Posts tagged espresso powder
Posts tagged espresso powder
Now they’re not crazily low fat or anything, but they’re not anywhere near as decadent as they taste, and the flavor combination in these muffins is absolutely exquisite. Semi-sweet chocolate, turbinado sugar, espresso powder, and a hint of orange come together to create some sort of flavor perfection that seems to come out of a dream. I mean it. And the texture? Exactly what you want in a muffin, fluffy but filling.
The strange thing about this recipe is that it claimed to yield 24 muffins. I actually asked the blogger if she meant mini muffins, and she said, no, full size. But I knew just from looking at it that it wasn’t going to make more than 12.
Dry ingredients went first: whole wheat white flour, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder. Whisking ensued.
In a separate bowl, I creamed together the sugar and Greek yogurt. I used slightly less sugar than the recipe called for, and could probably go a little lower the next time without noticing a difference. It’s a sugar-heavy recipe, though, asking for a full cup.
I was pleased by how easily they combined.
I added the oil (canola instead of vegetable) and then beat in the eggs one at a time.
Once that was mixed well, I moved the bowl to the stand mixer. Then I poured in just less than half the flour mixture and mixed on low/medium speed.
Once incorporated, I added the rest of the flour and mixed again, until I couldn’t see any more flour in the batter.
I folded in the orange zest and the chocolate chips. I improvised a little on this one, using just over half a tablespoon of zest and semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of milk chocolate. I only put in about 3/4 of a cup.
See how good that looks? That’s just how it tasted.
I poured the batter out into muffin cups and topped each one with turbinado sugar. (And yes, I was right about it only making 12. The person whose recipe it is has since made the correction on her site.)
They were done in about 20 minutes, I think. They looked and smelled glorious.
I will definitely make these again despite the whopping 6 P+. Every bite gives you just enough chocolate, a tiny whisper (just enough) of orange, a crackle of sugar on top, and then leaves you with a lovely little coffee aftertaste to finish it off. It’s a complex muffin that comes together absolutely perfectly. Bakeaholic Mama, I salute you.
My version of Greek Yogurt and Coffee Chocolate Chip Muffins (adapted from Bakeaholic Mama)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat white flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon espresso powder
1/2 cup low fat plain Greek yogurt
3/4 - 1 cup sugar
1/4 cup of canola oil
1/2 - 3/4 tablespoon of orange zest
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon raw sugar (for topping)
Heat oven to 375. You will reduce the temperature later.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder.
In a bowl that will fit in a stand mixer (unless you plan to use a hand mixer instead), cream together the sugar and yogurt with a spatula. Add in the oil, then the eggs one at a time, mixing after each one.
Using your mixer, add in the flour one cup at a time and beat on slow to medium speed, just until incorporated.
Fold in the chocolate chips and orange zest.
Distribute evenly among 12 muffin cups and top with turbinado sugar. Reduce oven temperature to 350 and bake for 20-30 minutes, it will really depend on your oven. When a toothpick comes out clean, they are ready.
Bossk Brownies (from The Star Wars Cookbook)
Nathaniel, unsurprisingly, is a Star Wars fan. And Nathaniel owns a very entertaining book called The Star Wars Cookbook. No, really, he does.
We’ve made Wookie Cookies before, but this time Nathaniel really wanted the Bossk Brownies. I’ve had some bad experiences with brownies, but I decided to give it a go. For the boy.
At the very beginning of this operation, I had two supercute helpers.
He has a Star Wars t-shirt on, plus he made the request, but it was Juliet who stuck with me at least as far as the dry ingredients. She started out by measuring the flour; she loves to scoop it into the measuring cups and then pour it in once I’ve leveled them off.
She saw me take out the cocoa powder and just as I got started measuring it, Juliet heard the call of her big brother. “I’m going to go outside in the back yard and play with the hose.” Bye bye, little helper. I was on my own.
I added in the cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
Despite the instructions in the recipe to mix with a wooden spoon, I whisked. I can’t help it, I’m a whisker. And then I added a little espresso powder, because I couldn’t help that either. I just had to.
In a separate bowl, I added the brown sugar & white sugar to softened butter.
Once that was properly mixed, I added the eggs and vanilla, and blended.
The batter felt a little too liquidy to me at that point, but I knew the dry ingredients were coming, so I kept going. Still, I was happy to dump in the flour & cocoa mixture.
That all mixed up into a proper-looking brownie batter. It was dark, and rich, and thick, and smelled like brownies. The recipe offered up the option of adding white chocolate chips or butterscotch chips; I went for the butterscotch.
There was a lot of talk about wooden spoons in the recipe, but I just used a spatula.
Once it was all mixed, it looked pretty good. I poured it into an 8 x 8 glass pan, purchased just hours earlier on our big grocery shopping trip. I’ve been needing a square glass dish for ages and have resorted to using a pie plate in the past, but brownies really should be squares, and a pie dish is not square. The new dish was perfect.I smoothed the top of the batter as best as I could.
It looked just as good when it came out of the oven, and smelled great, although it took a lot longer to bake than the recipe suggested.
The texture was just perfect.
We took the kids out for dinner while the brownies cooled, and then I gave Nathaniel his with some vanilla ice cream, creating one very happy Star Wars fan. Juliet didn’t eat them, of course, because they’re chocolate, but Dave thinks they’re pretty good too, although he misses the crackly top. I had a small piece of one myself, and it was rich and chocolatey and moist and good. A little goes a long way with these. And the butterscotch chips add just the right touch. The espresso powder did its job too, adding just a pinch of the Dark Side for depth of flavor. I suspect the vanilla ice cream was the ideal accompaniment as well, bringing both sides of The Force together in harmony.
As for this Bossk business, Bossk (I’m told) is a bounty hunter. I’m up on my Star Wars, but I had to look it up to remember his appearance in a particularly interesting storyline on Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which Nathaniel & I love to watch together. He also showed up in earlier (real) Star Wars, in a failed attempt to capture Han Solo & Chewbacca. Yet here he is, triumphant on his namesake brownies:
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (scant) teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
1/2 unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar.
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup white chocolate or butterscotch chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter or spray an 8-inch square baking dish.
Put the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon (or a whisk) until well mixed. Set aside.
Put the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in one large bowl. Using the electric mixer set on high speed, beat together until well blended and creamy, about 3 minutes. (You can do this with the wooden spoon, but it will take longer.) Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and stir until blended. Stir in the white chocolate or butterscotch chips.
Pour into the prepared baking dish and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
Using pot holders, put the baking dish in the preheated oven. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. (For me it was closer to 35, maybe 40.)
Again using pot holders, transfer the dish to the cooling rack. Let cool completely.
Makes about 16 brownies.
Cheesecake Brownie Bites
Antonia is a co-worker who likes my baking so much that it inspires me to try making new things, and she needed something decadent. I love a good baking assignment, so I narrowed it down to three choices, and let Nathaniel cast the deciding vote. It took him about three seconds.
This was one of those times when I didn’t look for ways to lighten up the recipe. I used all purpose flour, lots of butter, 4 eggs, and more than 2 cups of sugar. I also got to use espresso powder, which always makes feel good, since it was a birthday present.
First things first: two sticks of butter. Pot. Stove.
While that was melting, I got the eggs out. Nathaniel was there for the cracking of the first egg.
(He’s not naked, by the way. Pants are on.)
He didn’t even crack the egg all the way before he got egg-shy, being fresh from the shower and wanting to avoid having to wash up again, so he handed it off to me and I cracked that one plus three more.
To the eggs I added cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, vanilla, and the espresso powder mixed with a few teaspoons of water.
The directions said to whisk it all together, which was a bit of a challenge as it started to thicken. I think my poor whisk got one of its wiry bits stretched. I’m still hoping it will recover.
After that I added sugar and the melted butter, and used the sturdy spatula to mix everything until well combined.
Then it was time to add the flour. I stirred it in, then set that bowl aside and got out a new one. In went the cream cheese, one egg yolk, and three tablespoons of sugar.
Honestly, once I had it thoroughly mixed I thought it looked a lot like egg salad. Fortunately it didn’t smell like egg salad. That would have been disturbing.
Doesn’t it look like egg salad?
I dug out my one remaining pastry bag, I even found a tip for it, and stuffed the mixture in.
This recipe has a lot of moving parts. I went back to the brownie batter, armed with a cookie scoop. If I had a smaller one, I think it would have served me better here, but I didn’t, so here we are.
I should have been more vigilant about how much ended up in each cup.
Then I went back to the pastry bag. The only tip I had for it was really more of a thin decorating tip than a wide batter trip, so this was when it really stopped looking anything like the pictures in the recipe.
Then I definitely made the scoops on top of that too big. I should have used a teaspoon.
The muffins took much longer than the recipe said to bake, it said 12 but I think it was more like 20. When they came out it was obvious that I’d overstuffed the muffin cups.
I had enough left to make another batch, though, and this time I used a spoon to put the cream cheese batter in and pushed some of the batter in by hand. They looked better.
A few of them even looked almost good.
And everyone loved them. Antonia got the last two from the batch that went to work with me, and Dave and Nathaniel get the rest. Juliet will opt out because of the chocolate. I like them but I wanted them to look prettier. Pretty, schmetty, though, they got raves. They’re small decadent indulgent bites of brownie and cheesecake, what’s not to rave about?
By the way: I just added commenting to this blog, so feel free to comment! I’m using Disqus.
Espresso Spice Pumpkin Muffins
Something’s just OFF with me today, so I am surprised these muffins turned out so well. Honestly, I was knocking things over the whole time I was making these, spilling things too, and I swear that every time I opened the fridge, things just leapt out at me. I dropped my iPhone three times today. Before I even left the house this morning, I was convinced I had my contact lenses in the wrong eyes (as in left in right and right in left, not someone else’s eyes), and with 2 minutes to go before I had to leave I was switching them, then realizing I was wrong, switching them back, and then discovering I’d smeared mascara all over my face.
It’s been THAT kind of a day.
It’s no wonder I thought I was pushing my luck to bake tonight, but these urges cannot always be stifled. Nor should they, I suppose.
I had some pumpkin to use up, and just to continue the day’s “off”-ness, I ended up having to open a new can anyway, and now that one’s in the fridge waiting for yet another recipe. Oops.
Oh yeah, and I took a picture of the ingredients for this one and had to re-do it three times because I kept leaving something out. By the time I got everything in, a bottle of barbecue sauce poked its way into the picture, despite the fact that there is, I promise, no barbecue sauce used in this recipe whatsoever. But there it is, lurking suspiciously behind the eggs and the muffin tray.
I guess it just wanted to be part of the action. But to me, it was just another thing demonstrating that my attention to detail was slipping fast.
With uncharacteristic boldness, I dove in anyway, despite the odd direction the day had already taken. I got the dry ingredients (whole wheat white flour, baking powder, and salt) whisked up good, then set the bowl aside.
In another bowl, I added the brown sugar to the eggs.
In went the pumpkin and the vanilla.
Okay, now here’s where I started improvising.
The recipe said to melt 6 tablespoons of butter in the microwave and stir in the spices (espresso powder, cinnamon, fresh nutmeg, and cloves), but I wanted to replace half the butter with yogurt. The formula for that is to replace half the butter with half as much yogurt, so I melted three tablespoons of butter, and then because I knew I’d be adding the cold yogurt to it, I let it cool a little before adding everything in. In retrospect, I could have added the spices while it was still freshly hot; I’ll definitely do that next time. (And I also didn’t use the microwave, I just melted it on the stove.)
Once the butter had slightly cooled, I added the spices and stirred. Can you tell I was in a bit of a state? Normally I put things away as I go but tonight I felt as if I was barely keeping up and everything just stayed where I left it as I jumped on to the next step.
Anyway, the spices blended nicely into the melted butter.
For the yogurt, I finally had occasion to use my 1/2 tablespoon measuring spoon. I swear I have never ever seen that specific measurement in a recipe, ever, but I do have a spoon for it. I added 1 1/2 tablespoons of plain yogurt (low fat) and stirred, then put the whole mixture into the egg & sugar bowl.
The recipe got very specific after that. I added half the flour mixture, then put in the milk, then added the rest and stirred just until the last traces of flour disappeared.
Next I combined white sugar, espresso powder, pumpkin pie spice, and a little bit of cinnamon and sprinkled that generously over the muffins.
They looked pretty good when they came out of the oven, although they took much longer to bake than most of the other muffins I make. It was almost 25 minutes, I think. They sure looked tasty.
And surprise, they ARE tasty. Really flavorful. The espresso, spices, sugar and pumpkin all come together so well! I was nervous because the smell of the espresso was so strong while I was baking that I checked the recipe multiple times to make sure I hadn’t put in too much. Even Dave, who is innately drawn to the smell of coffee, thought something was burning. But it wasn’t. It was just getting more delicious.
I think by tomorrow morning the texture will be perfect, most baked goods with pumpkin are best the day after baking. But tonight? Already a lovely treat, and well worth the spills, clangs, and confusion…maybe they’re even redemptive.
Rudi Cake (Chocolate Yogurt Loaf with Powdered Sugar)
Tonight I made a tribute cake.
For extra strength, I added espresso powder. And for his white hair, I topped it with powdered sugar.
Made with love and sadness and a zest for life and good flavor, I present the Chocolate Yogurt Loaf.
I started by whisking together the dry ingredients: whole wheat white flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder.
Then I added the espresso powder, giving the loaf strength and character, which Rudi had in abundance.
Separately, I creamed the butter & sugar.
I beat in the egg and the vanilla, and then added in the flour mixture, a third at a time, alternating between that and the 1/2 cup of vanilla yogurt, doing a little dance with the ingredients. It made me remember a trip to Las Vegas, many years ago, for my brother’s wedding. We were heading into Caesars Palace, on one of those people-moving flat escalators (no steps, but it moves, like at airports), and Rudi kept doing this hilarious dance just to embarrass as many of us us possible. Back a few steps, forward a few steps, this grown-up man with his white white hair acting like a happy kid. Rudi was SUCH a combination of complete grown-up and utter child. One of the many things I’m really going to miss about him.
When it was thoroughly mixed, I poured it into a loaf pan, and baked for 30 minutes.
And then, in honor of Rudi, I topped it with the powdered sugar.
Rest in paradise, Rudi.