Back in the day (waaaay back in the day), I had the dream of opening a recording studio in my homeland of Coal Creek Canyon, Colorado. I wanted to name the recording studio “All the C’s”. Incidentally, I also had a cat named C. Seriously, just the letter “C”. And no, it didn’t stand for “cat”. I’m far more creative than that.

Since that dream has faded (and because it’s an illogical notion to open a recording studio in a remote canyon), I’ve forgotten about “All the C’s”. But now, the name can be reborn–in cupcake form!

YUM!

So, these are your basic chocolate cupcakes. No, I’m not giving you my chocolate cake recipe. It’s something I’ve spent 3 years perfecting. However, I will discuss my frosting and ganache filling!

Coffee Ganache filling:

1 part cream

2 parts coarsely chopped chocolate

2 tbsp kahlua

1 tbsp fresh finely ground coffee

Heat the cream until boiling. Put the chopped chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Pour hot cream over chocolate. Let sit for 2-3 minutes, then slowly stir in ground coffee and kahlua. Stir until the mixture thickens. You can refrigerate this and whip it, if you so desire. Alternatively, replace the fresh coffee grinds with instant espresso powder. With a pastry bag and a bismarck tip (or a star tip), fill each cupcake until it is about to burst. You really can’t have too much filling, so don’t be shy!

Chocolate frosting:

1 scant cup coffee chocolate ganache (from above recipe), melted until pourable (but not hot)

2 tbsp kahlua

8 tbsp room temperature butter (NOT margarine or shortening)

1/2 cup powdered sugar

3 tbsp fresh finely ground coffee

Cream butter and sugar together. Add coffee grounds and kahlua. Continue to mix while slowly adding coffee ganache. Add more powdered sugar to make the mixture as thick as you would like. With a pastry bag and tip (I used some kind of star tip, but I don’t remember which), create swirls on top of your cupcakes.

The freshly ground coffee gives just a hint of coffee flavour, as does the kahlua. For a stronger coffee flavour, use instant espresso powder or good quality coffee extract.

I’m also a big fan of the photograph. I think I’ve come a long way with my photography skills, don’t you?! =)

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