The weather is frightful….the cupcakes are delightful

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Announced by all the trumpets of the sky, arrives the snow

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Right now, most of the midwest is experiencing snow and frigid temperatures – even colder than usual for this time of year.  Here in Colorado we have had similar weather, although not quite as cold.  Call me crazy, but I love it!  I adore snuggling around a warm fire with a good book or a great movie….popcorn, anyone?  Or perhaps another cold weather libation: coffee – hot and flavorful with just the right amount of cream.  Add a cupcake to that and, oh boy, heaven!!  Since the weather outside is frightful..sorry, I couldn’t resist…and a trip to Starbucks would require that I leave my warm and cozy home, a home-brewed cup of coffee and a mocha cupcake would be perfect.  What a coincidence…the next cupcake in my Martha Stewart quest is a Mocha cupcake.  As I am sure you all know, mocha is a combination of chocolate and coffee, what could be better?

Let’s get started…first, assemble the ingredients:

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Whisk together cake flour and Dutch-process cocoa then cream butter until smooth and light:photo 4 (6)

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To the creamed butter add brown sugar and eggs. Beat until fluffy and then add the vanilla, baking soda and salt. Beat this mixture thoroughly.photo 5 (6)

At this point add the flour alternately with the sour cream until just combined.  Mix together brewed espresso and espresso powder and add to batter and beat until smooth.

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The batter was luscious; I had high hopes of successful cupcakes.

Here they are before and after baking:photo 5

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I was a little disappointed in the lack of aromas coming from the oven.  I still had high hopes, though

When the cupcakes were cool, I prepared the recommended frosting: Seven-Minute Frosting.  This is similar to an Italian meringue frosting but without the butter.  It is pillowy (is that a word??) and not unlike a soft and creamy marshmallow topping…in a word, scrumptious!

To make the frosting I combined granulated sugar, corn syrup and water in a small saucepan.  This syrupy mixture was cooked until it reached 230 degrees on a candy thermometer.photo 4 (5)

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While the syrup is cooking, I whisked egg whites until soft peaks formed and then added granulated sugar.  When the syrup was ready, I poured it carefully into the egg whites and beat it for seven minutes.  Finally, I added pure coffee extract. Voila!  Frosting perfection.  It kind of reminded me of mounds of snow…how appropriate given our current weather.

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Here are the cupcakes after frosting was added:photo 5 (3)

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My husband and I both tasted the cupcakes and we agreed: Okay, but not great.  The coffee flavor completely overpowered the chocolate flavor…it was a coffee cupcake not a mocha cupcake.  Perhaps more chocolate is needed or maybe a combination of cocoa and bittersweet chocolate.  Hmmmm….disappointed but I will hopefully come back to this one later and tweak it a bit.

photo 3 (4)Until next time..keep warm, drink some coffee and eat some cupcakes.  Make delicious memories!

Happy New Year!

Stay tuned,

Sweet Joan

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2 thoughts on “The weather is frightful….the cupcakes are delightful

  1. Shame on that coffee for overpowering the chocolate!!! That should NEVER happen says the chocoholic I am!! Glad you’re enjoying the snow! We’re having a really gray day with drizzle and cold winds. Just like our 3 years in England. 🙂 Perfect for a good cuppa tea and scones…..if we weren’t both dieting!! Had to settle for just the tea…..so your cupcake post was NOT what I needed today! HaHaHa!! My steak and asparagus I’ve planned for supper is not inspiring me at this point!! Keep on baking Sweet Joan!! 🙂

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