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Recipe (Super Bowl) Sunday: Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes.

No, I didn’t make a Super Bowl themed dessert. The marketer in me was angry at the rest of me for not taking advantage of this timely social event and making something football-related. The rest of me justified it by saying… “meh.” The Super Bowl just ain’t my scene. Maybe if the Eagles were playing, I’d pay it some attention, but, full disclosure here, I tuned in to watch Madonna, and then went into the kitchen and started baking another un-football-related treat. And now I shall share said treat with you.

For some reason, it seemed like everywhere I went this week, I wound up in a conversation about coffee. A new flavor to try, where to get the best cup, here’s a coffee cheesecake, someone loves coffee ice cream, etc. So, with coffee already on my mind, I figured why not get it on yours, too. What I love most about this recipe, is that it can be made with any type of coffee you desire. I’m a huge fan of the flavored varieties, so I opted for a Creme Brulee coffee. However there are no rules here. Dowhatchalike. :)

Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes.

What you’ll need:

1 3/4 cups sugar

2 cups flour

3/4 cups cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

3 eggs

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup strongly brewed and cooled coffee

1/2 cup canola oil

2 tsp vanilla

What you’ll do:

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs until blended. Add cream, coffee, oil, and vanilla. Slowly fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture until well incorporated. Grease or line muffin tins, and fill evenly with batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes,  or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Makes 18-24 cupcakes.

Vanilla Coffee Frosting.

What you’ll need:

1 cup shortening

2 ½ tablespoons strongly brewed and cooled coffee

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 cups confectioners sugar

What you’ll do:

Cream together shortening, coffee, and vanilla. Add confectioners sugar, one cup at a time, mixing well after each.

Sprinkle with dark chocolate shavings. Enjoy with your morning….coffee.

 

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tiramisu goes to the opera….cake.

My Classical Cakes class has come to a close, and I’m sad – this was my favorite class that I’ve taken. There’s a reason these cakes are classics. I’ve never tasted cakes so good in my life. This is what it’s all about people – these are the cakes that gave cake it’s good name to begin with. Not that dry, simple stuff we call cake today. This kind of cake couldn’t ever come out of a box. It takes time, attention, and some major organization. But the results are hella worth it.

Anyway, for our last cake of the class, we had to create our very own classical cake, using what we’ve learned. Well, my partner (who happens to be the best partner ever) and I decided to do a chocolate coffee kahlua cake with mascarpone mousse. It was part tiramisu, part opera cake.

tiramisu

PLUS

opera cake

EQUAL

tiramisu goes to the opera cake.

 

In case you’re interested in recreating our nouveau classical cake pictured above, it’s a layer of chocolate genoise (soaked in kahlua coffee syrup), next a layer of coffee buttercream, followed by a thin layer of chocolate ganache, next a layer of ladyfingers (soaked with kahlua coffee syrup), a layer of mascarpone mousse, another layer of chocolate ganache, another layer of soaked ladyfingers, and finally topped off with another layer of mascaropone mousse. The whole thing is then coated with a chocolate glaze and garnished as desired (we used chocolate curls, modeling chocolate flowers, and fresh raspberries).

We got an A.

 

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2011 in cake, classical cake, Indulgences, mousse

 

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the phantom of the opera cake.

 
I used to sing show tunes around the house all the time. For some reason, I just stopped, I think possibly in part because I was living in apartments with little to no insulation, and my singing voice tends to be louder than most (in highschool we did a show where everyone needed to use a microphone…except for me), and I didn’t want to scare the neighbors (or my cat). However, it does lend itself perfectly to show tune singing.
 

i could've been the next Ethel Merman.

I was visiting with my mom the other day, and she asked me if I still sang show tunes. And my answer was, regretfully, no. And I started wondering why. I don’t live in an apartment anymore – there was no real excuse. I’d somehow abandoned something I loved doing more than anything without even realizing it. So I went home, grabbed my favorite old CD of show tunes (an Andrew Lloyd Webber compilation) and rocked out, particularly to songs from Phantom of the Opera, for some reason.

The phantom of the opera is there, inside my mind.

In a strange coincidence, a couple days later in class we made an “Opera Cake,” which is layers of coffee syrup soaked cake (called “Joconde”), interspersed with coffee buttercream and a single layer of ganache, topped with chocolate glaze, and traditionally the word “Opera” written across the top.

my confectionery aria.

This cake was fun to make, and even more fun to eat, being the coffee addict that I am. However, it took all my willpower to refrain from bursting into song while making it. Someday, if I own my own bakeshop, show tune singing while baking will not only be acceptable, but required.

Make new dreams and try new things, my friends – but never forget the old ones. And if over the course of your busy life you somehow do, just have your mom remind you – that’s all i ask of you. :)

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on August 21, 2011 in cake, coffee

 

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Indiana Jones and the Tiramisu.

I had a dream that my teacher was dressed up like Indiana Jones, and was making me take everything out of his kitchen cupboards. I’m not really sure what this means – he doesn’t look or dress anything like Indiana Jones in real life, and it’s not like I just watched one of the movies or something. And other than being in the kitchen, none of this had anything to do with pastries at all.

whip that...meringue?

Needless to say, when I saw him in class tonight, I couldn’t help but giggle. But that quickly passed when we launched into baking cakes, one of them being Tiramisu.

I had never made Tiramisu before, nor have I ever considered making it, even though I enjoy eating it very much. It just sounded complicated and challenging. And honestly, it kind of is. But that didn’t stop Dr. Jones from finding the Ark, so by golly, it was not going to stop me from making it!

raiders of the lost pastry.

We created this classic dessert over the course of two nights – baking the lady fingers on the first night, and making the mousse and assembling the cake on the second. I have to say, this was a fun cake to make, and probably the best tiramisu I’ve ever had – and I’ve had many. Chalk it up to excellent teamwork and coffee syrup.  

the last crusade.

I think we found the holy grail, Indy.

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2011 in cake, coffee

 

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cupcake love.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day. However, I must pay homage to it, because, if it had not been created by large corporations to generate sales in an otherwise dead time of the year, I may not have ever found my way into baking. For it was my lack of gift ideas many, many years ago that led to my first attempt at really creating confections. Sure, I’d made box cakes before that  – with jarred icing. Nothing fancy – no decorating, or writing or anything of that sort. So while looking through the pages of a magazine, I stumbled across decorated Valentine’s Day cupcakes, with personal messages, hearts, etc. “I can do that!” I ambitiously declared. So, I got some tubes of icing with some plastic decorating tips, and went to work. I wish I had a picture of them – they were – well, not like the ones in the magazine, to put it nicely. But they weren’t a cake wreck either. There was real potential there. My boyfriend at the time loved them too – they tasted even better than they looked, and he was impressed with the time I put into the gift. His reaction, combined with the fun I had making them, inspired me to keep at it.

So here I am, keepin’ at it.

Years later (I will not say how many, at the risk of revealing my true age), I’m still making cupcakes for Valentine’s Day. This year, I made a chocolate coffee cupcake, with coffee-infused frosting, and a thin mint Girl Scout Cookie on top.

nothing says love like baked goods.

Practice really does make perfect. And even though these cupcakes looked and tasted 10 times better than their ancestors, the reaction they garnered upon receipt was the same. So get out there and make something sweet for your sweety. Plus if you’re lucky, they’ll share with you. It’s a win-win.

 

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The perfect cupcake of coffee.

I love coffee. I would not consider myself a coffee snob – I don’t turn up nose at the less than stellar free coffee they offer in the office and invest in an overpriced unpronounceable cup of java latte grande super americano with a shot of whole beans. But i do drink it every day, and I go into a state of serious withdrawal without it (headaches, crankiness, confusion – oh, it’s ugly). Although I may not be a coffee snob, I am a cake snob. I’ve worked hard over the years to achieve cake perfection myself (of course i know there is always room for improvement though), and I eat every cake with a critical tongue.

Recently, it was a colleague’s birthday and this person is a known coffee connoisseur (addict). So, what better way to celebrate the birth of a coffee-lover than with coffee-infused cupcakes!?

have your cake and drink it too.

 

Topped with a very slightly coffee flavored buttercream (just enough to bring out the coffee in the cake), and sprinkled with semi-sweet dark chocolate shavings, these java gems were the bells of the breakfast ball. Cake & Coffee – perfect together.

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2011 in breakfast, coffee, cupcakes

 

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