Monday, October 17, 2011

Chocolate Kahlua Cupcake...and a New Crush

It's official. I'm in love! Blog love that is (Don't worry honey, I still love you too!). Annie's Eats, seriously, how did it take me so long to find you? I even had recommendations from a very reliable source. But don't worry, I've been making up for lost time. I have drooled over mouth watering photos and poured over recipe after recipe after recipe! What really caught my eye while browsing her site were the cupcakes. Each one looked better than the last. I finally decided that I just had to make the Chocolate Kahlua cupcakes. Booze, chocolate, coffee, a winning combination.

This frosting. I'm not sure how to describe to you how good it is. Amazing. Lip smacking good. Lick every last speck of frosting out of the bowl good. Enjoyed with a cold glass of Kahlua and Cream, this was the perfect way to end an evening.

Notes from the chef (me): After I started baking, I realized I didn't have enough sugar to complete the recipe as written. I ended up having right under a cup of sugar. I continued through the recipe as written and tasted the batter at the end to see how sweet it tasted. I ended up adding about a tablespoon of honey to the batter. I was very pleased with the results and didn't miss the extra sugar. However, the recipe below is as written from the source.

Ever decide last minute that you want to bake and don't have time to let your butter come to room temperature? With the butter still in its wrapper, place it in a shallow bowl of warm, not hot, water. Check after about 5 minutes and flip butter so the other side is submerged. In about 10 minutes total you'll have softened butter!

Original recipe said this would yield 20-24 cupcakes, but I only got 17 from mine.

Chocolate Kahlua Cupcake


For the cupcakes:
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp. instant espresso powder
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. baking powder
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Kahlua liqueur (enough to brush on cupcakes)
For the frosting:
  • 12 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 7-8 tbsp. Kahlua liqueur
  • 2 tbsp. heavy cream
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line cupcake pan with liners.
  •  In the bowl of stand mixer, combine the cocoa powder, espresso powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt; whisk well to blend.
  • Add the eggs, warm water, buttermilk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract to the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix on medium-high speed until smooth, 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake until the tops spring back when pressed lightly, about 18-20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking.
  • Let cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Poke a few holes in the top of each cupcake with the tines of a fork and brush with Kahlua while still warm. Allow to cool completely.
  • To make the frosting, beat the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Mix in the confectioners’ sugar until incorporated.
  • Add in the Kahlua and beat on medium speed until well blended.
  • Add in the heavy cream and beat on medium-high speed for about 4 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  • Frost cooled cupcakes as desired, garnish with shaved chocolate, if you're feeling fancy.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ina Garten's Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Oh my. I should never be allowed to have two big events in back to back weekends again! As I had mentioned last, I was in the process of planning a baby shower for one of my best friends. Well, that was a week ago, and it was a hit! (If I do say so myself). I couldn't have done it without the help of some very special know who you are!

The menu ended up getting tweaked a little. I did serve these biscuits, only I made them a little smaller to yield more from each batch. I also made some blueberry muffins that are a staple at my house. King Arthur Flour recipe, they hardly ever disappoint.

Since we were doing a brunch, we decided to go with coffee cake to keep with the theme. I love coffee cake. With streussel, without, warm, cold; I'll take it just about any way I can get it. After much searching I found the recipe I wanted to go with. It of course belonged to Ina Garten. I puffy heart love her. If I could be a guest at any Food Network personality's house, it would so be her. I think she'd be a great host and come on, she lives in the Hamptons! The recipe also called for sour cream in the batter. And when it comes to baking, I think sour cream makes almost everything better!

Notes from the chef (me): The original recipe called for a tube pan, which I didn't have. I chose to break out my bundt pan. I placed the first layer of streusel in the bottom of the pan, followed by a layer of batter, more streusel finished off with the rest of the batter. It took right at 60 minutes to bake completely in the bundt pan. Also, after reading several reviews of the recipe, I noticed many people noted that they needed to double the struessel, so I went ahead and did that as well. The ingredients in the recipe below have been doubled from the original.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake
from Ina Garten

  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 extra-large eggs at room temperature*
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

*I only ever buy large eggs. I decided to take a 4th egg, whisk it just a little, and then added half of that to the batter.

For the streusel:
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (this is the original amount, I felt 1/2 t would be too much)
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, grease and flour a bundt pan
  • Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for 4 to 5 minutes, until light
  • Add the eggs one a time, then add the vanilla and sour cream
  • In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients into the batter until just combined. Finish stirring with a spatula to make sure the batter is completely mixed
  • For the streusel, place the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and butter in a bowl and pinch together with your fingers until it forms a crumble
  • Sprinkle half the streussel topping in the bottom of the bundt pan. Spoon half the batter over the streusel toppings and smooth out with a knife. Sprinkle the rest of the streusel followed by the remainder of the batter.
  • Place the bundt pan on a baking sheet just in case any batter comes over the sides while baking. Bake for 60 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  • Let cool for at least 30 minutes before turning out.
Enjoy! This cake stores well up to 3 days in a covered cake pan. Heated up a little it tastes just as good on day 3 as it did the first day you made it!