Anyone got a spare two thousand words? The old dissertation is looking a bit skinny at the moment, and after six straight months working on one paper, I have to be honest–I have nothing left to say. I’m spent. Over it. Done. And yet it is still here, demanding words from me that I don’t have like a nagging housewife. I am married to my freaking dissertation…and I think it is time to start seeing other papers. Thankfully, I like to channel my frustration into baking. I was so in love with Chockylit from Cupcake Bakeshop’s dark chocolate cupcakes with salted caramel icing from a few weeks ago, I wanted to try and make my own variation. The cupcake recipe itself was perfect, and yields a moist, rich chocolate cake that I believe comes from the use of good chocolate with cocoa powder, instead of the traditional cocoa powder only recipes.
In the original recipe, the salted caramel icing is actually a cream cheese frosting, but with just a small amount of cream cheese so it can support the salted caramel without overpowering it. I had some wattle seed leftover that I wanted to use before I left the country, and I wanted a neutral frosting base to put it in so the wattle seed would be the main flavor. You may remember wattle seed from a previous post, where I used it in a tiramisu. Wattle seed is a native Australian ingredient that tastes a lot like coffee, chocolate and hazelnut. It usually comes ground and roasted, and almost looks like instant coffee powder. So I took the original salted caramel icing recipe, and substituted re-hydrated wattle seed for the salted caramel. I placed two tablespoons of wattle seed in some warm water for ten minutes, and then strained. You end up with something that looks like coffee grounds, but you can eat them (and they taste a bit better, especially mixed in with other ingredients). I mixed the wattle seed into the cream cheese frosting, and it was sooooooooooooooo good. Like, this should be dangerous good. And considering my jeans are only getting tighter with each new procrastination baking session, it is dangerous. One cannot finish writing a massive paper if their jeans are strangling their body.
I loved how the wattle seed gave the frosting a speckled appearance, almost like cookies and cream ice cream. I sprinkled a bit of wattle seed on top, you know, to make it all fancy and such. The frosting tasted great, and the cream cheese was barely noticeable, it just sort of lightened up the heavy wattle seed flavor. If you like coffee and chocolate, this is great frosting to try. Chockylit is a big fan of filling her cupcakes with more frosting, and lets be honest, who doesn’t want more sugary goodness inside their cupcakes? She likes to cut off the top of the cupcake at an angle so it makes a cone, then chops off the cone and fills the space in the bottom of the cupcake with more frosting. I attempted to do this, but wasn’t that successful. I didn’t get the frosting down far enough so you could notice it, it just sort of blended in with the top frosting layer. It worked in one out of 6 cupcakes, and I did love the one that worked (it reminded me of those Hostess cupcakes with the frosting in the middle and the squiggly white line on top), so I will have to try this again.
Back to the paper…or maybe some banana bread. ~LTG!