Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Salted Caramel Mocha and Cupcakes #MyBaristaMoment

I'm a major coffee addict.  I admit it.  I can't start my day without a cup of coffee to wake up and frequently need a cup mid-day to keep from falling asleep before 8pm.  I spend a lot of money at well known coffee franchises and my husband gives me a really hard time about it. 

Recently I've been playing around with how to make some of my favorite coffee shop drinks at home.  Ones that are just as good, not knock off versions.  During the holidays I got hooked on a certain Salted Caramel Mocha and have been determined to figure out how to make one just as good at home so I can cut down on the expense.  I did it!  And here's how, and an added bonus?  I'm including a recipe on how to make a salted caramel cupcake to go with!  You'll be feeling like a barista in your house when you try these super simple yet amazing recipes yourself!  Fantastic for playgroups, having friends over for coffee or weekend splurges.

I headed down to our local Smart & Final (you can follow along on Google+ here to see the images) to grab some Ambiance brand Kona Coffee (seriously the best price I have seen for Kona coffee and it's delicious!), and the other ingredients I'd need. 

Ingredients you will need (and all are at a fantastic price at Smart & Final):

Cupcakes:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • Caramel Syrup

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line muffin tins with papers. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. Cream butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until pale fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Add vanilla. Mix and scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and beating until combined after each. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about halfway full. Bake for about 25 minutes. When done, transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely.

Cut small section on the top of the cupcakes and drizzle the caramel syrup in the center. Replace the small square back before putting icing on top.

Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting:
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 stick salted butter
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In a saucepan, stir together granulated sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook without stirring until mixture turns a deep amber color. Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring until very smooth. Let caramel cool for about 20 minutes, until it is just barely warm and still pourable. In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and salt together until lightened and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the caramel. Beat on medium high speed until light and airy, and completely mixed (about 2 minutes). Mixture should be ready to use without refrigeration. If your caramel was too hot when added, it will cause your icing to be runny. If this happens refrigerate for 15-20 minutes. Top caramel-filled cupcakes with frosting. Drizzle with remaining caramel and sprinkle with coarse salt!

Salted Caramel Mocha:
  • Kona Coffee
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons Chocolate powder
  • 1 tablespoon caramel syrup
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 pinch of coarse sea salt

Use several Tablespoons of Kona coffee in french press.  Fill with boiling water.  Allow to steep for several minutes.  Microwave 1 cup of milk and froth with hand frother (or small whisk works).  Whisk in chocolate powder.  Drizzle the caramel syrup along the inside rim of the coffee mug (that has frothed milk), add in coffee.  Sprinkle a dash of the coarse sea salt.  Voila - easy salted caramel mocha that will having you feeling like a barista!

Want to switch to Ambiance coffee?  Go to www.smartandfinal.com/Ambiance2012 enter the code on the receipt from your purchase of Ambiance and be entered to win some of these amazing prizes: First Prize (one grand prize per week, 3 total over the campaign): DeLonghi BCO264B Cafe Nero Combo Coffee/Espresso Maker, a $200 value!, or one of six $50 SmartCash cards (Two winners per week, 6 winners total)


Take a minute to go vote for my recipe!  Go to the www.smartandfinal.com/Ambiance2012 where you will be able to vote for your favorite (mine of course!) Ambiance Coffee recipe and everyone who votes will be entered for a chance to win $50 worth of Ambiance products! (6 winners - Two winners per week over the campaign).


Note:  This project has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for #collectivebias #CBias The recipe is unique and all opinions above are completely my own.  But feel free to share this post with all your friends!  :)

3 comments:

Amy @ The Mom Hood February 2, 2012 at 5:26 AM  

Hello, yumminess! My goodness, that looks so delicious - I love the salty and sweet together.

Liz February 7, 2012 at 8:58 AM  

Wow, Katie!!!!! I am drooling here! This is a great recipe. The cake I had (you know where) was simply amazing...

Caryn B. February 10, 2012 at 11:16 AM  

YUM! I mean YUMMMMMM! I can't wait to make these. I pinned them so I can remember to do it : )

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