You can throw in some cinnamon or not, but you had me on coffee and chocolate. Yes, as I was browsing the Internet last week I came across some really fine cupcakes that have the added attraction of well-thought-our nutrition.
These cupcakes use white whole-wheat flour, which can be substituted for all-purpose flour pretty well, and I can help you in learning when to do it and when not to. If you are planning a special meal, generally speaking do not make something you have never made before. For example, if you have a dinner party coming up, you will lower your stress level and gain confidence if you know that everything you serve will be the best.
That doesn't mean that you have to labor over every element of the meal--on the contrary, make it easy on yourself with exquisite baguettes from Sprouts' bakery or the Organic Bakery on north Oracle Road in Tucson by all means. What you cook personally, however you decide what to cook, is fine.
But say you have never made crepes before. Don't confine yourself to a desperate kitchen scenario where they stick or burn while you wonder in a panicky way what you are going to serve. That just doesn't have to happen.
I also offer you the delight of making a practice recipe to make sure that what your mind is telling you about taste and texture is going to happen. Therefore, if you want to try the cake, cupcake or crepes, make some a week ahead and adjust your menu. If it's a golden recipe and everything comes out perfect, so much the better.
With that in mind I present these cupcakes. You can serve their chocolate-mocha deliciousness with the knowledge that the ingredients were well-planned to delight the taste and nourish the body.
DOUBLE CHOCOLATE MOCHA MUFFINS
1 cup white whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup brown sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder such as Brazilian ground cacao
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 large egg at room temperature
½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup strongly brewed coffee, cooled to room temperature
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon espresso powder
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 350.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, espresso powder and salt. Stir in the chocolate chips (stirring add-ins to dry ingredients helps prevent them from sinking to the bottom).
In a separate bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar together until they are fluffy. Add the egg, coffee and vanilla and mix well. Finally fold in the dry ingredients just until they are mixed in and you can no longer see any streaks.
Divide the batter among 12 greased or paper-lined muffin cups and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Allow them to cool on a wire rack to room temperature before frosting.
I recommend a chocolate frosting for these great cupcakes. And you ought to note that different cocoa preparations will come out differently. Using the ground cacao, which has a milk-chocolate color, will produce a different cupcake from using semi-sweet baking cocoa. This is all fine; just use what you like.
There are also chocolate chunks, extra-large chips and dark-chocolate chips to choose from, so these cupcakes can get into the artisanal level, especially if you are looking for a signature dish. Just remember to apply your high standards to the frosting/decorating and people will be asking if you ever sell these guys.