Saturday, May 31, 2008

Ice Cream Cupcake Challenge: Kahlua Chocolate Crunch

First off...I'd like to give a shout of appreciation to my darling better-half, my husband...who is so good natured with all my crazy baking mess and helping me clean up the dishes (or doing them all himself when I am passed out after my TWD challenges). This last long wkd he went out to the hardware store and came home with this metal 4 layer thing that he put into our dining room wine closet. Then I spent 3 hours pulling items from our pantry and under cabinets and organizing them. This was the lovely result.

I've used it all week long and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. So happy he thought of the idea to help me get better organized. I actually know what I have and it looks cute too! It was a genius idea. I knew I married him for a reason other than his pretty face..oh and his washboard stomach. HAH!

So onto the Cupcake in the post. I've been the last two weeks. Between churning out a TWD each week, my first orders, my Plan B Hero project, and Memorial Day holiday items...along with wanting to use my Meyer lemons as much as possible. I am a little baked out actually.

However, I had been really looking forward to trying Stef@ Cupcake Project's ice cream challenge this month which was an ice cream cupake. I found it early in May or maybe it was late April and thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do. Experimenting with ice cream sounded like fun!

But as the month got away from me, the poor ice cream challenge excitement fell to the side. Especially since I thought there were only 30 days in May. So when I two days ago that I had til MAY 31..a get my entry in, I perked up. Our wkds are relaxed right now...a lull before the summer craziness. So this Sat besides exercise, and re-organizing the pantry after my big bake-clean-out last weekend, I had nothing on the agenda.

After breakfast, I got to baking. I made regular mocha cupcakes with chocolate and instant coffee for ease of use. I expected to only make like 2-3 but I had all these different ideas for how to present the finished product so I got a little creative and made more than expected.

I thought I filled my cupcakes well below my usual, but I guess my eyes were playing tricks on me because they rose more than I expected. Oh well, improvisation is my middle name. They looked yummy though, and I let them cool while I went off for my 1.5 hours of exercise, designed to help burn off all the calories from the baking tastings I have been doing the last 2 weeks.

I had a little bit of Marianne's Ice Cream 'Kahlua Crunch' flavor in the freezer, one of my favorites. So that was the ice cream of choice in the interest of time, and it worked wonderfully with my coffee chocolate theme.

I love coffee chocolate in case you didn't notice my recent Cupcake Hero of Coffee Cocoa CupCakes (see below!). I had some Cocoa Buttercream frosting leftover from my cupcake order this week, so I reconstituted it with a little heavy cream and some xtra confectioners sugar. Assembled, froze, drizzled some 'hot fudge' on top (Hersheys baby!), some chopped walnuts.

Divine...tasting and actually tastes a lot like an ice cream sundae...but better, with CAKE. Thankfully I'd already had my little lunch of 2 quickie tacos, so one of these babies was perfect for 'dessert'.

So thankful for a Saturday with a few hours to spare and an extra day in May I didn't even know about...letting me play with gooey yummy ice cream.

Kahlua Chocolate Crunch Ice Cream Cupcakes
I'd estimate about 8-9 regular sized cupcakes

3/4c all purpose flour
1/3c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon instant coffee
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/3c sugar
1 egg
1/2c buttermilk
3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 ounce bittersweet or dark chocolate, melted

This is an easy one bowl recipe. Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder, and soda together. Add instant coffee and sugar. Mix to combine. Add egg, buttermilk, butter, vanilla, chocolate, whisk briskly to combine, but do not overmix. Ladle into cupcake liners or silicone cups, only fill 1/3 of the way. Bake at 350 for about 13-15 minutes depending on your oven. Cupcakes are done when a tester comes out clean. Remove from oven, let cool for 5 minutes, then remove to cooling rack. Let cupcakes cool entirely before proceeding.

Before starting, remove ice cream from freezer and let warm for about 3-5 minutes. In the meantime, take cool cupcakes and put in freezer for 1-2 minutes to ensure tops are cold. I had 2 cupcakes baked in silicon liners that I popped out then put into larger cupcake liners to make room for the ice cream. I baked one in a heart ramekin but those pictures didn't come out...and then one in a small cup. I cut the top off to make room for the ice cream.

Then take cool cupcakes, and slightly softened ice cream, spoon ice cream on top of cupcake. Return to freezer for about 3-5 minutes. Have frosting ready, frost with quick swirls, top with pecans and melted chocolate and serve immediately.

With the one I'd cut the top off...I placed the ice cream inside then put the top back on and frosted and drizzled. YUM!

So many options for serving these beauties. In a bowl, in a sturdy giant liner, in a fun little bakeable espresso cup from Crate and Barrel. Options are around!!

So there's my entry...thanks Stef for hosting a fabulously fun challenge...designed to make us think outside of the cupcake liner. Or within..but in a gooey way. know what I mean.

UPDATE...So I had a friend eat one of these babies after it had been uncovered in the freezer for 24 hours (ew right???)...I scraped off the top freezer burn and she pronounced it so yummy, I think something is wrong with her taste buds, but she loved it even after a day in the cold artic iceland.

AND check out all the delish entries for the roundup HERE...I love everyone's creative streak coming out..mmmm root beer float cupcakes!! Thanks Scoopalicious & Stef!


Passionate baker...& beyond said...

Oh Mara...these are out of this world. & I am so envious of your organiser; it's like a dream! WOW!!

Ammy Lea said...

I have those same shelves! They are hiding under the un-used counter-bar in the dining room-that-is-actually-an-office, and are a baking organization dream! I also have many rubbermaid tubs of flour, sugar etc that fit quite nicely within them!

Those cupcakes look amazing - and I happen to have some kaula in the kitchen.. eek!

ostwestwind said...

Your ice cream cupcakes look delicious. I've never thought of it, I baked ice cream cones

Ulrike from K├╝chenlatein

Stef said...

I'm so glad you found the time to try this. Yay 31 days in May!! It's finally super hot here in St. Louis and those ice cream cupcakes sound really good about now!

Faery said...

Oh these cupcakes sound delicious they are perfect for this hot weather here

Gigi said...

The cupcakes sound delicious!

Janna said...

I love the new organization station! Way to go Greg! I hope you gave him a cupcake sundae for his sweet thoughtfulness. :)

Lisa said...

I love chocolate and coffee too and your cupcakes sound delicious. I especially like the cupcake in the cute heart shaped dish!