Sunday, February 27, 2011

Kahlua Cupcakes = Fail

When I found out today was National Kahlua Day, I assumed it was my (not exactly patriotic) duty to bake Kahlua cupcakes. A Google search returned approximately 89,034,299 different recipes for Kahlua cupcakes. And out of those 89,034,299, I happened to pick the worst one.

I don't know exactly what went wrong, but perhaps someone can help me troubleshoot. This has never happened to me before, but my cupcakes stuck to the cupcake papers. WTF, dude? The cupcakes are not supposed to stick to the papers. I also failed at the frosting, but that was my own stupid fault. More on that below.

Kahlua Cupcakes
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch salt
1/3 cup Kahlua
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules (or instant espresso)
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
2 egg whites
1/3 cup milk
Coffee buttercream frosting (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350 and line cupcake pan with paper liners.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together Kahlua and instant coffee. Set aside.

In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together sugar and butter. Alternately beat in flour mixture, milk and Kahlua mixture. Beat until smooth.

Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool in pan 10 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.

Coffee Buttercream Frosting
1 stick butter
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon hot coffee
1 teaspoon Kahlua

Note: This frosting recipe also called for a pinch of salt, a bit of vanilla extract and more instant coffee granules. I left those ingredients out because I thought the vanilla and additional coffee would result in a frosting that was way too overpowering. (And I left the salt out because I've never put salt in my frosting. That's just weird.)

Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in a bowl.

Combine coffee and Kahlua. (Here's a great big heads up ... you know by now that I have a tendency to pay more attention to the ingredients than the directions in a recipe. So when this recipe called for hot coffee, I failed to notice that you were supposed to let the coffee cool completely before adding it to your frosting. And the reason it was supposed to be hot in the first place was to dissolve the instant coffee granules that I didn't use. So I stupidly added the hot coffee to my frosting, which caused it to melt a bit. I was able to stiffen it up by adding more confectioners' sugar, but it started to run again while I was frosting the cupcakes.)

So it wasn't until I tried to taste test a cupcake dripping with frosting (I still needed to know whether they tasted good) that I realized they had stuck to the papers. I still have absolutely no idea what went wrong there, so help me out if you can. Despite the disaster they became, they still tasted good. Had I not screwed them up, they would have been a perfect way to celebrate National Kahlua Day!

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