I had the itch but I was undecided about what to bake when I saw Tara's post, Cupcakery inspiration, on her wonderful blog Seven Spoons. Cupcakes were perfect - not too taxing (I'm not yet fully recovered) but a delicious way to ease back into baking.
In honour of the launch of Martha Stewart's new cookbook Martha Stewart's Cupcakes: 175 Inspired Ideas for Everyone's Favorite Treat, I decided to continue Tara's Martha theme and baked a batch of Martha's One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes. These cupcakes are perfect for mid-recovery since they really are dump and stir! And they're moist and delicious to boot.
The cupcakes baked up beautifully, as usual, but cried out for icing. I didn't have the energy for anything fancy so I pulled out a recipe from one of my favourite cookbooks, In the Sweet Kitchen: The Definitive Guide to the Baker's Pantry by Regan Daley. I wanted something to counterbalance the sweetness of the cupcakes and decided to adapt her recipe for Chocolate Butter Icing into a delicious mocha icing.
Easy Mocha Butter Icing
Adapted from In the Sweet Kitchen: The Definitive Guide to the Baker's Pantry by Regan Daley
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups icing sugar
2 tbsp. water
1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp instant espresso powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
Cream butter and half of the icing sugar. Add 1 tbsp water and stir.
Add the remaining ingredients, reserving the water and adding only if needed to achieve a creamy consistency.
This recipe makes enough to frost a square cake liberally or 24 cupcakes with a thin layer of icing.