My client's office happens to be pimped out with a full coffee bar on the first floor. This was a dangerous move on their part. Of course, I guess it makes sense to keep the worker bees fueled with caffeine. Recently, I've been ordering Almond Joy mochas from the aforementioned coffee bar. This was a creation I used to make when I worked at a coffeehouse in college. I didn't really have a name for the drink at that time. It was just this chocolate almond mocha thing into which I threw 4-6 shots of espresso. By the way, 6 shots of espresso in 1 drink is NOT advisable. Trust me.
I've since toned down my radical pace of ingesting caffeine. Now I'm just a 2-shot kinda girl. Sometimes 3 if it's a particularly rough day. When I first requested for the barista to add a shot of almond flavoring to my large mocha, she said "Hey, it's an Almond Joy mocha!". And since then the name has stuck.
So why have I just told you this story? Because this was the inspiration for my Almond Joy Cupcakes! Duh.
Almond Joy Cupcakes
adapted from Love and Olive Oil's Vanilla Almond Cupcakes
makes 11 (I doubled the original recipe to yield the measurements below and ended up with 22 cupcakes)
- 1/2 cup ground almonds
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup oil
- 2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
1) Add ~1/2 cup almonds to a food processor. Grind almonds to a fine consistency. Add1/2 cup of ground almonds to the dry ingredients.
2) Mix the dry ingredients (flour, ground almonds, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar) in a large bowl.
3) Using a mixer, combine the wet ingredients (oil, milk, vanilla extract, almond extract) in another bowl.
4) Slowly add in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in several increments.
Note: I used a mixer only because I wanted to break up the almond pieces as much as possible. Then I used a whisk just to make sure.
5) Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full with the batter.
6) Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes. Let cool.
Almond Joy Frosting
adapted from La Mia Vita Dolce's Mocha Frosting
(I doubled the original recipe to yield the measurements below)
- 20 oz semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup water, minus 2 teaspoons (Just remove 2 teaspoons of water out of the cup. It's super easy, I promise.)
- 20 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
1) Combine the chocolate and water in a medium heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water in the pot or your chocolate can burn.
2) Stir the chocolate until it has melted and mixed thoroughly with the water.
3) Take the bowl off the pot and add the butter in increments, whisking until the frosting is smooth after each addition.
4) Add the almond and coconut extracts to the frosting and whisk to incorporate. The frosting will be thin.
5) Set the frosting aside to cool, stirring occasionally until it has thickened to the desired consistency.
Note: You can also save some time and place the bowl in the refrigerator, but watch it closely. If the frosting becomes thicker than desired, you will need to heat it up again to thin it out.
6) Pipe or spread on cupcakes.
These cupcakes were pretty tasty. I definitely got that Almond Joy flavor of almonds, coconut and chocolate. I also liked the slightly denser texture that the ground almonds gave to the cake. It was good in an interesting way, rather than a negative way.
I did get some feedback that maybe more coconut flavor could be added to the cake. I could do that. I could also replace the vanilla extract in the cake with almond extract. Because that might make more sense. But of course I didn't think of it until the cupcakes were already baking in the oven. Hmmm...
So, what other candy bar cupcakes should I make next?!