Thursday, July 21, 2011

Caramel Macchiato Cupcakes

I came across this recipe and was intrigued just by the name… If you LOVE coffee, (like me) or even "like" coffee, TRUST me, you will love this cupcake! The Kahlua/ Irish Cream adds the “kick” that I like to add in my recipes… yummmm!!!  Plus, a tad of sea salt sprinkled to the top gives you the sweet and salty taste...ah, perfection!

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 1/2 cups of flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup strongly brewed coffee (I use Starbucks coffee)
1/4 cup milk, I used fat free - gotta keep the calories low, right??
1 tbsp Bailey's Irish Cream or Kahlua
12 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
6 large egg yolks (save the egg whites for the frosting!)
1 rounded tsp instant espresso
1. Preheat the oven to 350.  Line 16 cups of two muffin tins with cupcake liners.

2. Measure out your dried goods into a bowl - flour, baking powder, and salt.  In a separate bowl, mix together the coffee, milk, and bailey's/kahlua.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer using a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy - about 5 minutes.  Mix in the egg yolks, one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition,

4. Pour 1/3 of the flour mixture into the stand mixer and mix until just combined.  Add in half of the coffee mix.  Repeat with another third of the flour and then the remaining coffee.  Finally, add in the rest of the flour.  Do NOT overmix!

5. Divide the batter in half.  To one half, add the 1 tsp instant espresso.

6. Divide the batter with the instant espresso in it among the cupcake liners.  Top this off with batter from the un-espresso-ed batter.  Put in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Let them rest in the pans for ten minutes, then remove to a wire rack.  Let cool COMPLETELY before icing.

Caramel Italian Meringue Buttercream (This makes this cupcake!!)
Makes...a lot, adapted from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
5 egg whites
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into tbsp (I just cut it into tbsp as I added it to the bowl of the stand mixer).
4 tbsp caramel plus extra for drizzling purposes

1. Combine 1 cup sugar and the water in a non-reactive saucepan.  Boil until they reach a temperature of 245 degrees.  In the meantime start the meringue.

2. Whip egg whites with a wire whisk in a stand mixer on high until soft peaks form, about 1-2 minutes.  Sprinkle in 1/4 cup sugar.  Beat for another minute, or until incorporated.

3. Slowly pour the hot, 245 degree sugar/water mixture into the bowl of the stand mixer with the mixer still on high.

4. Beat the frosting for 7-10 minutes or until the outside of the stand mixer bowl has cooled down to room temperature.

5. Beat in the butter by the tbsp.  Cry because you have just added four sticks of butter to your frosting.  Rejoice because you have just added four sticks of butter to your frosting.

6. Pour in the four tbsp caramel.  Mix for about a minute.  Frost cooled cupcakes, drizzling caramel over the top. 
7. Optional: Sprinkle with sea salt ... oh yea! 
Makes 16, adapted from Food Mayhem

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