Whenever developing websites, like this one for example, you tend to work where can. I tend to work where there is an abundance of internet. Albeit a couple of small brew houses with creamy horchata lattes do exist, I am usually confined to the corporate ambiance and caffeine of a Starbucks. The observation I notice most while working at these shops is how Starbucks became the bar for people who can’t drink. These young coffee goers prefer their glucose levels to be spiked in the form of a blended iced coffee with more sugar than caffeine as opposed to self-deprecation via drugs and alcohol (I’m not projecting anything, you are). Don’t get me wrong, this concoction is delicious, but it is a dessert and will rarely be consumed in this liquid form. Which is why I decided to take it back! it shall be a dessert once again.
Bringing the Coffee Flavors
Do you like biting into what looks delicious only to be welcomed with a crunch that makes you think you are chewing sand? This was my experience with baking with coffee, until recently I found out that a simple solution was to avoid real coffee beans and use instant coffee. Instant coffee comes in the form of water-soluble crystals. This means that the coffee will dissolve into any liquid you throw at it. You don’t have to take that extra step brewing coffee or adding beans to a recipe and hope you don’t experience sandy mouth. Instant coffee, or more specifically, instant mocha espresso will be our key ingredient in this recipe.
Before making this recipe, lets think about what a frappuccino tastes like. We have coffee blended with sugar and ice, topped with whipped cream and chocolate syrup. Making the cake with coffee flavors (and what appears to be a 5 year old child’s weight of sugar) will be simple and require the normal creaming process. To replicate the whipped cream, I could only think of one recipe that would resemble that fluffy goodness and that is the same frosting used to make double stout s’more cupcakes. Egg whites, slightly heated makes for a light and delicious frosting.
The idea for the recipe couldn’t come at a better time as I had in my possession Stone Brewing’s latest Mocha IPA. I wanted something outside the typical coffee stout or porter. Something that had a little more hops and, if there is one brewery that loves the hops, it is Stone. I wanted this cupcake to be moderate in moisture so I decided to use buttermilk and butter. However, I refrained from using oils as my main fat source in the hopes that I can get something in between dry and moist . This was a concern as hops tends to dehydrate the beer which is why the buttermilk was a necessity.
This recipe is a statement on the American youth and how they don’t understand the concept of dessert. I am here to make dessert great again.
- Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit. Grab your favorite cupcake pan and fill them with cupcake liners.
- Pour the cup of mocha IPA in a saucepan and let simmer until it becomes half a cup. Add the instant mocha espresso powder and stir until it dissolves. Add it to the buttermilk and vanilla extract set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine your flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
- Grab another bowl and add the butter and sugars. With an electric mixer, cream the ingredients until fluffy. Add the egg and mix. Set aside the mixer and grab a spatula. Pour half of the flour mix and half of the beer mix and slowly pour into the buttercream mix. Mix the ingredients with the spatula. Once mixed, add the remaining beer and flour mix and keep mixing that bitch!
- Pour batter into the cupcake pans. Place in the oven and bake for 16-19 minutes or until you can penetrate those cupcake with a toothpick and it comes out clean.
- For the frosting: combine egg whites, sugar, instant mocha espresso, and cream of tartar. Place mix over a sauce pan of simmering water. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. Egg whites should be warm, but be careful not to cook it! Use an electric mixer for 5 minutes until you get stiff peaks.
- Frost cupcakes, drizzle chocolate syrup, and zest your small piece of chocolate bar on top.