Mocha Love

Like many of you, I love my coffee.  My romance with coffee deepened from flirting to IN A RELATIONSHIP in 2004 when I moved to Edinburgh for 6 months and got a job at a cafe. I drank cup, after cup, after cup and infused my bloodstream with sweet, delicious caffeine.  It’s been a pleasant part of my day ever since.

Notice how I didn’t say “morning”?  I don’t restrict coffee to one part of the day.

Another favorite concoction at the cafe was a Mocha.  This was basically a latte with a generous ladle of warmed chocolate, topped with whipped cream.  I am not so into chocolate, but the coffee and chocolate union is something else. Something I wanted to taste yesterday, on top of a cupcake.

Any combination of chocolate and coffee is often classified as “mocha”.  The name comes from the Red Sea coastal town of Mocha, Yemen – which was a dominant exporter of coffee from the 15th to 17th centuries.  These coffees had a chocolate-y taste, so mocha became a term for anything that combined the two flavors.

Yesterday was my dad’s birthday and I spent it with him at Rye Beach on the NH coast.  Per recent tradition, I also made his birthday cupcakes.  This year I made shortcut (box mix) vanilla cupcakes with seedless raspberry jam filling and mocha buttercream frosting.

(PS…that is John’s man-hand, not mine)

The frosting was a stick of soft butter mixed with around 6 teaspoons of black coffee and a couple of heaped teaspoons of dutch cocoa…and then I added confectionary sugar until it was the consistency I wanted.  This is how you make frosting at the beach with no mixer and no idea where the measuring cups or spoons are…basically frosting is foolproof if you stop often to stick your finger in to taste it…which I did.  A lot.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

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