Sunday, January 17, 2010

super cute mocha cupcakes

about every 6 weeks at church we have a coffee shop night.
the real deal.
our back fellowship hall is transformed into a cozy little cafe with live music, featured art, treats and delicious coffee drinks.

its a lot of fun and a great setting to catch up with friends, new and old.
i usually contribute by being a barista for the night and baking a goodie for the dessert menu.

everything is free and all the tips we make go towards a missions based organization like water wells for africa or we buy a goat for a family in another country.
enjoyable and purposeful night!

i made this treat for one of our coffee shop nights about two months ago.
i have to say this lil mocha cupcake sort of blew my mind.
i admit i'm not much of a coffee drinker.
ok, ok...i actually NOT a coffee drinker at all.
i do like the occasional iced coffee during the summer,
but i'm a passion fruit green tea lover.
so, for me to say this is one of my all time favorite cuppy cakes...
well, that a huge compliment coming from me.

the cupcake is very delicate, moist and airy.
the whipped butter cream frosting is life CHANGING.
my jaw hit the floor when i tasted it for the first time.
its everything a good frosting should be and then some.

if there is a mocha lover in your life...make their whole YEAR and bake them a batch of these cutie cupcakes.

Mocha Cupcakes with Mocha Whipped Buttercream
yields: 18-22 2 oz. cupcakes
{print recipe}

1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup half & half
1/2 cup very strong brewed coffee, at room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temp, beaten

Preheat to 350°F. Line cupcake pan with liners. I used 2 oz. paper souffle cups because they are cute. No other reason.
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a measuring cup, combine the milk and brewed coffee.
In a stand mixer, using a flat beater on medium-high speed, beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
Add the egg and mix until combined.
Slowly add the flour mixture, alternating with the coffee mixture, ending with the flour mixture.
Fill cupcake liners a little less than 2/3 full.
If using 2 oz souffle cups, bake for about 12-14 minutes, 3 oz. bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out with a few small crumbs. Let cool completely before frosting cupcakes.

For Butter Cream:
6 teaspoons meringue powder
6 tablespoons warm water
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup butter, cut into 16 pieces, at room temp
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules (if you don't have instant, you can use 2-3 tablespoons of very, very strong brewed coffee, add it little by little until you get a strong enough mocha taste)
1/2 teaspoon water

Mix the coffee granules and 1/2 teaspoon of water together in small bowl and set aside.
In a large heatproof bowl or your stand mixer bowl combine the meringue powder, water and sugar. Place the bowl over low simmering water in a saucepan and whisk constantly until sugar is completely dissolved (160F). Remove from heat.

Using the whisk attachment on your stand mixer, whip mixture on high until it holds stiff peaks, about 6-7 minutes.

Switch to flat beater and add the salt. Add butter a few pieces at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in coffee mixture. Continue beating until butter cream is smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes.

Use a piping bag and a star tip to pipe frosting on to the cooled cupcakes.

To make the fun swirly garnish:
Melt 1/2 cup chocolate chips with a 1/2 tablespoon shortening in the microwave, mixing every 15 seconds until smooth.
Line a baking sheet with wax paper, prepare piping bag/parchment bag with melted chocolate and pipe your design.
Allow to chocolate designs to cool completely or place in the fridge for about 30 minutes until firm. Carefully peel up chocolate using a spatula (they may break, so make a lot) and place on your cupcake.

adapted from : i heart cuppy cakes

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