Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes with Goat Cheese Frosting

Hey all!

Remember a few days ago when I posted that wonderful goat cheese pasta salad? Well, I made a promise to you guys that I would be posting the sweet yin to the savory yang of my goat cheese feast with Sohini and Kati.

This is me making good on that promise to ya’ll.

I present to you: Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes with Goat Cheese Frosting!

What? OMG? Is this real?

Yup, they happened.

I can’t take all the credit, cause that would be wrong. The recipe is one that I found on Saveur’s website, but Sohini and I tweaked the frosting a tad.

For the Cupcakes:

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

6 tbsp. cocoa powder

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup hot coffee

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup milk

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 large egg

You may notice, there is no butter in these cupcakes.

What?

No butter?

But, Kristina, you love butter!

Yea, I love butter, but hey, sometimes you can do without.

For the Frosting:

5 oz. cream cheese, softened

3 oz. goat cheese, softened

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Andddd, you can add a whole vanilla bean, halved lengthwise and scraped if you want, but Sohini’s vanilla bean happened to be really dry and it snapped in half while we were trying to scrape it, so we scraped the idea.

Let me tell ya, the frosting still tasted FANTASTIC.

What to do for the cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Line cupcake trays

Whisk together all dry ingredients

Add in the coffee, oil and milk

After that is well incorporated, then you can add the vanilla extract and eggs

Bake cupcakes for 20-22 minutes

Let cool

What to do for the frosting:

Beat cream cheese and goat cheese together with an electric mixer, or a very strong arm, until light and fluffy

Add powdered sugar, 1/2 at a time

Once your cuppy cakes have cooled enough, slap that frosting on!

I didn’t have a pastry bag, so I just used a ziplock with the tip cut off

I think goat cheese frosting is my brand new favorite frosting. Its SOOOOOO much tastier than just cream cheese frosting. Don’t get me wrong, I love cream cheese frosting, but the goat cheese lightened up the frosting just enough to not be overwhelming or too sweet.

Yea, these cupcakes were devoured.

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Emmy’s Organics

I believe there are two types of people in the world

Those who reach for a salty snack when a rough day has gotten the best of them

And those who crave a sweet treat after a similar experience

I would place myself pretty firmly in the latter category, only occasionally dipping my toes on the salty side.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a sugar addict, the general extent of my sweet intake consists of a few spoonfuls of ice cream before bed every once in a while.

Ok, you got me, sometimes its more than just a few spoonfuls.

So when I began my raw food challenge, I was a wee bit concerned about the lack of sweet stuff that would be available to me after what I was expecting to be a pretty stressful week with school and work.

Which is why I was thrilled when I discovered Emmy’s Organics a few days into my challenge.

What is Emmy’s?

“At emmy’s we are committed to YOU having it all. We pride ourselves on the quality, creativity & sustainability of the products we offer. In respect for our bodies & the earth, we use the finest non-GMO ingredients in everything we make & biodegradable, earth-friendly resources for our packaging. Our food is derived from nature, which in return nourishes us in the best way possible. Vegan & Gluten-free foods are our passion, so you can always feel good about choosing emmy’s. All of our goods are made in a certified vegan & gluten-free kitchen.”

The plot thickens, pretty much everything on their site is also RAW.

Yea, I know, AMAZING. I was so excited about the possibility of being able to indulge a little on this challenge, but also because I knew that if Emmy’s was as delicious as I had heard, I would acquire a new favorite snack!

The company also sells other products such as almond milk, granola, and super-fudge, but I was on their websites for two reasons: Chocolate Sauce and Macaroons.

Oh baby.

Original Dark Chocolate Sauce, uh huh, I ordered some of that.

I went a little crazy when I got to the macaroons.

I started off slow, but before I knew it I had 6 bags of macaroons in my cart! (They were just sampler bags, thank God).

Then I was patient and played the waiting game until my package arrived at my doorstep.

Sadly, it didn’t make it in time for my raw challenge. No matter, I still got down with them a few nights ago.

I started with the chocolate sauce

I took my first taste, letting it sit on my tongue for a moment enjoying the creamy rich texture and the sweet, but not cloyingly sugary flavor.

I took a second taste and was really blown away. THIS STUFF IS BETTER THAN THE UNHEALTHY VERSION.

Seriously. This chocolate sauce is incredible. Its smooth and chocolatey in the best kind of way. It tasted natural and not overly processed the way a lot of commercial chocolate sauces taste.

This stuff is heaven on earth. Its Chocolate Gold. In a jar.

After pairing it with a simple spoon the first time, I figured I should get a little more refined so I indulged during my midnight midterm study sesh and got down with some Granny Smith apple slices and the sauce – beautiful.

Buy it, love it, order more.

Now on to the macaroons!

My package arrived when Matt and I were about to leave to go to lunch with our friends Sohini and Kati, so I ripped the box open quickly and pulled a sampler out for all of us to try.

While waiting for our food to arrive I passed around a piece of the Dark Cacao flavor. And then begged Matt to take a pic of us girls holding our treat.

We all took our first bite, it was magic. Like the chocolate sauce, they didn’t taste raw at all. I forgot how good macaroons were and these, I would claim, are better. These macaroons tasted like Nutella and the coconut wasn’t too dry, so you didn’t choke on it when you tried to swallow.

Kati even commented, “are you sure these are actually raw?”

The others were all equally as scrumptious.

I know some people aren’t a fan of citrus and chocolate combinations, but I am. I’m pretty much a fan of chocolate and anything combinations, but that’s neither here nor there. This orange-choco combo was perfection, the citrus came through clear and bright, because its raw it was a very pure citrus flavor, none of that candied orange business going on in this lil’ macaroon! The smell and accompanying taste gave an overall fresh spring taste to the treat.

The Mint Chip – WOW! My mouth literally felt cold and fresh after biting into this. Who needs an after dinner mint when you can snack on this?! SO fragrant and delightful with the cacao nibs. I did notice though that after eating too much of this macaroon, I was left with a bit of a toothpaste aftertaste. I’m all for toothpaste aftertaste, after I brush my teeth, it was just a little odd knowing it was coming from a dessert this time. Overall though, very tasty.

Biting into this was like sticking my nose into the sweet shelf of an Indian spice cupboard, and I mean that in the best way. This was fantastic. Cinnamon, Ginger, Cardamom, Nutmeg, and Clove – OH MY! This had such a rich and warm flavor, the cardamom came through as the flavor frontrunner, but each spice played a beautiful note. This was Matt’s favorite, and I think visually this was mine with the abundance of spices visible atop the coconut.

The Choco Chili Macaroons, oh baby, they will get ya. When I opened the package, the macaroons smelled spicy, warm, and cinnamony all at once. I took my first bite of these and was like “ummm what the heck? They aren’t spicy at all.” Then the heat hit me, oh lordy, did it hit me. The Himalayan salt really came through in this one, balancing the heat. Don’t be afraid of this macaroon, it is absolutely wonderful if you like the spicy and sweet flavor contrast, Emmy’s does it oh so well. I would just recommend having a glass of milk nearby!

Lemon Ginger, Lemon Ginger, Lemon Ginger, you were hands down my favorite. This flavor was light and refreshing, a little light on the ginger, and heavy on the lemon, but I think I prefer it that way. These little things reminded me of the lemon bars of my childhood, sweet but unadulterated lemon tartness. Its love.

The Final Review: Basically folks, I love Emmy’s. They make great products at reasonable prices and best of all, they are a sweet snacks that leave you feeling guilt free! After I ordered online, I discovered that a market in the city sells them, so from now on you can bet I will be making a trip down there and stocking up on all this raw goodness! I’ll have to pick up some of their super-fudge and granola and let you all know what I think, but based on what I’ve tried so far, I’m expecting nothing less than excellence!

Have you ever tried Emmys? If so, what’s your favorite macaroon flavor?

Chocolate Cupcakes, Filled with Peanut Butter Cookie Dough, Topped with Toasted Marshmallow Meringue Frosting

I love avoiding homework. Really, I do. Sure, once I hunker down and get into the groove of it, I’m cool. Until then, I’m like a child being put to bed early. I kick and scream and hold on to the door molding with my tiny fingers until one of my parents pries me off and stuffs me under my bed sheets.

Thank god I don’t live with my parents anymore, no supervision rocks. Until its 2 a.m. and I still have 6 hours of homework and only 3 1/2 hours of energy. Then I wish I had my mother breathing down my neck.

Last night was one of those nights. I spent the day procrastinating. Matt and I made the brunch of champions: thick cut bacon, fried eggs, and southwestern hash browns and a big cup o’ joe – all in my new cast iron skillets. Which are AMAZING. Then I looked up how to clean my cast iron, since as some of you may know, you can’t use soap. So I exfoliated my skillet with salt, put it back on the stove to dry, then conditioned it with a wee bit of vegetable oil to keep it lookin’ smooth. OH BABY!

After that, I bleached my sink, and used 409 to wipe down the counters. And the stove. And the kitchen walls.

Then I used some furniture stain to give my new wooden trunk a glossy finish. This took a while, cause the trunk is huge and I was using quite a bit of elbow grease.

I had just sat down to start my homework when I realized that I needed to start baking some ridiculously extravagant cupcakes for Julio and Sohini’s birthday party! Because after all, my reputation as my friend’s “go-to girl for ridiculously extravagant food” comes above all else. My Editing homework could wait.

See, Julio’s birthday is on Friday and Sohini’s is on Sunday, so we are having a “Hobo Party” on Saturday. You know, where we all dress up in our homeless best i.e. ripped tights, plaid shirts, Doc Martens, and fur caps and sit out on Sohini’s back porch around a fire pit eating hot wings and gumbo, amongst other tasty treats Matt and I will be whipping up.

I knew we had to end the night off well – with a food coma, justifying the fact that we are going to turn this shin dig into a massive sleepover (I already called dibs on the couch). Cause really who wants to move after 5 courses and copious amount of booze?

Thus my adventure to make Chocolate Cupcakes filled with Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough topped with Toasted Marshmallow Meringue Frosting began. Or, as I like to call them, Heart Transplant Cupcakes. A double entendre of sorts, because you take out the center “heart” of the chocolate cupcake and replace it with a new cookie dough “heart.” Also, because you will probably need a new heart yourself after too many of these.

Especially when you accidentally buy Jumbo cupcake liners, instead of the regular ones.

Either way, like I said, ridiculous.

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Bake-off Part I: Samoa Cupcakes

As a former Girl Scout (Troop 662, you did me so right!), I was ecstatic when my baking buddy Sohini found a recipe that simulated the glory that is a Samoa cookie. I am a firm believer that Girl Scout cookies should be sold year round, wouldn’t the profit margins be larger? (I know quite a few people whose waistlines would be also) Oh well, until the Scouts come to their senses I have this recipe to simulate the trifecta that is chocolate, caramel and coconut.

The recipe is from a fellow food blogger who I must admit is a way better baker than I. I already have a few of her recipes bookmarked and cannot wait to try them all.

Now as evidenced by the rainbow cake entry, when Sohini and I bake we essentially lock ourselves in the kitchen and go on a baking binge of sorts cooking 2, 3, or 4 recipes in a night.

The Samoas Cupcakes was phase one of this bake-off. Phase two was Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies. Chocolate covered Bacon was beyond entertaining as phase three and we finished off the night with Brown Sugar Sprinkled Blueberry Muffins. Obviously more on those later.

After a hefty shopping spree at Safeway we headed home to begin our adventure. We wanted to start the cupcakes first since they were the most time consuming out of the evenings recipe list. Mostly though, I think we just couldn’t wait to taste the finished product.

First up, the actual cupcake. This was the first time I included sour cream into a cake and I was a little skeptical. Let me reassure anyone who shared my concerns, they were the moistest most delicious tasting chocolate cupcakes I have ever eaten in my whole life.

While we assembled and divided the ingredients up, the oven was preheated to 350 degrees and the cupcake trays were lined with a mix of fabulous little silver wrappers and sports themed wrappers – for variety.

I want to apologize in advance for the poorer quality photos. I took a few photos and then my camera died, I was at Sohini’s house and didn’t have my charger with me so we used her iPhone because it had a flash. Please bear with me.

The first thing you want to do is combine 1 cup sour cream and 1 teaspoon baking soda in a small bowl

In another bowl sift and combine 2 cups flour and 1/2 cup of cocoa powder, like the sour cream set this bowl aside. It day in the sun is coming.

In yet another bowl mix together 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), 1 cup granulated sugar, and 1/2 cup brown sugar

The butter is glowing, like the holy gift it is.

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