Sunday, March 25, 2012

Irish Coffee Cupcakes

Last weekend was Saint Patrick's day, a holiday that is second only to Christmas in my husband's family.  I wanted to celebrate with an especially appropriate sweet treat for him.  After much searching, we arrived on this recipe from Martha Stewart.  They are quite unique and true to the "Irish Coffee" flavor.  The cupcake is made with Espresso Powder (hard to find; we got ours at Vons in Manhattan Beach, but could not find it anywhere in Redondo) and is topped with whipped cream, flavored with whiskey.  The frosting is delicious, but the cake itself is more savory than sweet.  Were I to do this again, I'd increase the sugar for a sweeter cake.  Next year, I think I'll opt for the Guiness Brownies.  Try these yourself and let me know what you think.

(Makes 15 Cupcakes)
For the Cupcakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons instant-espresso powder
1/4 cup whole milk
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs

For the Frosting:
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon whiskey
Instant-espresso powder, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Make the cupcakes: Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Pour water over espresso powder; let cool.  Combine espresso with milk. 

Beat butter and granulated and brown sugars with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with espresso-milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour (batter may look broken).

Fill 15 cups (of two 12-cup muffin tins) three-quarters full.  Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes.  Let cool; turn out cupcakes from tins.

Make the frosting: Whisk together cream and confectioners' sugar until medium peaks form.  Add whiskey; whisk until slightly stiff peaks form.

Top each cupcake with 2 tablespoons frosting; dust with espresso powder.

*I used a loose-leave tea infuser to dust my cupcakes

**I recommend doing this step immediately before serving.  Otherwise the coffee disolves into the whipped cream and you get a muddy brown looking frosting.  Yuck.

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