The love of coffee came late in my life. I have a love-hate relationship with its bitter and astringent taste that contrasts with its deep, rich aroma. One has to love both of these characteristics or not at all. There is no middle ground and it took me a long time to realize that coffee, like life, comes in a package.
I would like to think that my graduation from coffee with copious amount of condensed milk to sugarless coffee with a splash of fresh milk shows a certain degree of maturity, especially when my senses are getting dull due to abuse and age. Of all the wonderful smells I would like to remember, it would have to be coffee and the smell of a freshly powdered baby.
To make a good cuppa, I grind my own beans , in small batches, to prevent the ground beans from going rancid, a process that starts when the bean is broken up. For this reason , I avoid buying huge packs of ground coffee even though it may seem to make financial sense. Beans are a better bet, but it requires an additional coffee grinder, a minus. Whichever case, store coffee in an air tight container, away from heat and light, to preserve the integrity of the coffee.
However, in this baking escapade, I have used instant coffee granules, since it is the most convenient thing to do and I am curious how the Boncafe gourmet coffee smells like. Not bad, but then I am not a sophisticated drinker, so some may beg to differ.
In any case, all the agony dithering between this and that, all for the sake of a great frappe cupcake, pays great dividends. Two days down the road, I was into an encore bake this time with variation. Watch out for it in the next post.
Of all the cakes experiences, this is one of the most surreal. Even though I know that eight cupcakes were undergoing transformation in the oven, the constant waft of coffee fragrance kept drawing me to my espresso machine to check if I have forgotten my morning booster.
Verdict : due to the manner of preparation, the cupcake is just about mildly dense . Needless to say, the highlight is the heady bouquet of coffee. The cakes are mildly sweet, so I do not suggest tweaking the sugar downwards which may make the coffee overpowering for some. To replace with fresh espresso, a slightly more than half cup will do nicely.
Makes 8 small cupcakes
150g plain flour
1 t baking powder
1/3 cup ground almonds
120g softened butter
100g dark sugar
3t good quality instant coffee granules dissolved in 1T hot water then cooled
2 eggs, room temp, 45g each
125 ml sour cream
Optional topping :
Chocolate coated coffee bean
Mix these ingredients in a big bowl : flour, almond, baking powder,salt. Set aside.
Cream butter,coffee,brown sugar until creamy.
Whisk in eggs, one at a time.
Add flour and light cream alternatively, in small batches until well incorporated.
Preheat oven to 170C.
Scoop batter to 8 small muffin cups, filling cup to 3/4 full.
Bake for 25-26 minutes, until you can smell the coffee fragrance and a skewer pierced in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Let it cool completely before topping off with whipped cream and coffee bean.