Friday, December 9, 2011

Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes

Coffee combos have been popping up everywhere in baked goods since the cold season has hit.  I was slated for another donation, so I was looking for something that had a little pizzaz rather than just a standard chocolate cupcake.

I had saved this recipe a few years ago, but it was originally posted in a blog back in 2007.  It has a nice blend of spices as well as a touch of chocolate and coffee.  Definitely packed with flavor and the cupcake texture is just right.  The only ingredient change I made was to sub espresso powder for the coffee extract.  The recipe below does not have that reflect any ingredient changes but I have switched around some of the steps which I feel makes things easier.

The special process with the baking soda on the cupcakes is a must, I made the mistake of sifting it in with the flour on the first batch and had poor results.  This recipe makes 1 dozen, but I made 4 batches so I am now quite familiar with the process!

Oh and those specks in the frosting is none other than coffee grinds.  So coffee lovers rejoice!  For those that are no so keen on the coffee, you can skip the syrup and coffee frosting.  Just use double the amount of the spice frosting.

Today, I am off to Central Market for some great produce and specialty food and ingredients for this holiday season!  While I have a list, I am sure there will be a few impulse buys as well.  While it is a long drive, the visit has always been well worth it.

Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes
adapted from Cupcake Project 

Ingredients/Simple Syrup
2/3 cup water
1 tsp coffee extract
2/3 cup of sugar

Mix sugar and water in a saucepan and then place over medium high heat.  Stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved and mixture comes to a boil.  Remove from heat and stir in extract.  Let cool.

1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/4 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbs Dutch cocoa
1 1/4 cup flour
1 egg yolk
1 egg
5 tbs unsalted butter, room temp
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease top edges of muffin cavities of a 12 cup muffin pan and line with paper liners.

In a medium size bowl, sift together the first 7 ingredients and set aside.  In another bowl, beat together the sugar and the butter until light and fluffy.  This should take about 2 minutes.  Then beat in the egg yolk, egg and molasses until evenly distributed.

Fold the sifted flour mixture into the batter, making sure no dry streaks remain.  Take out a small microwavable bowl and add milk.  Heat in microwave about 30 seconds.  Sprinkle the baking soda into the milk and let foam up and then stir once and pour into batter.  Blend milk mixture into the batter until smooth.

Fill the 12 muffin cavities evenly with the batter.  They should be about 3/4 full.  Place muffin tin in oven and bake until tester comes out clean.  Mine were done in exactly 20 minutes.

Remove tin from oven and let cool for 2 minutes and transfer cupcakes to rack to finish cooling.  While they are cooling, you can start on your frosting.

Ingredients/Coffee Frosting

1/2 cup mascarpone
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tsp of coffee extract
2 tbs coffee grinds
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

With a mixer on high speed, beat cream until it reaches a soft peak consistency.  Then fold in the mascarpone with a wooden spoon. Add the coffee grinds and extract, stirring so all is evenly distributed.  Sift 1/2 cups of powdered sugar into cream mixture and beat on low speed for 30 seconds.  Repeat process 2 more times until powdered sugar is mixed into frosting.  Cover and place in fridge while you prepare other frosting.

Ingredients/Spice Frosting
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp Dutch cocoa
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup marscapone
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Regarding the measurements for the first five ingredients, the instructions say to use only a total of 2 teaspoons of the whole mix..  Instead of wasting anything, I halved the measurements on those 5 and had 2 1/2 teaspoons total and used it all.  You can decide which and then blend those first five ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

Whip the cream and fold in the mascarpone as stated in the first frosting recipe.  Stir in 2 or 2 1/2 teaspoons of the spice mix.  Sift in 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar and beat on low speed for 30 seconds.  Continue with the same process until all the powdered sugar is blended.  Cover and place in fridge.


Using a wooden skewer, poke holes in the top of each of the cupcake and ladle about 2 teaspoons of the syrup on top.  Let soak in for about 15 minutes.

Now, if you have a special piping bag that allows for duo frosting, fill as instructed with both frostings.  If you do not, follow the instructions below. While the method below is not perfect, it can help in making the two separate frostings flow together evenly. 

Cut a small corner out of a gallon freezer bag and place a large piping tip inside the bag and poke part of it through the hole.  Put the bag in a large cup, fold it over the top and lay the cup on its side..  Take out one of the bowls of frosting and spoon it all into the bottom side, being careful not to touch the opposite side.  Take out the other bowl of frosting and spoon the frosting into the bag and on top of the other.  Set cup upright and unfold top edges and squeeze icing down to tip.

Now your are ready to frost the cupcakes and enjoy!
                             **LAST YEAR: Red Velvet Cupcakes**