Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mocha Kahlua Cupcakes with Irish Creme Frosting

Have I mentioned that I love my new job? Out of the cubicle and into my own office.  It’s been said if you like what you do, it doesn’t feel like work. I think the same thing goes with liking the people working around you, and I totally do.  One of the perks to this gig is the monthly happy hours the office partakes in. THEMED happy hours! (So far I’ve been to an Oktoberfest and a Hoe Down!) The theme always changes but there’s always one constant.  Duck. Fart. Shots.  (Yes, I typed that correctly.) It sounds disgusting but they’re tasty and addicting. Layer a shot glass with Kahlua,  Bailey’s and a splash of Crown Royal and a Duck Fart has been born. Our work happy hours are packed with these sugary shots and the gang loves them so much I decided to make a cupcake in their honor.

It’s been mentioned to me that mocha/coffee flavor is really hard to get into a cupcake. They often end up tasting like chocolate and not much of anything else. I decided to punch up the coffee taste by using a mixture of instant coffee, a dark roast brew and plenty of Kahlua. I was on a roll so after the cakes baked, I pierced small holes in the tops of each one and brushed more Kahlua liqueur over them so the coffee goodness would seep into the cake. This worked out superbly. I was able to achieve the coffee taste I was looking for while still having subtle hints of chocolate. I topped the cake with an Irish Crème frosting which barely made it into my piping bag. This stuff was so darn good.
My husband and I loved these cupcakes so much the first batch turned into crumbs in a matter of days. So I made them again for neighbors and the co-workers. They were gone in hours. GREAT SUCCESS!

 Mocha Kahlua Cupcakes
(recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker)
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
1/3  cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup whole milk
½ cup strong brewed coffee  at room temp(I used a Kona Blend)
1½ teaspoons instant coffee granules
2 tablespoons Kahlua liqueur + 2 tablespoons for glazing
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
1 egg, at room temperature

 1. Mix the instant coffee granules into the brewed coffee until dissolved. Set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with liners.

3. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.

4. Beat the butter and both sugars together on medium high speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until combined. In a measuring cup, combine the milk, 2 tbsps of Kahlua, brewed coffee mixture, and vanilla. Slowly add the flour mixture, alternating with the coffee mixture, ending with the dry mix.

5. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups and bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from muffin tins and pierce several  holes in top of each cake with a fork. Use the remaining 2 tbsps of Kahlua by brushing the top of each cake several times so a small glaze forms. Cool cakes completely before frosting.

Irish Creme Frosting

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3 to 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream (you can use any Irish Crème Liqueur)
1 tablespoon milk

1.       Place the butter in a large mixing bowl and beat until creamy.
2.       Gradually add the sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes after each), until the icing is thick enough to be of good consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar.
3.       After all sugar has been added, add Bailey’s and milk and blend until just combined.

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