Monday, March 19, 2012

Happy St. Patty's Day...two days ago

Sorry I posted this waay after St. Patrick's day, but my internet at my apartment is so horribly slow... these cupcakes can be enjoyed even after St. Patrick's day, since they're amazingly delicious! these chocolate coffee cupcakes had a hint of Bailey's to give it that irish coffee taste, while the swirled Andes mint frosting added another dimension of yum. everyone went crazy for the super soft and light buttercream frosting and the extremely moist cake!

so if anyone is dying to learn how to make a fool-proof moist cupcake and frosting that tastes sooo freakin' light like a whipped cloud, follow my recipe and instructions!!

cream slightly room temperature butter. add sugar. beat until light and fluffy. add a cap full of vanilla extract and one large egg and beat until it looks like this. 

sift cake flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, and a dash of salt twice. then add 1/4 of the dry mixture into the wet mixture. fold mixture just until there aren't any more dry pockets of flour.

add 1/4 cup of Baileys into the mixture to get just a small hint of Baileys in the cupcake. You can add 1/2 cup if you want the flavor of Baileys to be stronger. fold that into the mixture, followed by another 1/4 of the dry mixture.
make 1/2 cup of coffee with milk and coffee granules and alternately fold the coffee and dry mixture into the batter. make sure you end with the dry mixture!

pour into liners 3/4 of the way and shake/tap the bottom so the batter can bake evenly without any weird bubbles. 

bake at 300 degrees for 25 minutes! poke a chopstick or a toothpick into one of the cupcakes and, if it comes out clean, it's good to go!... but if the chopstick/toothpick doesn't come out completely clean, that would be even better, since the cupcakes will bake out of the oven also! so taking it out before it's fully baked will prevent the cupcakes from overbaking, so you'll end up with perfectly moist cupcakes every time :)

now let the cupcakes cool and take out 2 sticks of butter. the butter has to be very room temperature. i couldn't really wait for the butter to get there... so i put them in the microwave for 5 or so seconds. i made sure they didn't get into the clarified stage; they still have to have their normal solid butter color.. i warmed them up just until they got soft... but not melt-y soft... i hope that made sense.

so for the perfect light buttercream frosting, the ratio of butter to powdered sugar is 1:2 cups. i took the very room temperature butter, powdered sugar, and a cap full of vanilla extract and whipped that on high for 3-4 minutes. i guess doing this incorporates a lot of air, which makes the frosting very light, like whipped cream. 
divide the frosting into two parts and dye one green. i used my ateco gel food coloring so i only added a tiny drop and it made this beautiful green color :)

for the other half, i melted three andes mint pieces and 1 teaspoon of semiweet chocolate chips (to cut the peppermint flavor) and mixed that into the frosting. 

to make that really cool swirl effect, i first wrapped the frostings separately with plastic wrap and twisted the ends tightly. refrigerate for just 5-10 minutes since whipping it for a long period of time can make the frosting too runny. 

after refrigerating, i put those two in a large ziploc bag with the frosting tip at the end. pull the ends out all the way through the frosting tip until it gets to the actual frosting...

cut those ends off! start piping on a plate or something to make sure it makes the swirl effect before you try it on an actual cupcake. 

done! oh yeah... before i baked the cupcakes, i snuck in a half a piece of andes mints into the middle of the batter of each cupcake :] surprisee!!

cupcakes (makes 8):
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup cake flour 
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup cocoa powder
dash of salt
1/2 cup coffee with milk
1/4 cup Bailey's irish cream
 (can be completely optional; just add 3/4 cup of coffee instead of just 1/2 cup)
1 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 pieces of andes mints
1 teaspoon of semisweet chocolate chips
green food coloring

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