Friday, July 29, 2011

Mocha Walnut Cupcakes – Made with Magic Beans!

Pin It It is not every day you get to meet a man who sells magic beans. Unlike Jack (of beanstalk fame) I wasn’t taking my cow to market. I was waiting to be interviewed on the Morning Show on East Coast FM, when Stephen McCabe walked in, bringing with him a delicious aroma of freshly-roasted coffee beans.

Let them eat cake!

We got chatting and it turns out that Stephen is master roaster at McCabe’s Hand-Roasted Coffee. He had just been awarded two gold stars for his espresso – McCabe’s Classic Italian Blend – this year’s top Great Taste Award from the Guild of Fine Foods. This is an outstanding achievement by any stretch, but given they are a small family firm, up against some of the giants in the industry, it is doubly impressive. These are magic beans indeed. 
Dark chocolate coffee cake with a swirl of espresso frosting... about to do a disappearing act !

Stephen’s success has inspired these Mocha Walnut Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream Frosting. I am, of course, using his magic coffee beans.

For 12 large cupcakes you will need...

150g butter, softened
100g caster sugar
50g dark Muscovado sugar (or any dark brown sugar)
3 eggs
125g plain flour
25g cocoa powder, sifted
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of double-strength espresso, cooled (or 1 teaspoon decent instant coffee dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water, then cooled)

Pre-heat your fan oven to 160°C and line a 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake papers

1                   In a mixing bowl, beat the butter together with the sugars until smoothly blended. Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions.
2                    Sprinkle in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda and continue beating until these dry ingredients are incorporated into the mixture.
3                   Add the cooled strong coffee and the vanilla essence and mix until incorporated.
4                   Divide the mixture between the 12 cupcake papers and transfer to the preheated oven.
5                   Bake for 18 – 20 minutes or until risen and evenly golden.
6                   Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Leave to cool completely adding the frosting.

For the Espresso Buttercream Frosting you will need...
150g butter, softened
300g icing sugar
1 tablespoon of double-strength espresso, cooled (or 1 teaspoon decent instant coffee dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water, then cooled)

1                   In a mixing bowl, slowly beat the butter together with one-third of the icing sugar until smoothly blended. Add in the rest of the icing sugar and the cooled coffee and continue beating until light and fluffy. I usually set a timer for 5 minutes to ensure gorgeous light frosting.  Transfer to the frosting delivery system cupcakes using a spatula, or pipe in generous swirls and top with toasted walnuts – the perfect complement to an excellent coffee.

We're full of (magic) beans!

I’m lucky enough to live near several of the many coffee shops that sell their coffees and McCabe’s have an online shop if you live further afield. Pin It