Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Cake #6: Chocolate Mocha Cupcakes

These look good, no? 

In reality they were okayLike, I won't be posting the recipe because I don't want to hurt the feelings of the source... okay.

My family, unsurprisingly, gobbled them up gleefully. But in a house with a husband, two teenagers and a tween this isn't saying much.

Just so you know, I have baking fails from time to time. Here's a few of the problems with this batch:

  1. They didn't rise! In fact I think they also fell. 
  2. Tops were big pancakes I had to cut them off with a paring knife to get the cakes out of the pan.
  3. After all the fussing around with buttermilk, fresh brewed coffee etc. it tasted like boxed cake mix... not terribly substantial cake.
  4. Boring!

So what's a girl to do?

Can't do much about not rising, but filling the cake helps. I made a franken-monstrosity of marshmallow, coffee, cinnamon and red pepper flakes and squeezed it into the middles. It bumped up their flavor and pooched out their little chocolate bellies making them less concave.

For their deflated muffin tops, I trimmed the cake flush with the liner using kitchen scissors. They looked surprisingly normal... considering. If you look at the pictures you can see the ragged edges, but I bet you didn't initially.

While the texture wasn't something I could work with short of squishing them into cake pops (and it's lightness stymied my plans to drizzle them with carmel for caramel macchiato flavored cupcakes), I was able to gain a lot of headway with the flavor by adding such a grown-up filling and making an intensely dark chocolate frosting. Instead of cream in my buttercream, I used a heaping tablespoon of instant coffee melted into two tablespoons of water. It sharpened the chocolate and gave them an additional delicious jolt.

To highlight the coffee, cinnamon and chocolate, I decorated the cupcakes with dark chocolate covered espresso beans and cinnamon hearts.

Now for the confession. Some of the poor cupcakes were utterly beyond saving and as a family we tend to shy away from mile high (corrective) frosting. So here is what they really looked like, sans blog photo styling:

Yeah... that could have gone better :-)

P.S. Anyone wondering what happened with potentially giving up the 52 Cakes Project as it makes our menu too cake-tastic? My sweetie made it one measly day before bemoaning the lack of cake in the house. LOL. Then he had to wait nearly a week for these ones. Apparently cake is here to stay.


Dunx said...

The true measure of an expert is not well they do stuff when things goes right, but how effectively they deal with problems.

I would say you've demonstrated your expertise right there!

Sorry to hear that these cakes weren't worth the faff, though. Jen has come to the conclusion that it's not worth making anything except box cake since from scratch recipes are often just not as nice as a well beaten box mix.

Juls said...

yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm these look gorgeous!!! Hugs Juls

Meaghan Luby said...

not a coffee person, but these look so cute, i may make an exception :)
ever notice how cupcakes seem to move faster than a whole cake? despite the batter amounts being the same?
quirky ;)

Evil Brat Child I said...

I won't even talk about my mocha cookie experiment failures. It took four attempts to get a good batch, and I'm pretty sure I'll never replicate it again. LoL

moosestashquilting said...

That is so funny. You get an award for sticking it out and making them great. I love coffee anything, so I am sure I would love even the worst of the rejects!

Spyder said...

I'd tick 'YUM' but it's not there! They look....good enough to eat!