Sunday, January 24, 2016
No trip to the Keweenaw would be complete without a trip to the Jampot, A monastery is situated on the shore of Lake Superior near Eagle Harbor, and the monks make the most delicious jams and jellies, candies and baked goods. For years, my indulgence of choice has been the mocha cupcake. There is nothing better than eating a mocha cupcake and checking out Jacob's Falls, a beautiful waterfall right next door. Last summer, told the monk working the cash register that I would love to get the recipe. He respectfully declined my request, so I laid on my charm. "I can't stop thinking about these cupcakes; they've changed my life!" I said with a smile. A younger monk stocking the confections display asked with a grin "How long have you been thinking of these cupcakes?" "Years!" I responded. And it's true, I've been thinking about trying to make these cupcakes at home for years. The older monk took pity on me and confided in a low voice so the long line of customers couldn't hear, "I'll give you a hint....the recipe came out of an old issue of Gourmet magazine. It originally had a glaze but that didn't work for us. Good luck!"
Today is my husband's 50th birthday. He wanted to keep it low key, so I was looking for an idea for cupcakes when I remembered the Jampot cupcake of my dreams. Cursing the fact that I got rid of all my old Gourmet magazines years ago, I set out to do some Googling. I knew that many of Gourmet's recipes can be found at Epicurious, so I started checking there. I didn't find any mocha cupcake recipes, but I did find a recipe for Mocha Rum Cake circa Gourmet, January 1994. Since many of the baked goods for sale at Jampot feature some kind of brandy, rum, etc, this recipe showed promise. Reading through the ingredients, it sounded about right. I modified the recipe a bit to amp up the flavors and make it work for cupcakes. I found several mocha cream cheese based frosting recipes, and took the best of what I learned plus increased the coffee and added some salt to make it taste like how the monks make it. Here's what I came up with....tastes pretty close!
makes 20 cupcakes
1.5 c flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 lb bittersweet chocolate chips (60% cacao)
1.5 c butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 c dark rum
1 c strong brewed coffee
1 c sugar
1 t vanilla
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pan with paper liners. In a bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. In the microwave, using 30 second increments melt chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, stirring after each increment until melted. While still hot, add butter, stirring until smooth. Stir in rum, coffee, and granulated sugar. Add to the bowl of a stand mixer. beat in flour, 1/2 cup at a time, scraping down side, and beat in eggs and vanilla until batter is combined well. Pour batter into prepared cups. Bake 25 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean,
Coffee Cream Cheese Frosting
4 T butter, room temperature
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, room temperature
1 t vanilla extract
2 packets Starbucks Via Dark Italian Roast instant coffee
1 t. salt
4.5 c. powdered sugar
In a mixing bowl, add butter, cream cheese, vanilla, coffee and salt. Using the paddle attachment, mix at low speed until creamy and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the sugar a half cup at a time, and beat on medium speed, scraping down the sides until all the sugar is incorporated.
Frost the cupcakes when they are cool.