Posts tagged espresso
Posts tagged espresso
I found a recipe for low fat Mocha Chocolate Chip Muffins, and in a fit of I’m still not sure what, I turned them into Espresso Muffins with Peanut Butter Chips, and they are full of dark espresso cakey goodness.
I started changing things right away. I was supposed to dissolve instant coffee granules in water, but instead I used espresso powder.
I put Nathaniel to work on the egg.
To the egg I added low fat vanilla yogurt, instead of the applesauce specified. I love the new scooper tool I have, I thought it was just going to be for peanut butter, but it turns out it’s also perfect for yogurt.
I also added the safflower oil, coffee mixture, and milk, using 1% instead of skim.
Next, the dry ingredients. I tried converting the flour measurements to weight and then supplementing with wheat germ. And I used whole wheat white instead of all purpose. After some weird calculations, I ended up with 6 3/8 ounces of flour & wheat germ total. I think about 4 3/4 ounces of that was flour. I’m still winging it when it comes to flour weighing. I put in a little less sugar than the recipe said, added baking powder, cocoa powder, and doubled the cinnamon.
In went the liquid ingredients. I mixed just enough to incorporate, but not overdo it.
And then, instead of adding chocolate chips, I added peanut butter chips, for color contrast and deliciousness.
Once I had the batter in the tray, I topped each muffin off with two more chips.
Now came the baking. I read the reviews on this recipe and a lot of people had trouble with the muffins burning and had to reduce the temperature. So despite the fact that the recipe said to bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes, I heated the oven to 400, then reduced it to 375 and baked for 19 minutes. (I set the timer for 15 and kept checking every two minutes after that.) They smelled rich and chocolatey and looked beautiful.
And let me tell you something. These muffins transformed. It was a combination of boredom and creativity (which is an duo) that led to all the modifications I made, along with some careful reading of reviews, and I ended up creating a dark, rich espresso muffin with the sweetness provided by the peanut butter chips. The texture was soft, but dense and cakey, and nutrition provided by yogurt and wheat germ, with a lovely darkness courtesy of the espresso.
I think when I make them again, and I will, I will swap out the sugar for turbinado or demerara and that will give it a little sweet crackle on the inside. But these were well-loved and throughly devoured by my co-workers.
LOW FAT MOCHA MUFFINS RECIPE (original)
My Espresso Muffins with Peanut Butter Chips (adapted from food.com)
Heat oven to 400 degrees, you will reduce the temperature later. Grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin.
Dissolve the espresso powder in the water.
Whisk together the milk, oil, yogurt, egg, and espresso mixture.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour, wheat germ, sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon.
Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and stir just until incorporated. Fold in the peanut butter chips.
Scoop into muffin cups and top each one with two more peanut butter chips.
Reduce temperature to 375 degrees and bake for 15-20 minutes.
Let cool in the pan for about five minutes, then move to a wire rack to finish cooling.
I’ve made these before, but this time I added a twist.
I made them at Christmas, and instead of using regular chocolate chips I used Christmas-colored red & green chips, but this time I really took these to another level flavor-wise by substituting half of the chocolate chips for cappuccino chips, freshly arrived from the King Arthur Flour company.
These are fun because they appeal to the little kid taste buds with the oatmeal and the chocolate, and the big kid taste buds with that pinch of sea salt on the top and the bite of the espresso powder in the batter.
They started, simply enough, with dry ingredients. Whole wheat white flour, espresso powder (also freshly arrived from the King Arthur Flour company), baking powder, and salt. (That’s regular salt. You’ll have to wait a little for the fleur de sel.)
Then I turned my attention to the stand mixer, where I beat up some butter until it was bruised and battered. What? No, I beat the butter until smoothish and creamy. Then I added a ridiculous amount of sugar. A cup of brown and a cup of cane sugar, although I confess I skimped on both. It was still more than 3/4 of a cup, but definitely not a full cup. I just couldn’t do it having already made the most decadent delicious cake of all time a few hours earlier.
Trust me, this still looked pretty decadent.
Once that was all mixed together, I added the eggs, one at a time, beating after each one.
The stand mixer’s work was done. I removed the bowl to do the rest by hand, first adding in the flour mixture.
And then I dumped in an almost overwhelming three cups of rolled oats. I really didn’t see how these were all going to get properly incorporated.
And once that arduous mixing task was completed, the chips came along. The recipe called for 1 1/2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips. I did just over a cup of chips, maybe a cup and a quarter, and split them between semi-sweet chocolate and cappuccino.
Once mixed, I got out my baking sheets, lined with parchment paper — are you ready — freshly arrived from the King Arthur Flour company. (These are SO much better than the ones I got from Amazon. They’re pre-cut like the others, but these can be used again & again, instead of greasing up too much to be used after one go.)
I rolled the dough into balls, flattened them slightly, and sprinkled a bit of fleur de sel (sea salt) onto each one.
I made larger cookies than I usually do, but they were clearly nowhere near the size I was supposed to use, since the recipe yielded double what was predicted. Mine took about 17 minutes to bake, more or less.
I actually experimented with the baking time a little, so some ended up crispy and snappy, while others were softer and chewier. All were delicious.
I love these cookies. And so did everybody else. The espresso powder deepens the flavor, the salt adds bite, the oats give texture, the chips bring in pops of flavor, there so much going on in one little cookie but it all comes together in perfect but exciting harmony. (I know it’s just a cookie, but it’s a really great cookie.)
These are very easy to make, and will make you appear all sophistimicated when you serve them. Unless you use a robot plate.
Another home run. Make this bread right now. I mean it. It couldn’t be easier and your taste buds will thank you, as will anyone else who gets a bite. I brought some of this to work with me and had someone come back for thirds. Who says you have to wait for fall to bake with pumpkin?
And the topping…to think I almost didn’t include it. How dumb that would have been. The bread is a wonder unto itself but the topping adds a bit of crunchy magic. I made a few changes to the recipe, but the credit really belongs to a beautiful blog called Pastry Affair that gave me reason #85279 to love Pinterest and the internet.
In a medium bowl, I whisked together pumpkin, milk, eggs, vanilla, brown sugar, oil, and yogurt.
My first change was to be rather loose with the 3/4 cup of brown sugar, I didn’t really pack it in and as I was using a 1/4 cup to measure, I didn’t fill it each of the three times I used it. I also took out half the oil, and subbed in some low fat vanilla yogurt. I tried to approximate just over 1/8 of a cup. I photographed it so I’d know how much to use the next time
I whisked all of that together with great anticipation.
Separately, I got the dry ingredients together. I used whole wheat white flour instead of all purpose, and added baking soda, espresso powder, cinnamon (generous, heaping teaspoon), nutmeg, salt, and cloves. The recipe said to use half a teaspoon of cloves, but that made me nervous. Cloves are such a strong, dominating flavor; if you’ve ever tasted something with too much of them, you remember it. I tapered that down to slightly above a quarter teaspoon, maybe a little more.
I whisked that together, then hemmed and hawed about the topping for a bit. Flavor won out. In one of my favorite little glass bowls, I mixed together brown sugar, espresso powder, and cinnamon. (I think it was the espresso powder that won me over.)
Then, in traditional format, I poured the liquid ingredients into the dry, and incorporated.
I poured it into a loaf pan, and sprinkled the topping on it. Actually, it wasn’t so much a sprinkling as a layering. There was a lot of it! I didn’t end up using all of it, but it was still pretty thick.
Recipe said to bake for 50-60 minutes. I set the timer for 40 and was done shortly thereafter.
Some of the topping fell off when I flipped it over, but not too much, and while I usually have enough patience to let my baked goods cool and settle, I knew from the smell that I wasn’t going to be able to wait very long.
I didn’t. I ate a big piece that night. Did I remember to take a picture of the middle, of the perfect crumb, most but fluffy? No. But I remember the taste. The espresso provided just a hint of darkness to offset the pumpkin, the topping gave it an edgy sweetness, and despite its lack of decadence I think it would make a great birthday cake. It’s just that good.
PUMPKIN ESPRESSO BREAD RECIPE (original)
My version of Pumpkin Espresso Bread (adapted from Pastry Affair)
3/4 (scant) cup brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/4 cup canola oil
1/8 - 1/4 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup 1% milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whole wheat white flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon espresso powder
1 heaping teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Heat oven to 350 and spray or grease a loaf pan.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, pumpkin, oil, milks, eggs, and vanilla.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, espresso powder, spices, and salt.
Fold the liquid ingredients into the dry just until properly incorporated. Pour the batter into the loaf pan.
Mix the topping together and spread evenly across the top of the loaf.
Bake for 40-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Try to wait until it’s cool to start eating it, if you are able.
Whole Wheat Pumpkin Spice Latte Muffins
I’ve been wanting to try this recipe for a while. It has five things going for it:
To top it off, the peanut butter banana honey muffins I like so much came from the same person, so I figured this would be another winner. And I was right!
I started with dry ingredients: whole wheat pastry flour (which I love baking with as it brings a nice lightness to everything), baking soda, cinnamon (heaping teaspoon), freshly grated nutmeg (almost a teaspoon), cloves, and salt. I whisked.
Then I added the espresso powder to some very hot water, and stirred until all the powder had dissolved.
I put that aside to cool down to room temperature, and put the rest of the ingredients into the bowl of my stand mixer. This included Greek yogurt (2%), pumpkin, brown sugar (I used just a little less than the recommended 3/4 cup), canola oil, an egg, and the now-cooled espresso/water mixture.
I mixed on medium speed.
I added in the dry ingredients, and mixed on low speed.
The batter was nicely even and smooth. I scooped it into muffin cups.
Then I mixed natural cane sugar with cinnamon, and sprinkled it on top. I forgot to take a picture, though.
I’d heated the oven to 400 degrees. I put the muffins in and reduced to 375. The recipe said to bake for 25 minutes but I set the timer to 20. I checked early, which was good, because they were ready even sooner, maybe about 18/19 minutes.
They looked and smelled wonderful.
I let them sit in there just long enough to avoid burning my fingers, then got them out of the pan and onto a rack for cooling.
I let them cool.
These are wonderful. Fluffy light texture, deep rich espresso-pumpkin flavor, just delightful. Sophisticated, ever so slightly, but definitely a treat and a reasonably healthy one at that. I think next time I’ll add a little more of the cinnamon & nutmeg, or maybe throw in some pumpkin pie spice. Nevertheless, great discovery. I have to look at the rest of the recipes on this site. Two for two.
Espresso Chocolate Muffins
"Can you make something with espresso?" asked Kate.
Of course I can.
We have a house full of visiting family this week and couldn’t be happier about it. I plan to stuff them full of baked goods as much as they’ll let me, and they get to make requests too. Tonight I whipped together a quick batch of banana yogurt muffins and then dove into the espresso muffins, happy to make something rich and decadent without having to worry about eating too much of it. If they’re good, I thought, there probably won’t be any left when I get home from work tomorrow anyway.
The first task was to sift together flour (I used whole wheat white), cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
(I know, it looks pretty messy. Such is the state of my kitchen. And my brain.)
I put that aside and got out another bowl, into which I added the sugar and cracked two eggs.
Then I poured in the oil. It looked a little…oily.
I whisked. Then I added one cup plus two tablespoons of milk.
It started looking less oily and more milky. I put in the vanilla and a tablespoon of espresso powder.
Once I whisked that together, it got a little frothy, like iced coffee.
I don’t actually drink iced coffee, I prefer mine hot, but this evoked memories of coffee milkshakes and made me thirsty.
I poured in the flour mixture.
The recipe said to whisk them together, but I didn’t think that was a great idea. The last time I tried whisking something with wet & dry ingredients mixed, I warped my whisk! So I used the spatula. The results did not disappoint.
I was supposed to add a cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips, but Linus & I conferred and decided upon a mixture of dark chocolate chips and peanut butter chips. Good choice.
I folded them in, then did my best to divide the batter evenly among twelve full size muffin cups.
Now after that I sprinkled a bunch of chips on top, but I forgot to photograph it. Luckily I had a lot of batter left over, so I made mini muffins with the rest, and those I managed to get a shot of with the chips on top.
I only got about half the tray filled, but having half a tray of mini muffins is a lot better than no mini muffins. When the large ones were done baking — about 20 minutes later — I popped the small ones into the oven.
The big ones looked pretty good.
Kate seemed happy about how things were going.
And since I had to wait a while for the muffins to cool, I took some time to photograph my amazing gift from Linus, my very own Adventures In Baking apron. I LOVE IT.
After 15 minutes it was time to take the muffins out of the pan.
They looked fantastic. The mini ones weren’t too shabby either.
Linus devoured one, smearing chocolate all over her face. I took pictures but she’d kill me if I posted them. We all tasted them.
They are kind of good.
They are REALLY good.
They are fluffy light muffins with a heavy chocolate taste and melty chips and a hint of espresso and they are crazy, crazy good.
So eat them up, family! Save me! Devour the muffins!
Tomorrow, we bake with nuts.