Sunday, September 18, 2011

Mocha Cupcakes

We already covered how I feel about coffee when I made these tiramisu cupcakes. I suppose however, that there is a difference between coffee and espresso, but I couldn't tell you what that is and I don't feel like doing my typical Google research to find out. I'm just going to plead ignorance and move ahead to baking mocha cupcakes (the recipe on was not the same one from the book... sorry!). First order of business, get all the ingredients. The 2 most glaring items that I didn't have in my pantry, and I thought might require some looking into were espresso powder for the cupcakes themselves, and coffee extract for the frosting (which search I will detail later).

I assumed I would be able to get espresso powder in the grocery store and I was right. See, assuming doesn't always make an ass out of you and me like they say. Anyway, there were a few different kinds of espresso powder at the store and I had no idea which one I should purchase. Bobby had come with me on this particular shopping trip so I consulted with him and after some discussion I did what I always do, opt for the cheapest one. I'm saving for a wedding you know! And, I'm also frugal (sounds better than cheap). In reality, I'm not going to spend $12 for a canister of espresso powder that I'll probably never use again when I can spend $3 on one. I feel a lot less guilty about wasting $3 than $12 because as I already mentioned, I'm saving for a wedding!

For 2 weeks now I have read through the entire recipe before I started baking. Kudos to me! See, I'm learning. I also remembered to leave out the eggs before I went to work this morning so they would be at room temperature. I didn't however remember to leave out the sour cream so it would also be at room temperature. There are only so many things I can remember after waking up at 4:50am, and to leave out sour cream just isn't one of them.

First thing I did was brew the espresso in my "espresso machine" or what regular people like myself call a coffee maker. This may or may not be the correct way to make espresso, I truthfully have no idea, but I can tell you I most certainly was not going to be buying an "espresso machine" for these cupcakes. I don't drink espresso and I have more than enough kitchen appliances already. While my espresso was brewing I started working on the rest of the recipe giving the espresso some time to cool, though Martha never did say it was necessary. After mixing all the ingredients together I had to add the espresso-espresso powder mixture to the rest of the batter. I was thinking that the espresso powder should dissolve into the espresso, but it didn't, and I poured it into the batter. Mixing the espresso-espresso powder mixture into the batter made quite a mess. There was some minor batter spray that spread across the kitchen, as well as my white tank top. I have at least 3 aprons. You'd think I'd wear one of them... you'd think wrong. I was worried the batter was going to be too watery, but after a good dose of mixing it was okay. I baked the cupcakes for 22 minutes, turning them once halfway through the baking time.

After I had taken a break from baking the cupcakes I started working on the coffee version of the seven-minute frosting that was to accompany them. I have made this frosting before with these coconut cupcakes but I didn't like it with the coconut extract... way too coconutty for me. I was worried that I would have the same opinion of this frosting as well. But, before I could even worry about how the frosting would taste, I had to find the coffee extract to make it. I had a suspicion that Stop and Shop wouldn't have coffee extract. They do have several different extracts that I didn't expect them to have, but sadly, coffee was not one of them. I figured this would happen and was prepared to search online and order myself some coffee extract, which is precisely what I did. I did a simple Google search for coffee extract and picked the website that had the cheapest one. Of course I also Googled myself a coupon code so I could save a couple bucks. Just call me Miss Frugal!

Bobby and I went away for a couple days (to look at wedding venues) and when we got back my coffee extract was happily waiting for me on the front porch. The fact that we were away and doing fun things like looking at wedding venues made the wait that much easier. I digress. So, with the coffee extract in hand and after some rest from baking earlier in the day I could start and finish the coffee seven-minute frosting. Like last time, making this frosting was a bit of a process and yielded way more frosting than needed for the amount of cupcakes I got from the recipe (22). But, the most surprising thing of all was that I didn't hate it, even with the coffee extract. I thought for sure this was going to be a repeat of the coconut seven-minute frosting, but it wasn't. Meaning, I could actually eat the cupcakes once they were frosted. Hooray for me, not hooray for my waistline.