Monday, February 3, 2014

Super Bowl Sunday: Seattle and the White Mocha Caramel Frappuccino Cupcakes

Every morning I drive 45 minutes to work anxiously awaiting pulling into the Starbucks parking lot a few blocks away and finally getting ready and alert for my day (hmm, maybe I should do that before driving 45 minutes, but it's so darned close and convenient!).

With Seattle in the Super Bowl, it only seemed fitting to pay proper salute to my go to latte, the white mocha, and Starbucks' signature "Yep, I'm just gonna give up on my day" drink, the Caramel Frappuccino, with an epic cupcake mixing as many sugar laden flavor bombs as I could imagine. The result was an extremely powerful blast of caffeine and flavor that almost perfectly mimicked my ideal start to a day.

White Mocha Caramel Frappuccino Cupcakes
Adapted from Smells Like Home
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Time: 2 hours
The syrup should be liquidy

Caramel Syrup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup very hot water

3 cups cake flour
1/2 cup white mocha powder
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1 tbsp espresso powder
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
While the drizzle is thicker
2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup strongly brewed espresso or coffee

Whipped Cream Frosting
2 1/2 cups cold whipping cream
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp powder sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
Colorful cut straws for decoration

Caramel Drizzle
1/2 cup sugar
5/8 cup heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla extract

The latte tasting batter is clearly full of super caffeinated espresso, much like me on any given morning.
How to make tasty espresso on the cheap

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Make the caramel syrup by putting the sugar in a medium saucepan and heating over medium. When the sides starts to melt, gradually mix the sugar around until all of it is liquified. Let it keep cooking until it turns a dark amber then remove from heat and slowly poor in the hot water while whisking constantly until smooth. If at any point it clumps up, just let it keep going on medium-low heat until it's fixed. Set aside to cool.
  3. Whisk the cake flour, white mocha powder, baking powder, salt and espresso powder together in a large bowl and set aside.
  4. Beat the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. 
  5. Add the eggs one at a time until well incorporated.
  6. Mix in the vanilla extract and caramel syrup.
  7. Alternate adding in the dry ingredients and brewed espresso while mixing at low speed until just mixed (dry->wet->dry->wet->dry).
  8. Fill lined cupcake tins 2/3 full with batter and bake for 16-20 minutes or until the toothpick test comes back clean.
  9. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  10. Make the caramel drizzle by following the same steps as the caramel syrup but using a mix of the heavy cream and vanilla extract in place of the water. Be careful because this will bubble and steam quite a bit when you add the cream. Again, be sure to heat it up to take care of any solidifying. Set aside to cool completely.
  11. Make the frosting by beating the whipped cream over medium-high speed with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Then add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until firmer peaks develop.
  12. Pipe the frosting on top of the cupcakes and top with the caramel drizzle. Make sure everything is cooled completely first so the whipped cream doesn't melt. Place a cut straw on each for decoration.
I think this can count as my morning coffee and muffin. Double win!
Ever since Robin got me my wonderful little stovetop espresso maker, I have been busy perfecting the art of the Sunday morning latte. This typically involves some white mocha powder and a dash of caramel syrup. The stovetop espresso manages to avoid the horrible burnt/no taste of my Coffee Bean pod machine and has really elevated my barista game. These cupcakes epitomized everything I look for in my milky coffee treats from the powerful espresso base to the sweet finish from the beautiful union of the chocolate and caramel. Seriously, from the smell to the taste, this was exactly what I was looking for. The only recommendation I would make is to maybe add a little more to the wet ingredients (perhaps a dash of milk) to help balance out the addition of the white mocha powder. Originally that was not present, and adding it made the cupcakes a little drier than I would have liked (although, apparently I was in the minority on that opinion), but they were still incredible. This really was an espresso lover's dream worthy of Seattle and their Super Bowl Champion Seahawks.
My inability to properly pipe the whipped cream may have led to me having choice words with my piping bag, but no one seemed to mind once it hit their taste buds.

No comments:

Post a Comment