29 August 2013

Mocha Mini Cupcakes


At times when a cupcake would be too much, a mini cupcake is just right. On the other hand, the mini cupcakes seem so mini you might be inclined to eat several, defeating the whole purpose. We all have our ways of psyching ourselves out--whatever works! I consider three minis the equivalent of one standard cupcake.

I usually put a little coffee in anything chocolate--not enough to add coffee flavor, just enough to enhance the chocolate flavor. This time I wanted enough coffee to have to change the name from chocolate to Mocha Mini Cupcakes.

You might wonder why I have a separate recipe for minis. Why not just use a standard cupcake recipe? Because I hate waste, and it would really go against my grain to see extra batter washed down the drain! I develop all my recipes for a specific pan size or quantity. If you measure exactly as I say in the recipe, you will come out with exactly 24 mini cupcakes and very little extra batter.


Mocha Mini Cupcakes

(Makes 24)

The Cupcakes

1/3 cup double-strength brewed coffee
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa
3/4 packed cups (3.75 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

The Frosting


5 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/4 packed cups powdered sugar, unsifted
2 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa

Pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons double-strength brewed coffee

1 In 1-quart saucepan, combine coffee and butter. Heat, whisking occasionally, over medium heat just until the butter melts. Whisk in the cocoa, and set aside to cool slightly.

2 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put two 12-cup mini-muffin tins on a 15x10x1-inch rimmed baking sheet, and put paper bake cups in the tins. (Or I could break down and finally replace those two tins with a 24-Cup Mini Muffin Tin, since I never make just 12 mini muffins or cupcakes!)

 
3 In medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisking for about 30 seconds sort of sifts the dry ingredients. In 2-cup glass measure, combine milk, vinegar, egg and vanilla. Add coffee-cocoa mixture to dry ingredients and stir to combine; beat for about 30 seconds. Add the milk-egg mixture and beat for another 30 seconds. (A wooden spoon works perfectly well, but I use an English cake whisk, a kind of stainless steel wire spoon that has been made in Britain for over a hundred years.)

4 Using measuring spoons, spoon just one tablespoonful of batter into each cup; then spoon just one teaspoonful into each cup. Bake at 350 for about 13 to 15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Place baking sheet on wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes before removing cupcakes from tins. Cool completely before frosting.

Note: Since it's such a tiny amount of batter, I want to be really clear about how I measured. It's a thin-ish batter, so it is a level tablespoon and teaspoon. And, most important, I don't scrape every bit of batter out of the spoon. If I did, perhaps I wouldn't need the additional teaspoon of batter. But it's a lot faster to just dump the spoonful of batter in the cup and move onto the next and then come back with the teaspoon.

5 In bowl of stand mixer, or with a hand mixer (I love my KitchenAid hand mixer), cream the butter until smooth. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the powdered sugar, cocoa and salt. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and coffee; beat on high speed until frosting is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. You will likely have to add the liquid ingredients before adding all the powdered sugar.

6 With a pastry bag fitted with a 2D tip or a 1M tip, pipe frosting on cupcakes by simply placing tip in the center and squeezing. You don't even have to know what you're doing; it'll look pretty!
 

30 comments:

Angie Schneider said...

One main reason that I don't do cupcakes is that they are so irresistible that one is never enough for me. These mini cupcakes look so beautifully done. The frosting is perfect!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thanks, Angie! I think I have the same problem!

Grant said...

Oh my! They look amazing!!! I think I just put on a couple of pounds just looking at them. Yum! Now I better go for a run and work off those virtual calories. If you put some of those delicious morsels in front of me I'd be unable to stop at 3... :-)

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Grant, thank you! I'm heading out the door right now for a brisk walk!

Ruth Schiffmann said...

I am a much better baker than a cook. I will remember these for when the weather turns colder.

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thanks, Ruth! I think you'll find you can just whip up a batch of these without a big to-do and then get back to your writing!

Wedgie said...

They look so good! I like coffee and chocolate together, a lovely combination I think!

Thanks for sharing!
Rachel

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Rachel, thank you. And to go with them, I recommend a nice strong English Breakfast with just a splash of milk.

Jenn S said...

I love mini cupcakes, but I am one of those people that think, well, it's mini, I better have another!! :) Then again, if these were in front of me, I don't think I could even stop at 3!!!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thanks, Jenn! Last time I made them, I was doing fine until I had some added stress; then I found myself grabbing one every time I walked by!

LANA said...

Mmmmmm.....I'll take three, thank you.

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Lana, wish I could hand-deliver them and see your gorgeous new landscaping in person!

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

Unerring of you, say I…simply unerring. I refer to your attitude toward chocolate. Mocha chocolate is always a step up in gastronomic evolution. I say this as a non-coffee drinker and a non-cupcake eater. Pip, pip…carry on!

Sippity Sup said...

Yes please... GREG

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

So true, Sully! I wonder how many cups of coffee equal one pint of melted coffee blast ice cream!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thanks, Greg!

Mary Younkin said...

These might be the cutest mini cupcakes I've seen in ages. Your piping is gorgeous! There is exactly zero chance I would be able to stop with three of these. Minis are dangerously easy to eat!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thank you so much, Mary! And "dangerous" is a good word for minis!

Mary Callan said...

Such a LOVELY treat! they look so delicious and pretty!
Mary x

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

We're just suckers for pretty food, aren't we, Mary!

Amy at love made my home said...

Just wanted to say Hi! and thank you for stopping by my blog the other day, only just getting to visit other peoples blogs today. Cakes look lovely! Looking forward to reading more from you and to seeing you again at my blog.

Thanks again. Amy

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Amy, thanks! I see your blog is quite new - wishing you all the best with it!

Richard Sheppard said...

These mini muffins look really tasty Jean and I like the idea of "mini." If I pay attention to what I'm eating (and who wouldn't when eating something like this!) a mini can be just right. Now I'm getting hungry!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thanks, Richard! Yes, we need to pay attention when we're eating. It's the "mindless" eating that gets us into trouble!

yummychunklet said...

What beauitful ruffled frosting!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thanks yummychunklet! And "ruffled" is just the perfect word I couldn't think of!

Meri said...

My cupcakes are in the oven right now, but as I clean up my counter, I realize that I never used the cider vinegar - what was I supposed to do with it?

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Meri, thank you for catching that glitch in my directions! It was supposed to be mixed in with the liquid ingredients. I've now made the correction. But your cupcakes will be fine without it, I'm sure.

Meri said...

Jean, thanks for the update, next time I'll try the cider vinegar. For this batch, though, my family said they were the best! Thanks.

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Mary, I'm so glad your family enjoyed the cupcakes! Thanks for letting me know.

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