Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cupcake Hero - Caffeine

Voting is now open! Please visit The Insomniac Baker's Blog to cast your vote. This month’s secret ingredient for the Cupcake Hero challenge is caffeine. Hooray! Since caffeine is an ingredient near and dear to my heart, I doubled up on the jitters and added caffeine in the form of chocolate and coffee. Until recently, I was skeptical about the cinnamon-chocolate combination but was hooked after I made a Cinnamon Chocolate Tart for the TWD group.

Cinnamon Mocha Cupcakes

adapted from Taste of Home's Cooking for 2 Fall 2005


1/4 cup butter, softened

2/3 cup sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 cup baking cocoa

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup strong brewed coffee, room temperature

3 tablespoons buttermilk

Cinnamon Swiss Meringue Butter cream for frosting

chocolate covered espresso bean

cinnamon for dusting finished cupcake


In a small bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, baking powder and cinnamon; add to creamed mixture alternately with coffee and buttermilk, beating well after each addition.

Fill paper-lined muffin cups half full with batter. Bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Frost with Cinnamon Swiss Meringue Butter Cream, top with a chocolate covered espresso bean, and dust with cinnamon.

Yield: 8 cupcakes

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

4 egg whites

1 cup sugar

3 sticks of butter

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

Place sugar and egg whites in the heat-proof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a pan of gently simmering water and whisk until sugar has dissolved and egg whites are hot to the touch, about 3 minutes.

Transfer bowl to mixer stand. Using the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until mixture has cooled completely and formed stiff and glossy peaks, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Switch to the paddle attachment and add the butter, one piece at a time, and beat until incorporated about 6 minutes. Don't worry if the buttercream appears curdled after all the butter has been added; it will become smooth again with continued beating. Add vanilla and cinnamon and beat just until combined.

If using buttercream within several hours, cover bowl with plastic wrap, and set aside at room temperature in a cool environment. Or transfer to an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator, up to 3 days. Before using, bring buttercream to room temperature, and beat on the lowest speed with the paddle attachment until smooth, about 5 minutes.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

TWD - Peanut Butter Crisscrosses

Jasmine of Jasmine Cuisine selected Peanut Butter Crisscrosses for this weeks TWD recipe. The recipe can be found on page 78 of Dorie Greenspan's "Baking: From My Home to Yours". These cookies were fast, easy, and delicious! The only change I made was in the sizing department. Dorie says to scoop the dough by the tablespoon and I used a slightly larger #20 disher. The result was big, fat, chewy, peanut butter cookies! The next time around, I'll make the chocolate version as suggested in the "playing around" section. YUM!

Please visit the rest of the TWD bakers to see how they did with this recipe.