Saturday, 28 August 2010

Mocha Cupcakes with Coffee Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate? Yup.
Coffee? Yup.
Cupcake? Yup.
Frosting? Yup.

Well, they just had to be tried really, didn't they?!

They combine two of my favourite flavours, and looked so beautiful I couldn't resist giving them a go myself.
I have to say, I'm very very glad I did. The recipe needed a little tweaking as I didn't have access to all of the ingredients, but the end result was superb. A very light-textured, rich flavoured little cake, the coffee really bringing out the flavour of the chocolate while lurking subtly in the background. And then the frosting gets you... wow!!! A flavour sensation, believe me!

So without further ado, the recipe:

Mocha Cupcakes with Coffee Buttercream Frosting (makes 12, though I seemed to get 18 out of the mix.)
  • 170g plain flour
  • 45g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  • 120ml milk
  • 120ml strong-brewed coffee, left to cool to room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 115g butter, at room temperature
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 110g light brown soft sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 115g dark chocolate chips (or dark chocolate chopped into little chunks)
for the frosting:
  • 115g soft butter
  • 160g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder
  • 2 tsp decent instant coffee (I used Kenco Smooth, the flavour was very good)
Preheat oven to 175C and line a 12-hole cupcake or muffin tin with paper cases

In a cup, combine the milk, coffee and vanilla. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder & bicarb into a bowl.

In a large bowl, use an electric hand whisk to combine the butter & both sugars until light and fluffy. This should take around 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and beat until well combined.

Add around a quarter of the flour, followed by about a third of the coffee mixture, and lightly combine. Repeat this step, ending with a flour addition, until all ingredients are in. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Distribute evenly into the cupcake cases. Here the recipe says fill them 2 thirds but I filled them to the top and still had mix left over! They didn't flood over when baked, so I think I just need bigger cases. Bake the cupcakes for around 17-20 minutes, until they spring back nicely when lightly touched.

Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
This is another breed of cupcake that doesn't rise overly much, giving a nice base for piling on the frosting.

To make the frosting:

Mix the instant coffee into the vanilla extract in a ramekin until dissolved (it will dissolve, trust me!)

Using an electric hand whisk (or, if you have it, the whisk attachment on a food processor) to whip the butter until really light and fluffy. This should take around 5 minutes. Whisk in the icing sugar on a low speed, a little at a time, fully incorporating each addition before adding more. Once it's all in, speed up the whisk and keep going until it's nice and fluffy.

Add in the coffee mix and whisk until it's fully combined. It's now ready to use!
I didn't have time to get the piping syringe out, so I took the lazy option and "artfully spread" the frosting on instead. I then dusted each one liberally with cocoa powder, for that coffee-shop cappuccino look!

Doesn't matter, it's the taste that counts right? ;)

Becka xx
I found these little darlings over on my favourite cakey-blog, Browneyed Baker. (Michelle's cupcake-icing skills, not to mention her photography skills, really make mine look pathetic. But I'm working on it... honest!)

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