Peppermint Mocha Delights

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Happy New Year everyone! As 2013 comes to end, it is also a time to remorse the fact that Starbucks Red Cups of Joy are also leaving us for the year. In light of such a sad time of the year, I have created this sweet new recipe so that everyone can continue enjoying the holiday flavours throughout the rest of the year!

My inspiration came from the fact that my coffee-loving best friend was hosting a New Year’s Eve gathering at her house. I have been making the conventional cupcakes for a while, like the Classic Red Velvet or Vanilla Butter Creams, but since it was the last day of the year, I wanted to be a little more ambitious and invent a recipe that would capture the beauty of the Peppermint Mocha drink.

CHALLENGE: Make my own recipe.

This was the first time that I didn’t refer to a recipe at all, and relied mostly on my taste buds to adjust the flavour of the batter. Little did I know that I would be spending the next 5 hours test tasting over 10 cupcakes and making a new batter every time I wanted to change something. Yes…10 cupcakes that all had coffee in them….I couldn’t sleep until 4AM.

My friends aren’t a fan of overly sweet treats, so others who try out this recipe might find it slightly on the bitter end. No worries though, just add enough sugar to please your pallete! I also did not use a traditional thick icing, but used whipped cream instead to imitate how baristas serve the Peppermint Mocha in its liquid form. This cake is also very moist!

I hope you all have an amazing new year and surprise your friends with this new recipe!

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Cupcakes: 

1. Preheat oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit

2. Melt the butter in a small bowl, and the chocolate in another small bowl (it’s easier to melt if you use chocolate chips/disks rather than bars)

You can melt the chocolate using a microwave by microwaving the chips for 30 seconds, taking them out to give them a quick stir, putting them back in for another 30 seconds, taking them out to give them another stir, and repeating this process until all the chips are completely melted

3. Pour the melted butter into the melted chocolate and stir until colour is consistently brown

4. Empty 2 packs of coffee powder into the mixture of butter and chocolate and stir until no lumps of powder can be seen. Set aside to cool

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5. In a medium bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt

6. In a large bowl, whisk the 2 eggs, and then mix in the granulated sugar. When the mixture becomes consistent, mix in the brown sugar

7. Add the vanilla and peppermint extract into the egg/sugar mixture and stir until it is well incorporated

8. Add half of the powder/flour mixture and half of the milk into the egg/sugar mixture. Gently fold the ingredients into each other with a plastic spatula to avoid the batter from being over mixed

9. Once the batter is consistent in colour, repeat step 8 using the remaining half of the ingredients

10. Once all the ingredients have been incorporated, the batter should have the consistency of thick chocolate pudding

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11. Divide the batter into mini cupcake liners, filling each one half full

12. Place into the oven and bake for approximately 18 minutes. Use the toothpick method at 15 minutes to check if the cupcakes are ready to be pulled outor not (different ovens have different baking times)

Decor:

1. After the cupcakes have fully cooled, stack the cupcakes so that each “cupcake tower” is 2 cupcakes high

2. Using decorative paper that you can buy or make yourself (I drew my own graphics on Adobe Illustrator and borrowed the Starbucks logo from Google), wrap it around a tower, and tape the ends together.  Your tower should now look like a cup

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Whipped cream melts very quickly in room temperature, so do not top your cupcakes until they are ready to be served.

3. Top the cupcakes with whipped cream

4. Sprinkle chocolate decor on top of the whipped cream (I did not have chocolate curls, so I crushed a bag of chocolate chips)

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5. Stick a mini straw on top, and enjoy your delicious cup of Peppermint Mocha Cake!

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