What is the purpose of adding coffee to chocolate cupcakes? It’s rare to find a recipe without it, does it just add moisture?

What is the purpose of adding coffee to chocolate cupcakes? It’s rare to find a recipe without it, does it just add moisture?

You can check the answer of the people under the question at Quora “adding instant coffee to chocolate cake

0 thoughts on “What is the purpose of adding coffee to chocolate cupcakes? It’s rare to find a recipe without it, does it just add moisture?”

  1. My biggest complaint with chocolate cakes is that they merely taste sweet, but they don’t taste much like chocolate. The volume of flour, sugar, fat, eggs and liquid really dampen down the complex chocolate flavor, especially if the chocolate already contains some sugar.
    One technique to enhance the chocolate flavor is to use high-quality cocoa powder and to “bloom” it in a hot liquid. Water alone doesn’t add much flavor and I’ve made recipes where it seemed to dilute the chocolate a bit. Hot coffee blooms the chocolate while supporting and enhancing the chocolate flavor, as does vanilla extract and light brown sugar. I also use a teaspoon or so of Godiva chocolate liqueur to add another chocolate note.
    My guys who are not coffee drinkers say that, lately, I have gone a little overboard since I started using the strong, expensive coffee our son brought back from Costa Rica so I will be dialing back the coffee flavor in the next chocolate cake. I’m going to try that cold-brew technique that someone else suggested.

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  2. The coffee is for flavor.
    Coffee is very bitter. Chocolate is bitter too. So when you add a very small amount of coffee to chocolate, the bitterness of the coffee underlines the bitterness of the chocolate, and makes it taste more chocolatey.
    In addition, good coffee has some lovely floral, fruity, caramelly flavors—just like good chocolate does. This is why Dan Holliday’s chocolate chip cookie recipe calls for just a pinch: the coffee highlights the flavors of the vanilla, butter, and brown sugar. Those flavors work beautifully with a chocolate cupcake, too.
    It’s kind of like serving fish with an anchovy sauce: the anchovies taste super-fishy, and work with the flavor of the fish. It’s also similar to why almonds and apricots, both members of the rose family, which share several aromatic compounds, work so well together.
    That said, the other reason coffee is added to chocolate cupcakes is that you are reading this in 2017, and I’m guessing you are younger than 30. When I was growing up in the dark ages of the 1990’s, most chocolate cupcake recipes did not have coffee added. A few super-foodie recipes did, like a secret weapon. However, with the rise of cooking shows, celebrity chefs, farmer’s markets, and foodie culture in general, what once was a foodie secret has now become mainstream.
    If you don’t want any coffee at all, not even at a level you cannot taste, feel free to leave it out. Your chocolate cupcakes will not taste as chocolatey, but they should still be mighty good.

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  3. I would like to correct one misconception. As a rule, adding liquids to a batter doesn’t make the result moister. It’s fat, usually in the form of butter that does that.
    The coffee is added because it enhances the chocolate flavor.

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  4. Mocha flavor is fairly popular, and the combination is richer than either one by itself. It’s not uncommon to put a chocolate syrup in a coffee drink, so it follows that adding coffee into a chocolate recipe would also be popular. If it’s a shot of espresso or a tablespoon of instant coffee, it adds another layer of flavor. Pumpernickel bread often adds some coffee into the recipe for color as well as flavor, so it’s not just chocolate recipes.
    Some other great flavors tha…

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  5. Coffee makes chocolate taste more like chocolate. Try a recipe—even a cake mix—using no coffee in one and coffee (whether dry, instant espresso, or substitute some of the recipe’s liquid for an equal amount of strong coffee) in the other and compare the flavors for yourself. Doing this one time will be enough for you to store cocoa and coffee together in your pantry.

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  6. I’m guessing that you are referring to the addition of a small quantity (teaspoon or so) of instant coffee or espresso, intended to enhance the flavor of the chocolate. Me, I prefer a small pinch of cayenne, OR a bigger pinch of cinnamon OR a few grinds of fresh pepper. Pick one to accentuate the flavor. Some older recipes call for vanilla extract (the real thing) or almond extract.
    I realize that some of my suggestions would be considered mortal sins against the fine arts of confectionery and patisserie.

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  7. A bit of coffee enhances the flavor of the cocoa, but it was uncommon find it in recipes when I first started baking (back in the dark ages).
    If you look for recipes in older cookbooks you’ll find that coffee as an ingredient is rare, and is generally included only when the recipe declares in the name that it’s going for a pronounced coffee flavor.
    Everything changes and evolves.

    Victor Allen’s

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