Coffee Cupcakes

It was a few months back when I thought it would be a marvellous idea to detox.  Rid my body of all those nasties lurking within.  There was one catch.  It required me giving up my beloved caffeine ritual.  Since drinking coffee back I late high school, I could not remember a day when it has not helped to facilitate consciousness of a morning.  How did I think I could manage without it?  How was I going to wake up?  How was I going to function?

Sometimes I display a fierce strong will, and this was one of those times.  I managed to push away any coffee urges.  Ignore them.  Turn my back on the cravings.  I was anticipating one of those hideous coffee withdrawal headaches, but surprisingly, none came (quite astonishing given there was quite significant daily consumption).

But towards the end of the week, I began to ponder how I would deal with this long term.  Would this mean I may no longer drink coffee – at all?  I actually like the taste of coffee.  In moderation, why would I not drink it?  So, as quickly as I stopped, I was back to my coffee consuming ways.

And I have not looked back!

My mother is also quite partial to coffee.  Especially in dessert form.  So as part of my “40th anniversary” cupcakes, I knew I had to features a coffee version in the mix (along with chocolate and vanilla – and lemon, to come!).

I adapted this cake from my basic vanilla cupcake recipe.  The substitutions were limited and simple.  1) Brown sugar instead of white sugar.  2) Including a shot of strong espresso and reducing the milk by the same volume.

I also used my basic butter cream frosting.  I added, once again, a shot of espresso during the final stages of beating to not only finish with a lovely latte colour, but subtle coffee flavour. 

{ Coffee Cupcakes }
If you love coffee desserts, you will love this little cupcake.

 * Ingredients *

1 1/2 cups of plain / all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
125g unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 cup brown sugar, packed tightly
2 eggs
100 ml milk
30 ml strong espresso

* Directions *

Preheat the oven to 180C or 350F.  Sift the flour and baking powder together.  Set aside.  Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the side of bowl as necessary.  Beat in the espresso.  Mix in the flour in three parts, alternating with the milk.  Spoon into cupcake wrappers and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked.  Allow to cool, and then top with your favourite frosting or ganache.

Makes 12 cupcakes

{ Coffee Butter cream }

* Ingredients *

4 egg whites
1 cup sugar
250g or 2 sticks of unsalted butter
30 mls espresso

* Directions *

In a bowl over simmering water, whisk the eggs whites and sugar.  Cook until the sugar has dissolved and the temperature reaches 160F or 70C.
Transfer the bowl to a stand mixer and on a medium speed, beat until you reach firm peaks, about 5 minutes.  Slow the speed and add in the room temperature butter one piece at a time.  If the mixture appears to curdle, keep beating on medium speed until smooth again.  Add in espresso or any other flavour combination until smooth.

Makes 4 cups