Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Happy Almost There Day!

Generally on Wednesdays we just feel like we could use a stiff drink. However, it's not exactly kosher to be packin' red wine in our to-go coffee mugs. Naturally, the next best thing is chocolate.

With this in mind (and a stiff drink in hand) one little goddess decided to bake cupcakes last night. Lacking inspiration, she did what anyone should do in such a situation...she called her muse.

After a few hurried texts back and forth, it was decided: Mexican Chocolate Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting would be just the fix for Almost There Day.

For the Cupcakes
2 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 cup hot coffee
2 cups sugar
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

Combine chocolate and hot coffee in a bowl. Let it stand for a few minutes, then stir until smooth.
Sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. In another large bowl beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored (3-5 minutes). Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.

Divide mixture between 24 muffin cups. Use a scant 1/4 for each cupcake. Bake for 20 minutes or until set in the center.

For the Frosting
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
11 oz room temperature UNsalted butter (22 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 oz cream cheese
2 oranges zested
1 tablespoon triple sec

Put egg whites and sugar in the heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and mixture registers 140 degrees on an instant read thermometer, 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove egg mixture from heat and beat on high until mixture is fluffy and cooled (5-10 minutes)

Reduce speed and add butter several tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla, and mix until buttercream comes together, 3 to 5 minutes.

In another bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add buttercream, orange zest and triple sec and beat until well combined.

All you have to do to assemble these little suckers is to pipe the cream cheese buttercream onto the cooled cupcakes. I used a large star tip (below) and simply made a little swirl around the top of the cupcakes.

Enjoy ladies, we're almost there!


  1. These cupcakes are worthy of their glam shot. They are light, sweet with a touch of spice. The icing is a perfect match to the chocolate. The only reason I haven't eaten more is because others will see my gluttony.

  2. AMAAAAZING. They look so good, baking muse! :-)