|Coffee Almond Crunch Cupcakes - Chloe's Vegan Desserts|
I made these for a friend's surprise birthday party and all of the guests loved them! My number one taste tester, my boyfriend, said "holy crap, this is amazing" and even claimed they were the best cupcakes I've made to date. Coffee and chocolate are a superb combination. The layering of coffee-flavored frosting with chocolate cake and chocolate ganache on top makes this so moist, unlike other cupcakes that may have too much dry cake on the bottom that desperately needs that bit of frosting in each bite, this cupcake gives it to you. Although there is a lot of sugar in this recipe (the only unfortunate part), the taste is not overly sweet. This is a three-part, time intensive recipe, but the result is so beautiful and incredibly delicious. It looks intimidating given it's such a gourmet recipe, but it all came together fairly easily. Based on the response from those who tried it, this recipe is on my list for the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale (just over a month away!).
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup coconut milk, canned (I used Trader Joe's Light variety)
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons instant espresso powder, mixed with 1/4 cup water
1 cup non-dairy chocolate chips
1/4 cup coconut milk, canned
2 tablespoons canola oil
3/4 to 1 cup toasted almonds, chopped
14 chocolate-covered espresso beans (I found dark chocolate covered ones at Trader Joe's)
To Prepare Chocolate Cupcakes:
|Chocolate Cupcake Batter|
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a one-dozen cupcake pan with cupcake liners. You do not need to grease.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate medium-sized bowl, stir to combine wet ingredients: coconut milk, oil, vinegar, vanilla, and espresso powder.
Pour wet ingredients into dry and blend until just combined, but do not overmix.
Spoon batter into cupcake pan, filling each liner three-quarters of the way full. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool completely before assembling cupcakes.
To Prepare Coffee Frosting:
Use a stand mixer (I christened my brand new Kitchen Aid mixer for this recipe!) to smooth out shortening for one minute.
Slowly add in powdered sugar and vanilla, while beating on slow speed. Add one tablespoon at a time of the espresso liquid, blend in completely and continue adding tablespoon by tablespoon until you reach the proper consistency for frosting. Continue to blend on high speed for two minutes until frosting is fluffy. Set aside.
To Prepare Chocolate Ganache:
In a medium bowl, microwave the chocolate chips and coconut milk together. I usually do this at medium power for 30-45 second intervals stirring in between until chocolate has melted. Add in the oil and stir.
To Prepare the Finished Product:
Using a large, sharp knife slice the top dome part off of the Chocolate Cupcake, using the liner as a guide. You'll end up with a flat cupcake and a separate top piece.
Next spread a thin layer of the Chocolate Ganache on the top part of the cupcake.
Sprinkle toasted almonds on top so they stick to the chocolate.
Pipe a small circle of Coffee Frosting and press an espresso bean in for "the cherry on top"!