Kahlua Mocha Cupcakes

kahlua mocha cupcakes

I love making cupcakes because they’re so pretty, but man, they’re so much work! This is probably because I’m on a filled cupcake kick. I bought a cupcake corer and I’m obsessed with it.

My recipe inspiration for these was a Caramel Frappucino cupcake recipe from Pixie Crust. Spoiler alert: I changed it a lot. I just don’t have that much time on my hands.

Step 1 – this is going to make all you baking purists hate me – I used a boxed cake mix, OMG.

I’ll let you all recover for a minute.

We done? Good.

Here’s the thing. Go read the original recipe from Pixie Crust. There’s like 50 million steps!!!!

So back to my Step 1. Chocolate cake mix – with pudding in the mix! Follow the instructions on the box (this is rocket science, I tell ya!). I added an instant coffee packet to the water, to make mocha flavored cupcakes. MMMM. Makes 24 cupcakes.

Step 2. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the mousse. I halved it, so the measurements are kind of weird. It was an awkward recipe to halve, but you will have way too much mousse if you don’t. (I didn’t, but I’m halving it for you because I love you).

For the Coffee Mousse (Recipe from Epicurious)

1/4 cup + 1/8 cup sugar
3 large egg yolks
1/6 cup water
1 and 1/2 tablespoons instant espresso powder (or instant coffee)

1 and 1/4 cups chilled whipping cream
2 tablespoons coffee liqueur (you can never have too much Kahlua!)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk sugar, yolks, water and espresso powder in large metal bowl. Set bowl over saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bowl to touch water); whisk until candy thermometer registers 160°F, about 3 minutes. Remove bowl from over water. Using electric mixer, beat egg mixture until cool and thick, about 5 minutes.
Beat cream, liqueur and vanilla in another large bowl until stiff peaks form – this might take a while. Fold cream mixture into egg mixture.

Step 3. Core the cupcakes!

Once cupcakes are cool, core out the center of each one. If you don’t have a corer, you can use a knife to hollow the cupcake out.

Using a pastry bag or large ziplock bag with a corner snipped off, pipe coffee mousse until the center is full. Once all cupcakes are filled, pipe frosting onto each one. I ended up frosting the cupcakes with my leftover mousse (because I didn’t halve the recipe, boo!), but I think it would have been better to use something different for the frosting. I felt like, with the mousse as the frosting AND the filling, it wasn’t exciting when you got to the center of the cupcake, because you were like “Oh, it’s just more frosting. LAME.”

So you should make this delicious sounding frosting recipe from Pixie Crust:

Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
1 cup sugar
4 egg whites
3 sticks unsalted butter (at room temperature)
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Heat sugar, egg whites, and salt in a heatproof mixer bowl set over a pan of simmering water, whisking until sugar dissolves and mixture registers 160 degrees on a candy thermometer.

Return bowl to mixer, and whisk, gradually increasing speed from low to medium-high, until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 10 minutes. Reduce speed to medium. Add butter, a few pieces at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in vanilla. Switch to a paddle attachment and beat until air bubbles are gone, 2 to 3 minutes more.

Curious how I got that stripe of chocolate in my mousse frosting? 

I based it off this method from Our Best Bites, where you essentially paint a stripe INSIDE your pastry bag/ziplock back with gel food coloring, or in my case, melted chocolate.

Before you put your frosting/mousse into the pastry bag, carefully paint vertical streaks of chocolate or food coloring all the way down to the tip. THEN add your frosting. You have to try to drop the frosting straight down into the center of the bag so you don’t smudge the lines too much.

And then you get awesome stripes in your frosting!

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its called “circuit training”

Caffeine intake so far today: One cup of Fair Trade Organic Extra Bold Special Blend.
Expected intake for the whole day: Hopefully just that one cup. Aiming for a bottle of water next. Wish me luck.

My roommate, my old roommate, and I went to work out at the FitNest last night. Don’t ever work out at the FitNest at 9:50 pm if you’re as anti-social as I am. There were so many people there. My roomie and I wanted to get two machines next to each other…very difficult. We started on the two really snazzy bikes that have a video screen that plays random trail video, but hers wasn’t working. So that was shortlived. Then we tried to find two elliptical machines or two treadmills next to each other: no such luck. So we decided to head over to the mats and do abs until two machines opened up. Haha.

After we both decided we’d had enough abs, we headed back over to the cardio side. Still no two elliptical machines open next to each other. So we got on these other stationary bikes that were not nearly as cool as the first ones we’d tried. Both of us were not really feeling the bikes when we saw this guy on an elliptical slowing down…and the machine next to him was open. After some frantic hand signals and removing of iPod earbuds, we agreed to pounce as soon as he’d walked away. Mind you, we’d been on the exercise bikes about two minutes.

“We look like those people who don’t know how to workout!” She laments to me as we jump on the elliptical machines.

“No, Betsy, its called circuit training.”

anti-am

I’m just wondering if anyone else hates mornings as much as I do? Personally, I think that all days should just start at about 11 am; we could skip morning all together and go straight to afternoon, a much more pleasant time of day.

Thoughts?

Oh, but since mornings do exist, I’m just going to drink some more coffee. Random note about coffee: The first day my theology professor put us into our small groups, I scared my group permanently by informing them that I was on my second cup of coffee for the day (its was 9:30 am). But that’s not typical; I’m not quite that dependent on coffee usually. 🙂

I like to drink mah coffee and do hoodrat stuff with mah friends

This fine -15 degree wind chill morning I made coffee with my roommate’s new one-cup coffee maker, affectionately named Laterian Keurig.

coffee maker

coffee maker

And here he is, image snitched off Keurig’s official site which is here, for anyone who desires their own Laterian.

Now, the only other people with one of these that I’ve seen were some really rich people who owned a condo in Chicago that my family and I stayed at once. All the carpets were white, and there was a phone in every room and they had an intercom system so you could call the other rooms on the phone in case you know, you couldn’t walk twenty feet to talk to the other person face-to-face.

So when Kathryn told me she was getting one of these machines, I thought, “Oh man…(flashback to all white carpet–shudder)…”

But I am completely swayed.

Pros:

  • Quick
  • makes one-cup at a time, so no wasted coffee (a sin in my book)
  • Tasty coffee
  • Comes with a one-cup sized filter so when you run out of the individual one-cup things, you can use your own coffee
  • You can also make Hot Chocolate with it

Cons:

  • Costs more than a simple coffee pot at Target
  • Makes funny noises, kinda loud
  • Have to buy the cups that go with it (see here) (but see pro above)

But I have to say, Laterian and I, we’re friends.  Mainly because Kathryn let me use him this morning and I got some GOOD coffee.

If you’re wondering where the name Laterian came from, check out this SWEET youTube video.  It may leave you wondering what is wrong with this world, but its funny.

And this link  is totally relevant to the mass comm part of the blog: blogging design contest. Whoot.