Recipe Write Up: Coffee Cupcakes

Recall how last week I mentioned that I was taking a cake decorating class. Well, for my most recent class, we were instructed to bring in six cupcakes so we could decorate them. They either could be baked or purchased at a supermarket so long as they were regular size, flavor certainly didn’t really matter. Considering how well received my cake from a previous class was, I was understandably hesitant to tell my parents. By the way, Mr. Cake has officially be evicted from our fridge and now resides at the top of some trash heap. Remarkably, my mom took the news well. But then, she threw me a curve ball. Instead of buying my cupcakes, she insisted I bake mine from scratch. “After all”, she said nonchalantly, “cupcakes are your specialty.” Just a few days before she was lamenting about the limited space in our fridge and the fact that neither she or my dad really eat baked goods. Yet, here she is challenging me to make something she knows I can’t resist. Talk about mixed signals

She isn’t wrong though, cupcakes are indeed my favorite thing to make. They can be simplistic or complex. Truly, with a cupcake, the possibilities are relatively endless. And, as always, every time an occasion arises that calls for cupcakes, I always strive to make something new, to challenge my baking skills. After going through a few of the food blogs that I read religiously occasionally, I finally settled on one. Coffee flavored cupcakes with a beautiful vanilla butter cream frosting. Combined together, the taste would be something reminiscent of a vanilla latte. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t be getting the full latte effect. Confession time: I leave out the frosting when I bake cupcakes at home. Why? Well, let’s just call it the parent factor. As I learned years ago, none of my parents really like frosting and when frosted, you are basically giving your cupcakes an expiration date. Freezing them really isn’t an option. Trust me, if it wasn’t for the parent factor, I’d be making frosting whenever I could. However, even without the vanilla butter cream, these cupcakes tasted fine, especially when eaten while drinking my favorite tea, vanilla chai. PicsArt_1371485867733

Then again, I never doubted the taste; I kind of helped myself to the batter left in the bowl. Ok, I helped my self to a  lot of the batter that was left in the bowl. Since I don’t actually drink any kind of caffeinated beverages (with the exception of the occasional mocha and latte), I am, according to my dad, constantly caffeine deficient. Since the batter has both espresso powder and brewed coffee in it, my normally yawning and exhaustive self suddenly was moving like the Energizer Bunny.

Oh, and ironies of ironies. We never got to the actual decorating part in my cake decorating class. We ran out of time. At the end of the two hour class, all I had to show for my hard work was one frosted cupcake out of the six I brought. In all honesty, I think it’s better this way. I know my mom wouldn’t have been happy if I had brought back six fully decorated cupcakes. It doesn’t matter anyway. Next week is my final class and I HAVE to either fully decorate a cake or cupcakes. Let’s see how my mom tries to get around this one.

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Coffee Cupcakes

Adapted from a recipe found on annies-eats.com

Makes about 18 cupcakes

¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. espresso powder
½ cup strong brewed coffee
¼ cup buttermilk
2 tbsp. additional buttermilk

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar.  Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Blend in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and espresso powder.  Whisk to blend.  In a liquid measuring cup, combine the coffee and buttermilk.  With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients alternating with the liquids, mixing each addition just until incorporated and beginning and ending with the dry ingredients

    Trying to improve my photo skills!

    I’m making an active effort to improve my photography skills. My day’s of snapping pics my with phone are OVER

  2. Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about ¾ full.  Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

*Next time I’m going to put chocolate chips in the batter so I can have a mocha cupcake. Mhmmm, I love me a good mocha.

Before I sign off I just want to say that History of Cookbooks will be back soon with another installment! Sorry for the wait, but life has been a bit distracting lately.

Till next time,

Litbaker

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Labour of Love

Labour of Love

They should attach a warning label to the sign up sheet that reads “Warning, you will be eating in class, a lot”. I had to resist the temptation of running my fingers through the icing.

Despite being surrounded by all things yummy, the class is going really well. The image above might not be the most beautiful thing on the planet but hey, not bad for a first timer! As for the class itself, its going very well. For just $20, which includes four classes and a decorating kit, you can learn all the basics, like basic pipping flower decorations just to name a few things we’ve been learning. You really do get a lot of bang for your buck. I guess the only downside is the somewhat obnoxious amount of advertising for the Wilton Company. I mean, its kind of borderline brainwashing, especially when our wonderful instructor mentions the 50% off coupons Michael’s has a tendency of offering online. Whenever class is over I always find myself back in the Wilton aisle, wondering what else I need to walk out of the store with. Pipping gel, cake boards, maybe a cake tin in the shape of Mr. Spongebob Squarepants?

Oooh I want me some Spongebob cake!!!!

Oooh I want me some Spongebob cake!!!!

Why not? I’m sure I will have a use for it someday down the road.

Pushing aside the corporate whoring, thee class is a blast! At the moment it’s just me and my friend Leslie which means we can act like idiots as much as want without inspiring looks of bafflement from other classmates.  Sadly our days of carefree craziness are now a thing of the past. As of this week, our class has been combined with a large class on Sundays. Apparently our class of two was a financial money pit. What this means is now, Leslie and I have to actually try and act mature since we will be working with five other people. As if resisting the temptation of munching on our baked goods wasn’t hard enough 😛 Well, actually, maybe it would be better if I didn’t resist the urge to eat what we decorate. That cake pictured above is still sitting in my family’s fridge, absolutely untouched. My parents don’t want to eat it so there it sits. Reflecting back on it now, I should have left the cake at the store for the shop clerks to eat. At least then it wouldn’t be going to waste/taking up space in my small fridge.
On the plus side of things, we’re going to be deocrating cupcakes to look like flowers! What this means is that I get to make cupcakes (my favorite thing on the planet) and that my beloved cake is going to have to find a new home…the trash.

Till next time,

Litbaker