Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes

I know I know I know I know I know I know I know I know — long time no see, huh? Man, I really am the worst. A entire season and a half went by and I didn’t update this blog ONCE. I’m sure you’ve all been refreshing this page every day, in the vain hope that a new delicious treat would be posted. “Why won’t she update her blog????” you would cry to the heavens. “DOESN’T SHE KNOW THIS IS ALL I HAVE TO LIVE FOR???????????”

Well, I’m very sorry. Really. I’ve just been way, way too busy to bake. Or, at least, bake something new and take pictures of it and blabber about it on the Internet. So, yes, I have been baking, but not very often, and nothing I haven’t posted about already.

BUT! It’s Christmas! And I decided, you know, it’s time for something new. It’s time to dust off Jackie Ruins the Cake and place a cupcake on the… desk… that is this website… that I’ve just dusted… um?

Anyway, on to the important part: the cupcakes!

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And what would a Jackie Ruins the Cake post be without me fucking things up in some fashion? I’m pretty rusty, especially when it comes to meringue buttercreams, and so while the cupcakes themselves came out rather tasty (how could they not? It’s coffee and chocolate and mint, three great and perfect things), even though I forgot the brown sugar. However, the buttercream…

Okay, so I was attempting to make Swiss Meringue Buttercream — something I have already made — but something happened, and no matter how much I mixed and mixed, the goddamn meringue would not form stiff peaks. I added the butter anyway in hopes that it would form anyway, aaaaaaand it didn’t. It was just soupy and liquidy and curdled and ugh. Some yolk must have gotten in the egg whites somehow. So, on the verge of tears once again because of frosting, I dumped it the useless frosting down the toilet and ventured out into the cold to buy two cans of storemade frosting.

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I felt like a dismal failure, but was determined to finish these cupcakes anyway, so I put the one can of plain buttercream in the pastry bag, and the other can I dyed red (well, I tried to dye it red, but it came out pink) and added a random amount of mint extract. Then I placed that on top of the plain buttercream already in the pastry bag, and mixed it all up as best as I could, in order to get a stripe effect.

It didn’t quite work out the way I wanted it to, but they still looked pretty cool anyway.

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(yeah, they look a lot pinker in this photo than they do in real life for some reason?)

I brought them into work today, and was told they were awesome and that I should open my own bakery, so at least they were liked!

I’m going to try to update this blog more often in 2013. I won’t be posting once a week like I did when I first opened this site, but I’ll try to post something at least once every month or two.

Try being the operative word here.

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes (from Annie’s Eats)

Cupcakes

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2-3 tsp. espresso powder
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup whole milk
1 cup strong brewed coffee
1 tsp. peppermint extract
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs

Frosting

6 large egg whites
1¾ plus 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 tsp. peppermint extract
1-2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and line cupcake pan with liner. Mix the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder and soda, and salt in a medium-sized bowl, and the milk, coffee, and extract in another bowl. Cream the butter and sugars until fluffy, then blend in the eggs one at a time. Alternatively add the dry and wet ingredients until all have been incorporated, ending with the dry ingredients. Pour the batter into the cupcake liners and bake for 18-20 minutes.

For the frosting, combine the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl over simmering water until the sugar has dissolved and it reaches a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Whisk frequently. Then remove the bowl off of the stove and using a stand mixer (preferably, unless you only have a hand mixer, in which case be prepared to stand there mixing for a whiiile) with a whisk attachment, beat at a medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Then lower the speed to medium and add the butter two tablespoons at a time. Stir in the extracts and beat until incorporated.

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