Chocolate Cupcakes and Mocha Cream Cheese Frosting

Well today is the day. You finally get the family recipe for chocolate cake and that mocha frosting recipe I mentioned weeks ago. The mocha frosting actually comes from my mom’s good friend Leslie. She has excellent taste when it comes to baked goods. And she’s ace at crib. Just putting that out there.

Anyways, last weekend we found an adorable soda shop in Brooklyn, Brooklyn Farmacy, that only plays 50s music and serves up housemade soda and ice cream in floats and sundaes. Yay! I just might take you there if you visit. We also went to Governor’s Ball and lazed about on the grass and listened to some really loud music (The Jezabels were my favourite of the day). I don’t think festivals are my preferred way to enjoy live music but hey, one has to try these things right?

I have eaten crazy amounts of cherry tomatoes with fresh basil, fresh mozzarella, fresh garlic and balsamic vinegar this week, freaked out about having to argue in housing court, said goodbye to my best intern buddy and indulged in a lot of mocha frosting. Plus I regained my #1 (pointless) email pal now that he spends his days making powerpoint slides. All in all, it was a good week.

A spring wedding from Studio Choo

Who knew? Rhinebeck used to be the violet growing capital of the world

Sometimes I see flower arrangements and I’m immediately captured. Then I find out they’re by either Nicolette Camille or Saipua. Unsurprising.

Chocolate Cake from the American Heart Association Cookbook

This is another one of those recipes you should keep around when you need to whip up a cake last minute. You almost always have all the ingredients (just sour some milk with vinegar to substitute for buttermilk) and it only takes one bowl. We most often serve it with seafoam but I like to fancy it up with peanut butter, mocha, or raspberry swiss buttercream frosting.

Good for a 9X13 or 2 9-inch rounds or 3 8-inch rounds or 2 1/2 dozen cupcakes

3 cups flour
2 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cups cocoa
1  1/2 tablespoons baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 cup oil
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
Splash of vanilla
1 1/2 cups coffee, boiling

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease pans and line with wax paper.
2. Whisk or sift together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
3. Stir in vanilla, oil and buttermilk until just mixed.
4. Gently stir in hot coffee until just mixed. Don’t worry if batter is really runny or has some lumps.
5. Pour into pans and bake for 30-40 minutes (20 minutes for cupcakes) until a toothpick comes out clean. Make day ahead or even freeze for best taste.

Leslie’s Mocha Frosting

8 oz. butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons instant coffee
9 tablespoons cocoa
4 tablespoons milk
3-5 cups of icing sugar

1. Cream butter and cream cheese.
2. Add vanilla, instant coffee, cocoa and 2 tablespoons milk. Beat until well mixed.
3. Add 2 cups icing sugar and beat. Then proceed to add in icing sugar and milk as necessary to get to the desired level of sweetness and consistency. Unfortunately, this will require frequent taste tests. HARDSHIP.

PRO TIP: This icing is actually the most delicious filling for graham crackers ever. Especially when you refrigerate them and the graham crackers stay crispy but the icing firms up for a creamy, simple sandwich cookie.

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