Living in Seattle, coffee is everywhere. I take it for granted that there is a coffee shop on every third block. I'm often surprised when I visit other cities and all that's there is a starbucks. In my neighborhood, I counted, there are about 13 coffee shops, in a 6 block radius. when i visited new york city this last spring, i went on a jog for blocks and blocks trying to find a coffee shop, and ending up running for quite a while. I was shocked: no decent coffee on every other block? What is this world coming to? I eventually found a coffee, so all was well in the end.
But it's fair to say that there is quite a coffee culture here, and I've definitely been sucked into it. I started drinking coffee was I was 11, which wasn't unusual in my class at all. My addiction has only grown stronger since then, until the point that I tried a sludge cup: drip coffee with shots in it. Any self-respecting-Seattlite-coffee-addict drinks drip coffee strong. Very strong. However, I overestimated my caffeine tolerance and tried a triple-shot sludge cup before an exam. Let's just say I was a little jittery and didn't get much sleep that night, even though I had the drink at 8:00 AM.
I've recently been coffee-sober for 2 weeks, which is a new record, as I often can't go a day without it.
4.25 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 cup AP flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter; softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coffee extract (only if you have it, not crucial if you don't)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
Preheat oven to 350F.
Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over simmering water. Stir until melted. Remove from water and let cool.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl.
In a large bowl, mix the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy. On low speed, add the melted chocolate until incorporated. On medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla and beat until the mixture has changed to a slightly lighter color. Mix in the yogurt until completely blended. Dissolve espresso powder into water and pour into batter. Mix on low speed just until smooth. Line a muffin tin with paper cups and spray the whole pan with vegetable oil [to prevent sticking]. Fill each cup almost to the top. Bake regular sized cupcakes for aprox. 14 minutes, minis for 10 (depending on your oven.)
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon salt
Couple drops peppermint oil (to taste)
couple drops spearmint oil (to taste)
In a stand mixer, beat softened butter and powdered sugar, then salt, and mix thoroughly. Add in lemon oil and mix. Transfer to a piping bag and pipe onto cupcakes. Sprinkle!