in a Peanut Shell

8 ounces of white chocolate chopped
2 and 1/2 cups of heavy cream
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Put the white chocolate in a medium heat proof bowl. In a small sauce bring 1/2 cup of the cream to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let stand for 1-minute, then whisk until smooth. Let the white chocolate cream stand until cooled to room temperature.
In a chilled bowl with chilled beaters beat the remaining 2 cups of heavy cream and vanilla until softly whipped. Stir in the white chocolate cream and beat until fairly stiff. taking care not over beat, which would cause the ganache to separate.

This makes almost double the amount needed to frost 20 cupcakes, however it is also really good with strawberries.  Save the extra whip cream in the refrigerator and use it with strawberries a few days later.  If you choose to save this make sure to re-whip before serving!   

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