Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What do to when you should be thinking about something else in life.

Chocolate Oatmeal Cupcakes with Cocoa Espresso Buttercream.

Oh that's easy. Make cupcakes. In this case I decided to search the interweb for an "oatmeal cake" and came up with a recipe something like this. Only I made them into about 18 cupcakes instead of 2 9-inch layers. You could do either and whip up a slightly more creative frosting than this one and have yourself a real winner.

Chocolate Oatmeal Cake with Cocoa Espresso Buttercream

Chocolate Oatmeal Cupcakes with Cocoa Espresso Buttercream.

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup AP flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup cocoa powder (the recipe said Dutch processed was preferable. I used natural because it wasn't ;)
1 cup sour cream (originally called for buttermilk, I didn't have any.)
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 handful of chocolate chips or chunks if you want

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a couple cupcake tins with papers.

Cream the butter and sugar together until fully incorporated. The mixture will look a little grainy, which is okay. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for about 30 seconds after each one. Combine the flour, salt, baking soda and cocoa powder and add this alternately with the sour cream, ending with the flour mixture. Stir in the oats and chocolate chunks, if desired.

Portion the batter among the cups and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Chocolate Oatmeal Cupcakes with Cocoa Espresso Buttercream.

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup half and half (or milk or water. I have half and half around for my coffee. Yes.)
1 tablespoon espresso powder

Bring the half and half (or milk or water) to a boil and add the espresso powder and stir. Let cool to room temperature.

Put the butter, sugar, vanilla, cocoa and salt into a food processor and blitz until creamy and combined. Then strain in the espresso-steeped liquid (so you don't get too many big granules of espresso - you could use instant espresso powder to avoid this, but I liked the look of the little specks. Like vanilla seeds only not.) and pulse again until it's nice and smooth.

Ice the cooled cupcakes and enjoy! I love chocolate covered espresso beans so they were a natural garnish for these.

Chocolate Oatmeal Cupcakes with Cocoa Espresso Buttercream.