Those of you who follow Purple House Cafe know that around Christmas-time, a gigantic batch of marshmallow fondant - or perhaps a loaf of sourdough bread – caused my beloved stand mixer to die a painful death.
It has yet to be replaced.
You see, I have a very strong husband who has a willingness to stir things ad nauseum. And, I have a very long list of OTHER things I want to spend my hard-earned cash on that are decidedly NOT a stand mixer.
So when I saw a Mother’s Day cupcake decorating contest in the local newspaper that was going to award the winner a stand mixer, I was all over it like a….umm….all the analogies I have here are a little rude. Anyways. I was all over that.
I had seen a variation on these cupcakes on Pinterest over a year ago and had long sought a reason to make them. This, to me, was the perfect Mother’s Day cupcake: a mocha cupcake with chocolate buttercream, fondant, and chocolate candy made to look like a latte.
As many of you know, my daughter is not big on sleeping. She’s big on snuggling, crawling across my chest in the middle of the night so I wake up with a mouthful of wispy blonde hair, and nursing, and nursing and nursing and nursing.
Maybe I secretly love it. Not the nights when she decides at three o’clock in the morning that she’s had enough sleep and wants to play with stuffies and practice her words, but maybe those nights when her soft breathing and warm body lull me back to my dreams as she lays in the crook of my arm. I have it on good authority that there will be a time when she’ll no longer want to curl up there, so for now, I’m going to shake off the cobwebb-y feeling I sometimes wake up with, fully embrace the consumption of coffee, and enjoy it to the fullest.
Therein lies the backstory to these Mother’s Day cupcakes. Coffee and motherhood go hand in hand for me, and many others I know.
I figured I was a shoo-in to win that mixer.
But sadly, I wasn’t. There is some seriously talented cupcakery going on in this city and my little lattes couldn’t compete. Nevertheless, I got to play with fondant and eat an absolutely silly amount of cake, and think about the changes to my life that motherhood has brought, a love of coffee being the least of them.
Here’s what you need:
In this recipe, I used my classic buttercream recipe and added a couple tablespoons of cocoa to taste, and my marshmallow fondant recipe. I used white chocolate molding wafers for the “foam” on the lattes.
For the cupcakes, I modified a recipe for mocha brownie cupcakes from one of my favourite food blogs, Annie’s Eats.
- 11 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
- 3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 long shot of espresso, or about 1/2 cup of very strong coffee
Here’s what you do:
Preheat your oven to 350F and prepare a cupcake tin with liners.
Place the chocolate and butter in a heat-proof bowl, and place the bowl over a pot of water (thereby creating your own double boiler!). Heat over medium heat until the chocolate and butter melt. Stir to combine.
Allow this mixture to cool. In the meantime, beat the sugar and eggs with an electric mixer until pale and smooth. Whisk together the rest of the dry ingredients.
Add the espresso/strong coffee and the chocolate to the sugar and egg mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients until they are all incorporated, and pour the batter out into the cupcake tin. Bake them 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cupcake comes out clean.
To make the latte cupcakes, once the cupcakes were cool, I cut off their tops so they were flat. I iced the sides of the cupcakes with my chocolate buttercream. I rolled my fondant out thinly and cut a slice off to wrap around the cupcake, ensuring that there was a little lip of fondant around the top of the cupcake to hold the chocolate “foam” in. I rolled out pieces of fondant to make the cup handles and attached them. Then I melted some white chocolate molding wafers, separating out half of them and using gel food colouring to make them resemble the colour of coffee (you could definitely have just used chocolate wafers here instead). I poured the chocolate onto the tops of the lattes and swirled it to decorate. I decorated one of them with cinnamon too!