Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mocha Cupcakes

When I first decided to begin blogging, I asked around to see what people wanted me to cook or bake. One of my friends suggested a cappuccino cupcake, which I have now turned into a mocha cupcake. Similar concept, just more of a chocolate flavor. To begin this experiment, I used a recipe recommended to me by my sister's friend a couple months ago. The original recipe is Martha Stewart's One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcake (note: this is not the same recipe she has on her website). I added some instant coffee to the recipe and made up a mocha buttercream frosting to go on top. Had I not been warned, I would have been convinced I was missing an ingredient. The batter is extremely runny, making it a pain in the butt to pour into the cupcake liners. Do not overfill them or they will expand too much and have those kinda ugly, huge, and blob-like cupcake tops. But have faith, within 10 minutes of baking, these cupcakes puff up and look delicious.

This cupcake is light, airy, and moist. I have always avoided any baking recipe that requires cocoa powder, but this one was amazing. And don't tell Martha, but my cocoa powder was most definitely not dutch-process. There's only one kind of cocoa powder in my local grocery store: Nestle baking cocoa powder. It still turned out prefect. Give these cupcakes a try, and if you want them to be plain chocolate cupcakes, just omit the instant coffee. Everything else is the same, even the warm water. I'm not sure why they get inverted and re-inverted in the cooling directions (possibly the get them out? no clue, but tell me the reasoning if you know it). Other than that, this recipe is easy, straightforward and at this point I think it's foolproof. I forgot to add sugar to the recipe until I tasted the batter and realized it still had that bitter cocoa powder flavor. I threw it in at the end and these still worked out great. And I don't have a mixer either, just used a whisk and bowl. Oh and if you've ever eaten the Belwood Bakery (in Los Angeles) cappuccino muffins, the batter tastes just like them.

Adapted from Martha Stewart (actual cookbook unknown)
Make 24 to 30 cupcakes
Prep time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 20-25 minutes

2 1/2 cup all-purpose/plain flour
1 1/4 cups cocoa powder (dutch-process, if you have it)
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/3 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 whole eggs, plus 1 yolk
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup canola/vegetable oil, plus 2 tablespoons
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups warm water
4 tablespoons instant coffee powder

Preheat oven to 175°C/350°F. Line muffin pans with cupcake lines. In the bowl of an electric mixer, or just a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. If using an electric mixer, fit with the paddle attachment, otherwise, just use a whisk. Dissolve the coffee in the warm water. Add the eggs and yolk, milk, oil, vanilla and coffee mixture to the dry ingredients. Beat on low speed until combined and smooth, about 3 minutes. Or, whisk by hand until smooth and combined. Scrape down the sides of your bowl as needed.

Pour the batter into muffin tins, filling each about 2/3 full. Use a ladle or large spoon if this step is making more of a mess than anything else. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, rotating half way through, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Mine were prefect at 22 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack and cool slightly. Invert cupcakes onto a wire rack, then re-invert and let cool completely, right side up.

Mocha Frosting:
1 stick/114 grams of butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 tablespoon instant coffee
1/8 cup warm water

Dissolve coffee in water. Sift powdered sugar. Combine butter, sugar, sour cream, cocoa powder, and 1 tablespoon of coffee mixture in a food processor, hand mixer, or similar. Mix until frosting is thick and smooth. Feel free to adjust the flavor to you liking. This will thicken in the fridge as well. Double this recipe if you want heavily frosted cupcakes.

Frost your cupcakes and decorate with coffee beans, shaved chocolate, powdered sugar or anything you like.

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1 comment:

  1. yum. can you ship me some of these?