Brilliant Daughter was participating in a bake sale at her place of employment to raise funds for local schools. I thought it would be a good idea to contribute, being as I work as a contractor…at home…with no co-workers to feed. Since I had been hankering to make some cupcakes, I dug around for something a little unique. I finally settled on Vietnamese Coffee Cupcakes, cobbling together recipes from various sites to come up with something that would work for me and utilize ingredients I had on hand.
The cupcakes turned out rather well, light and tasty, reminiscent of a sweetly fragrant Vietnamese coffee. They are a bit of work, as they are made from scratch and have a filling, but I think they were worth it.
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup strong brewed coffee (preferably espresso)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon finely ground coffee (espresso grind works best)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare 24 cupcake pans.
Beat butter on high until soft, about 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beat for 30 seconds between each.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Put coffee and cream into a measuring cup together.
Add a quarter of the flour to the butter/sugar mixture and beat to combine. Then add one-third cup of liquid mixture beat until combined. Repeat the process two more times and end with last addition of the flour mixture. Fold in ground coffee.
Fill cupcake liners two-thirds full and bake 25 minutes. Let cool completely
Make filling (below).
1 teaspoon unflavored (Knox) gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let sit for 5 minutes. In a small pan over medium heat, heat the sweetened condensed milk until warm. Prepare ice bath by putting ice cubes and water into a bowl that will accommodate the pan. Add the gelatin to the heated milk and stir over heat until the gelatin melts, about 2 minutes. Transfer mixture to water bath set. Stir constantly until the mixture thickens. Once mixture has cooled put into pastry bag with medium round tip. (Alternately a Ziploc bag with corner cut or even baby spoon will work to fill cupcakes.)
Using a large pastry tip, core out the center of each cupcake. Carefully pull out any crumbs and remove the cake round from the tip using a toothpick. Fill each whole three-quarters full with filling and replace cake round on top.
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
¾ cup heavy cream
¼ cup very strong coffee (preferably espresso)
3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
1 ½ pounds confectioners sugar
Beat the cream cheese in a bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the heavy cream, coffee, and sweetened condensed milk. Slowly mix in the confectioners’ sugar. If you like a thicker frosting that will stand up to fancy piping tips, you might want to add more sugar.
Finish each cupcake with a heap of frosting (piped or spread), dust with a bit of finely ground coffee and a chocolate espresso bean.
P.S. The bake sale raised over $300 for local schools. My cupcakes sold out. : )