Saturday, March 8, 2014

Mochaccino Cupcakes

I have made many a cupcake in the years past on my blog and most of them had some type of "extra" to them.  When it comes to a cupcake, sometimes it is all about the extras.  No matter if it is fruit topped, caramel filled or split cake batter flavors, cupcakes are always welcomed in a crowd of people.  More fancy than cookies and easy to serve.

These particular cupcakes are a coffee chocolate combination.  The extra in this recipe is the chunks of dark chocolate cooked inside the cupcake.  It is the high quality chocolate that really made these extra special.  After baking and cooling, the big chocolate chunks remained just as solid as they were before baking so the texture contrast is noticed first and then the flavor second.  Also the dab of buttercream on top and the rolled fudge filled wafers made for a nice presentation as well as a great way to compliment the flavor of the coffee chocolate cupcake.  Also, left plain and slightly warmed with a cup of coffee suits my taste as well.

This recipe makes about 30 cupcakes, which is plenty for a crowd.  The people that enjoyed these never missed the few I held back for myself! I found this recipe in a special interest publication on cupcakes dated 2012 from Better Homes and Gardens. 

Mochaccino Cupcakes
adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

1/2 cup strong brewed coffee (cooled)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
3 eggs (room temp)
3/4 cup butter (room temp)
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2- 4 oz chocolate bars chopped ( semisweet or bittersweet)

6 tbs cooled, brewed coffee
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup butter (room temp)
4 cups powdered sugar
30 cream filled wafers (I used fudge filled Pirouettes from Pepperidge Farms
cocoa or cinnamon (for dusting the frosting)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the top edge of 30 cavities of standard size muffin tins and line with cupcake papers.  In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cocoa.  Then, in a separate small bowl, mix together coffee and milk.  Set both bowls aside.

Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium high speed until creamy.  This should take about 3 minutes.  Then add the sugar and beat mixture on medium high for 4 minutes, taking time to scrape down the bowl occasionally.  Continue to beat and add the eggs, one at a time.  Beat for about 30 seconds after each egg is added. Mix in the vanilla extract.

Then fold in 1/3 of the sifted ingredients.  Add 1/2 of the coffee milk mixture and blend until smooth.  Fold in the 1/2 of the remaining dry mixture and stir in the rest of the wet ingredients. Blend in the remaining sifted ingredients. Once no dry streaks remain, stir in the chocolate chunks.

Using a spoon or small scoop, fill each of the 30 paper lined cavities with the batter.  Each cavity should be about 3/4 full.  Smooth the tops of the batter and place in oven for about 18 minutes to bake, rotating pans at the halfway mark.  Cupcakes are done when tester comes out clean and tops are springy. 

Remove pans and let cupcakes rest in pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to completely cool.

To make frosting, beat butter in bowl of a stand mixer for about 2 minutes on high speed.  Once nice and creamy, turn mixer down to medium and slowly pour in 1 cup of powdered sugar.  Beat for another 2 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl after 1 minute.  Add 3 tbs of brewed coffee and the 
vanilla extract.  Mix until all is blended well.  Then add the rest of the powdered sugar in 1/2 cup increments, beating on medium high.  Scrape down sides of bowl periodically during this process.  Should the end result be too thick, add some more brewed coffee until desired consistency is met.

Pipe a swirl or star of frosting in the center of each of the cooled cupcakes, leaving about 1/4 to a 1/2 inch uncovered along the edge.  Then sprinkle the frosting with cinnamon or cocoa.  Lastly, stick a cream wafer in the cupcake at a 45 degree angle.

Tips and Notes:
1. The cream wafer will turn eventually turn soggy if left in the cupcake at room temperature. You can refrigerate to prevent that, but the cupcake itself will dry out in the refrigerator.  The best thing to do is insert the wafer just prior to serving.
2. If you are not a big fan of buttercream, simple sweetened whipped cream with stabilizer does quite nicely as well.
                             ** LAST YEAR: Rasberry Cream Cheese Braid**