Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Mocha Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream

People can definitely surprise you...for the most part first impressions are just not even close to accurate. That's kind of a cool thing though, there are so many layers to all of us and sometimes it can take a while for us to reveal our true selves.  But there really is a lot going on with each of us and we don't all want all of our stuff out there.  Even I, who write about my life here, don't share everything here... I do love to talk about food though, and baked goods...dreaming about baked goods and food.  

For instance, I literally was dreaming up these cupcakes on my five hour drive back to DC from North Carolina.  Charles was driving and I was attempting to spout off ideas about flavors to Charles and he was like...yeah...about that.  My "sweets" dream ultimately came true and these cupcakes were seriously delicious.  Like worth every bit of the calories in the cupcake delicious.  So if you like coffee, chocolate or coffee ice cream...because well this frosting tastes like coffee ice should give these a try.  Enjoy!

Simple beauty can be found everywhere.

Jimmy makes the best Old Fashioneds in Phoenix.

A little chopping of the coffee careful the jump around.  

Then to the batter...I knew this batter was going be delicious because as the chocolate was added in it just somehow looked almost luscious.

In go the chocolate chunks and a little folding action.

From the top....

and then from the side.

Mocha Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream: (frosting recipe from Brown Eyed Baker)
*makes approximately 2 dozen cupcakes
9 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all purpose
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup strong coffee
1/2 cup chocolate chips, chopped

Espresso Buttercream:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder

1.  Brew 1 cup strong coffee; set aside to cool to room temperature.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard-size muffin tin with paper liners and spray only the bottoms with non-stick cooking spray.

3. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

4. Beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla extract, beat until combined.  Slowly add the flour mixture, alternating with the coffee, ending with the flour mixture to the butter-sugar.

5. Divide the batter evenly between the liners; I used my 2 inch cookie scoop. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting cupcakes.

6. To make the Frosting: Mix the espresso powder into the vanilla until dissolved; set aside.

7. Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping once to scrape the sides of the bowl. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the powdered sugar a little at a time, waiting until it is mostly incorporated before adding more. Once all of the powdered sugar has been added, scrape the sides of the bowl and increase the speed to medium-high and whip until fluffy, about a minute or two. Add the espresso and vanilla mixture and continue to mix at medium-high until it is completely incorporated, scraping the sides as necessary.

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