Wednesday, June 6, 2012

When Things Don't Go Your Way

In life, we often make a lot of plans but sometimes, they don't always turn out the way you expected or wanted them to. This was one of those times. Ironically, they say that our whole life is already planned out for us so why bother to make our own plans? Personally, I cannot imagine going through life without planning. It would feel like driving without any direction. 

I had first envisioned this cupcake to look like a Hi-Hat with a nice big swirl of peanut butter frosting on top, drizzled with melted chocolate and sprinkled with crushed peanuts. Unfortunately, after piping the frosting on the cupcake, I had the sinking feeling that something had gone wrong. It wasn't as smooth as I had thought it would be and almost looked just the tiniest bit curdled, which was kind of gross. I wasn't sure if that was exactly how the frosting was supposed to be but it certainly didn't look pretty piped with a round tip. I had to think and act quickly to save the day since this cupcake was actually an order from a friend who was paying for it. The only way I could think of was to cover the frosting completely with mini chocolate chips and chopped honey roasted peanuts. 

Maybe it was a fortunate accident. It turned out better than I had hoped for. The frosting, though not the prettiest was really good, fluffy but not too sweet and complimented the moist chocolate cupcakes well. But the best part was the combination of the mini chocolate chips and the sweet-salty honey roasted peanuts on top! I just couldn't get enough of it.

cupcake recipe adapted from Chef Chloe and frosting recipe adapted from The Food Network

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp instant coffee powder
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tbsp vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 12cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt and baking soda in a bowl. Whisk until combined. 

Stir the coffee into the milk. Whisk the milk, canola oil, vinegar and vanilla extract together in another bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture. Whisk until just combined. Do not overmix.

Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full. Bake for 15-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with a few crumbs sticking to it. Remove cupcakes from the pan immediately and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Kathleen's Peanut Butter Frosting
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup heavy cream

1 cup honey roasted peanuts, chopped
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Beat the butter and peanut butter in a bowl on medium low speed until well combined. Gradually mix in the sugar, salt and vanilla extract and beat until smooth and creamy. Add the cream. Increase the speed to high and beat until the mixture is light, fluffy and smooth.Transfer frosting to a piping bag. Frost the cupcakes. Press some chopped honey roasted peanuts and mini chocolate chips to cover the frosting completely.
One last bite of heaven