Vanilla Bean Latte Cupcakes

by Urvashee on November 17, 2010 · 26 comments

Post image for Vanilla Bean Latte Cupcakes

We all know vanilla is a staple ingredient in any baker’s kitchen. I probably put vanilla into almost every dessert. Whenever I can, I prefer to use vanilla bean or vanilla bean paste over extract. I love seeing the vanilla bean specks in the dessert that you can’t get from using just the extract. I’ve had vanilla on my mind ever since last week’s Chocolate Show where I bought some Madagascar vanilla bean pods and vanilla powder (whole ground vanilla pods). So when I came across this Holiday Recipe Exchange featuring vanilla as the required ingredient, I was really excited to participate.

The holidays are upon us with Thanksgiving next week and more winter holidays are just around the corner. This only means lots of get togethers and meals with family and friends. What do you say to forgetting your cappuccino maker? How about a latte in the form of a cupcake instead? Vanilla Bean Latte cupcakes that is! Here’s a vanilla bean cake with a shot of espresso cream topped with an espresso vanilla frosting. Double vanilla for a very strong vanilla taste. For this recipe, I’ve adapted Amy Sedaris’s recipe for vanilla cupcakes to pack in more vanilla flavor by infusing the milk ingredient with whole pods and scraped seeds.

Espresso Cream Filling

Recipe: makes 12 cupcakes

For the cupcake batter (adapted from Amy Sedaris):
1/2 vanilla bean
3/4 cup milk
6 Tbs unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 1/4 tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350° F and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Scrape the vanilla bean and add with the pod and milk in a small pot. Heat the mixture and let it simmer for a few a minutes. Allow the vanilla to steep in the milk as it cools. Cream the butter and sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffly. Add the egg and vanilla to the butter mixture and mix until combined. Sift together the dry ingredients. Remove the pod from the milk mixture. (You can wash and dry the pod for some other use.) Alternate adding the milk mixture and dry ingredients to the egg mixture. Mix each addition until combined. Fill the cupcake liners to half way. Bake at 350 °F for 15-18 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

For the espresso filling:
1 cup heavy cream
2 yolks
3 Tbs sugar
1 1/2 tsp instant espresso

Heat half the cream and 2 Tbs of sugar and the espresso in a small pot until just boiling. Whisk together the yolks and remaining sugar. Add half the hot cream mix to the egg mixture while whisking. Return the egg mixture to the pot with the remaining cream and and bring it to a boil while continually whisking. Allow it to boil for several minutes while it thickens. Strain the mixture and let it cool in another bowl. Whip the remaining cream to medium peaks and fold it into the cooked cream.

For the vanilla espresso frosting:
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tsp espresso powder
1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Dissolve the espresso powder in a tablespoon or two of water and add it to mixture along with the vanilla extract. Mix until combined.

Using a small paring knife, cut out the center of each cupcake at about a 45 degree angle so that you have cut out a cone shape with the wide part being the top of the cupcake. Fill each cupcake with a spoonful of the espresso cream. Now cut off the narrow part of the cupcake cone and replace the circular top of the cupcake. Frost each cupcake with a star shaped tip or any tip of your liking. To get the brown swirl effect, make a line of brown food coloring inside your piping bag before fill it with frosting. Use a toothpick so you don’t use too much. Finally you can dust it with ground vanilla beans for decoration.

Falling in love with vanilla? Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Beanilla.

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