29 August 2013
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
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
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/4 packed cups powdered sugar, unsifted
2 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa
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!