Gretchen's table: A Valentine's Day cupcake recipe, with extra flavor from coffee
Published in Entertaining
Valentine's Day is so intertwined with chocolate that the two are almost synonymous. Yet it doesn't have to come in a red, heart-shaped box to make your special someone(s) feel the love on Feb. 14. A really good chocolate cake hits the sweet spot on V Day too.
These moist and tender cupcakes should satisfy even the pickiest chocolate lover's cocoa cravings. Sweetened with white and brown sugars, the batter is enhanced with a secret ingredient most everyone has at the ready — a cup of very strong, freshly brewed coffee, which amplifies the chocolate flavor.
The original recipe in "Baking for the Holidays" is meant to make three 6-inch "gift" cakes, but I opted for Valentine-themed cupcakes. (You'll make enough batter for 48 mini cupcakes or 2 dozen regular-sized cupcakes.)
Made from simple, everyday ingredients, they're easy enough to whip up on a school night with the kids. Or, make them in advance to sneak into your sweetheart's lunchbox.
I added strawberry jam to the frosting to give it color and a sweet, strawberry flavor but you could also use strawberry puree or opt for plain vanilla icing. Sprinkles, colored sanding sugar, miniature sandwich cookies and chocolate kisses add texture, color and a bit of holiday flair.
CHOCOLATE SWEETHEART CUPCAKES
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature