Originally uploaded by cupcakequeen.

The Second Weeki: Espresso Cupcakes

1/2 cup soft unslated butter
1/2 cp dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup self-rising cake flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 tablespoon espresso coffee powder
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
1-2 tablespoons milk

11 ounces bittersweet chocolate
scant 1/4 cup unslated butter
2 teaspoons instant espress coffee powder

12-cup muffin pan with paper baking cups

Preheate the oven to 400 degrees

Pulse the butter and sugar in a food processor, then add the eggs, pulsing again. Tip in the flour, cocoa, and coffee powder, and process until you have a smooth batter. Finally, add the chocolate, and thin the batter with the milk. Pour into the muffin baking cups in their pan and cook for 15-20 min. A quick poke with a cake tester should let you know if they're sufficiently cooked. Let the cakes cool out of the oven in the pan for a few minutes, then take them out to cool completely on a rack.

While they're cooling, get on with the icing. Just put the chocolate, butter, and instant espresso powder in a large bowl and put it in the microwave till the chocolate's melted. Whisk together to combine, then lop off a slice from the top of each cupcake so that you've got perfectly flat surface. Spread the icing over this surface, until you've got 12 dark chocolate cupcakes doing their best to look like espressi. If you want, stud the center of each with a chocolate-covered coffee bean.

Makes 12.

From "How to Be a Domestic Goddess" by Nigella Lawson

The First Week: Coconut Cupcakes

coconut cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 7-ounce package flaked sweetened coconut, divided

Line 16 muffin cups with paper baking cups, and set aside. Preheat
oven to 325 degrees, and set oven racks at top and lower middle

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda
and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar
and butter on medium speed for about 3 minutes, or until light and
fluffy. Turn the mixer speed to low, and add the eggs one at a time,
beating 1 minute after each. Beat in the vanilla and almond extract.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and beat again briefly.

Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk alternately to the butter
mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined.
Fold in only 1 1/3 cups of the coconut.

Fill each muffin cup almost full with batter. Bake in a 325-degree
oven for 11 to 14 minutes on the top and lower-middle racks of oven,
then reverse the positions of the two cupcake pans (putting the one
from the top on the lower middle rack and vice versa), and bake
another 11 to 14 minutes or until the cupcake tops are golden and a
wooden toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

cream cheese icing
2 packages (8 ounces each)
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1-1/2 pounds confectioners' sugar (about 5-2/3 cups), sifted

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 24 standard muffin pan cups with fluted paper liners. On waxed paper, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, an salt.

In large bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat sugar and butter 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add eggs, 1 a a time, beating well afer each addition. Beat in extracts.

Beat in flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat just until blended, scraping blwl frequently with rubber spatual. Stire in half of coconut (2-2/3 cupbs).

Spoon batter by level 1/3 cups into paper liners, filling almost to top. Bake 25-30 min. or until cupcakes are golden brown and toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

When cupcakes are cool, preapre cream cheese icing: In large bowl, with mixer at medium pseed, beat cream cheese, butter, and extracts until smooth. Reduce speed to low; add confectioners' sugar and beat until blended. Increase speed to medium-high; beat until blended. Increase speed to medium-high; beat until icing is smooth and creamy, frequently scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Makes about 5 cups.

Frost tops of cupcakes with icing. Sprinkle with remaining coconut.

(Recipe by Ina Garten)
Baked on April 10, 2005