Now, I'm not a huge coffee fan. But I know people who must have that stuff. A cup in the morning and another cup in the afternoon. Well, to each his own, I suppose but that doesn't stop me from loving the smell of coffee. It's just so... comforting. And what I definitely like is a touch of coffee with any chocolatey dessert. It just adds that extra oomph! You know? :D Anyway. When I saw these adorable cupcakes, I thought they would be perfect for a family occasion (apologies, this is a very very backdated post). So here we go!
What you need:
150g butter, room temperature
1 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
2 shots (60 mL) espresso
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon dutch-process cocoa powder
For the espresso syrup:
3 shots (90 mL espresso)
1/4 cup sugar
For the vanilla buttercream:
100g butter, room temperature
2 cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk
extta cocoa powder for dusting and chocolate wafers, for decoration
What you do:
- Preheat oven to 180 C. Line a 12-cupcake pan with cupcake liners of your choice. I decided to go all fancy and use the stiff cardboard cupcake liners. They so cute!
- In a bowl, beat butter for a few minutes until it begins to pale. Add sugar and eggs, one at a time. Beat until fluffy.
- Add flour, espresso, milk, vanilla and cocoa powder and beat until combined and light.
- Divide mixture between your cupcake liners. They should be around 3/4 full. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are springy to touch.
- While the cupcakes are baking in a small saucepan combine your espresso and sugar. Allow to boil and leave on medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes without stirring until the mixture thickens to a syrup. Be wary of leaving it too long or it will become toffee.
- As soon as your cupcakes are removed from the oven lightly prick them a few times with a fork and spoon your espresso syrups over the tops. This will take a few scoops as you must allow the syrup to slowly seep into the cake before the next. Allow to cool.
- To prepare the vanilla buttercream beat the butter and icing sugar until just beginning to combine. Add the vanilla and slowly add milk until you reach the desired texture.
- To assemble: prepare a piping bag and carefully ice your cupcakes. There’s no need to apply too much as the cupcakes are already quite sweet; we want to create a nice base to replicate the froth of a cappuccino. Lightly dust with additional cocoa and adorn with wafers or any other relevant candies of your choosing.
Lookit! Are they not gorgeous?? But... okay, I have a confession. I had a few problems while making them. :(
First of all, the espresso syrup. I could not get hold of any "proper" espresso so I tried to make do with just a plain coffee syrup. Not being very experienced with making coffee, I just added as much coffee powder as I dared. So when I tried the first cupcake (with some trepidation, I might add) it was a bit too much coffee for me. Much too bitter (although sweet too, but the coffee flavour was definitely dominant). Definitely not the mocha flavour that I am used to!
After that, I was pretty depressed, thinking I had ruined a whole batch of cupcakes. And for a family occasion too! Where I had to serve them, there was no other way to get rid of them. So serve them I must.
But, in a delightful surprise, people actually liked them! Correction, coffee loving people loved them. It's basically coffee in dessert form. Phew! Watch out for the children though. Although this looks like a kid-friendly dessert what with the chocolate wafer and vanilla icing, this is definitely one for the adults. Don't touch if you're not a coffee fan. :P
So sadly, I can't tell you that I loved this recipe. What I can tell you though, is that other people loved it. And usually, that's more than good enough. :)
Quote of the day: No one can understand the truth until he drinks of coffee's frothy goodness.