Thursday, September 18, 2014

Mocha Espresso Cupcakes

Gluten Free Mocha Espresso Cupcakes 

These Mocha Espresso Cupcakes were decadently delicious.  I'll be making them again even if the recipe isn't totally worked out just yet.  These java flavored delights were actually made as part of my video entry into a baking competition hosted by a fantastic YouTube channel called Steve’s Kitchen.

At Steve’s channel he spent a week doing different variations of his basic pound cake recipe.  For the contest we were asked to put our unique spin on his basic pound cake.  In all six of the variations he demonstrated, he used an equal ratio of butter, sugar, eggs and self-rising flour.  He also added a teaspoon of extra baking powder to each of the recipes to add some lightness to the final product.

And in all of his variations, the results were stellar.  To create these mocha espresso cupcakes, I actually used Steve’s red velvet cupcake variation with a few minor changes.  During the baking process I ran into a bit of a problem.  The cupcakes rose out of the pan in an out-of-control fashion.  I think the extra baking powder caused a little too much leavening. 

Notice I said “THINK” since I’m not 100% sure that the extra baking powder caused the problem.

But here's my theory.  Steve had used regular flour in each of his recipes which of course contains gluten.  In a heavy pound cake recipe like this, I can see where the extra baking powder would be quite helpful in the final result.  Gluten often needs to be fought against in developing light cakes and pastries.  Gluten free baking doesn’t share this problem. 

Gluten free flours have far less structure so there was nothing to hold the batter back once my cupcakes hit the oven.  I’d strongly suggest that you watch my video tutorial where I outline what I think went wrong and what I did to fix these cupcakes.  

In the recipe I wrote below, I omitted the extra baking powder but the recipe has not been tested to see if it fixes the problem I encountered in the video.  Look folks, there’s only so many cupcakes I can eat while still tring to maintain a healthy diet.  When I get a chance I’ll try to re-test the recipe and update this post.

Proceed with caution if you feel lucky. 

And if you do happen to try the recipe as it’s written below, sans that extra baking powder used in the video, be sure to leave me a comment to let me know how they turned out.

Mocha Espresso Cupcakes
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 20 min
Servings:12 cupcakes

  • 200 grams butter(7 oz or 14 tablespoons or 1 ¾ sticks)
  • 200 grams sugar(7 oz or  halfway between ¾ cup & 1 cup)
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 200 grams gluten free self-rising flour or gluten free Bisquick (7 oz or halfway between 1 & 1 ¼ cups)
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp instant espresso powder
  • 3 tbsp milk

Frosting Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar (additional may be needed if you need a thicker frosting)
  • 1 tsp heavy cream or milk (additional milk may be needed to thin the frosting)
  • 2 tsp espresso powder (divided)
Video Tutorial  (Please WATCH Before Attempting This One)

  1. Preheat the oven to 340°F (or 170 °C) and line a cupcake tin with 12 paper liners
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy then beat in the eggs and milk until the mixture is very well combined. 
  3. Stir together the self-rising flour, espresso powder and cocoa powder then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until the batter is well combined and smooth.
  4. Divide the batter evenly among the 12 liners and bake them for 18-22 minutes.
  5. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
  6. To make the frosting beat together the butter and confectioner’s sugar. 
  7. Dissolve 1 tsp of espresso powder with 1 tsp of heavy cream or milk and beat it into the frosting then stir in 1 tsp of undissolved espresso powder into the icing to add tiny flecks of coffee into the icing if you want. 
  8. If the frosting is too thick for your needs, add more cream or milk and if it’s too thin add more confectioner’s sugar.
  9. Use a star tip to pipe a rosette onto each cupcake then garnish them with an espresso bean. 
  10. Chill for an hour or so to solidify the butter cream then serve.

Notes:  Please watch the video tutorial before attempting this recipe.

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