Sunday, 1 November 2009

Cappuccino Cupcakes

I decided that making the millionaire shortbread from "Red Velvet & Chocolate Heartache" was not a good test of the book, as it is about the only recipe in there that doesn't use some kind of vegetable in place of butter. The anthropomorphic descriptions in the book are not particularly useful, so it took me a while to decide on the cappuccino cupcakes with sweet potato.

Cappuccino Cupcakes (with Sweet Potato)

After creaming eggs and sugar, finely grated sweet potato is mixed in. The other main difference between this recipe and a standard cake is that the flour is replaced by rice flour and ground almonds, making this gluten free as well as fat free (I know there are fats in nuts, eggs and sugar, but there isn't the massive hunk of butter that starts off most cake recipes).

Before baking, the batter tasted more like carrot cake than coffee cake. Even though I'd added more coffee essence than the recipe suggested, the flavour was quite weak. After baking, I tried one of the cakes without any icing. Although the coffee flavour was still weak, the cake was moist and fluffy, and the sweet potato had melted away. I was quite impressed that such a healthy set of ingredients could produce such a good example of cake.

The suggested icing was a modified buttercream - 1 part butter, 1 part mascarpone and 4 parts icing sugar. Again I put in a bit more coffee essence than recommended to ensure that the icing made up for the lack of coffee flavour in the cake. While I like the creamier texture that mascarpone adds, I find that it produces quite a loose icing, which doesn't pipe as well as plain buttercream. I tried to practice icing roses on the top of these cakes, but as the mixture wasn't stiff enough they collapsed a little. I think my technique is improving though.

Cappuccino Cupcake with "Rose" Icing Pattern

I am generally not a fan of "fun-free" food, but these were quite impressive. I don't think I'd make them regularly for myself, but as I know a few people who are watching their weight or gluten intolerant, it's good to have a recipe to suit them too.

Cappuccino Cupcakes (Harry Eastwood - Red Velvet & Chocolate Heartache)
Makes 12

2 eggs
160g caster sugar
200g peeled and grated sweet potato
100g rice flour
100g ground almonds
2tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3tbsp coffee essence

50g unsalted butter
200g icing sugar
50g mascarpone
2tsp coffee essence

1) Preheat the oven to 180C, and line the muffin tray with paper cases.
2) Whisk the eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy. Whisk in the sweet potato, followed by the rice flour, grated almonds, baking powder and salt. Finally stir through the coffee essence.
3) Fill the cases and bake for 20 minutes. The cakes may look a bit like muffins at this point but don't worry.
4) While the cakes cool, whisk the butter for the icing until it is smooth. Then add 100g of the icing sugar and beat in to the butter to form a thick paste. Whisk for longer than you think you need as it is vital the butter and sugar are properly combined.
5) Add the mascarpone, coffee essence and remaining 100g of icing sugar. Mix with a spoon until you get a smooth icing (don't use the electric whisk here, it'll destroy the texture of the mascarpone.) Keep the icing in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
6) Once the cakes are cool, top them with the icing.

I'm keeping my cakes in the fridge, as the mascarpone won't survive at room temperature very long. However, if you plan to eat these within a day or so, they should be fine to store in a normal cake box.


Chele said...

Going to have to buy myself a copy of that book because of your blog lol!

Great looking cupcakes!

Jenny said...

Lol! If only I was getting a cut of the profits...!

Nora said...

Me too actually! I'm so intrigued to see how these recipes turn out. I've seen nothing but positive reports on blogs.
Beautiful icing, by the way!

Sarah, Maison Cupcake said...

These look lovely! I really love this book and have been cooking a few things from it myself over the past couple of weeks. About to make caramel and passionfruit swiss roll!

Julia said...

Hi Jenny

I recently bought this book and I absolutely love it, I think I open it and look at the pictures every night after work!

I was hoping you could help me; you made the salted caramel shortbread recently and that calls for a 22cm square brownie tin. I have searched high and low and can't find one! What make is yours and where did you get it? Or did you use a different sized tin? I'm a bit obsessive and don't like to use the wrong size...


Jenny said...

I've just checked and by some miracle my brownie tin was 22cm square! However I thought the layers were a bit thick so I'm sure using a slightly bigger tin wouldn't do too much harm.

ILikePaperCutting said...

beautiful cupcakes. May I know how to do the rose petal frosting?