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After baking the Ispahan Cupcakes for everyone, Aunty decided to give me my FIRST business, that is to bake 20 cupcakes for her potluck dinner party on Friday. Every month, she will always meet her group of friends and everyone will have to bring some food to share. I was rather afraid to take it up initially because I am still very amateur baker and I just bought my oven not too long ago!

But I thought, why not do it for fun? So after brainstorming, I decided to bake Coffee Walnut Cupcakes because it is Aunty’s favourite flavour! Things didn’t go very smoothly at the beginning. I started preparing the buttercream on Wednesday night and while I was beating the butter, my hand whisk (which has been around for more than 15 years) decided to break down and stop working. Making bettercream frosting was supposed to be done within 15 minutes but we spent close to an hour trying to fix the hand whisk.

In the end, all didn’t succeed and we tried to beat it with our hands! Imagine all our crumbled up face while beating the buttercream. It was one of the most painful experience ever! Thinking that we did a good job after an hour, we left it in the fridge to chill and use it the next day.

So on Thursday, I rushed to the nearest supermarket to buy a mixer from Philips. Coincidentally, I had a dinner at night, so I only got home after 10pm to start baking. But thank goodness for the mixer, I finished baking everything within an hour, with the help of my aunty and Grandfather. Prior to baking the cupcakes, I took out the buttercream to bring it to room temperature.

Alas, after all 24 cupcakes were done, my buttercream was still as hard as a rock! It was already past midnight and I got a little panicky. So I went online to read about it and some smart alec suggested putting my buttercream over a water bath. I followed suit and the butter started to melt, forming a layer of oil on top. I don’t know if this was correct but it didn’t look very pleasing to the eyes. I then realised some sugar didn’t mix in properly because we whisk it manually with our hands.

Eventually, I decided to throw away my whole bowl of pre-prepared buttercream and woke up earlier on Friday morning to bake a new batch. Thankfully, all went well after that and I managed to deliver 20 beautifully cupcakes for Aunty. It was definitely a learning experience! But I look forward to my next business! Haha!

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Coffee Walnut Cupcakes

Ingredients (makes 12):
Adapted from Cupcakes with Attitude by Benjamin Wong
125g unsalted butter
125g light brown sugar
2 eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
125g self raising flour, sifted
Coffee granules (1 tbsp coffee powder dissolves in 2 tbsp hot water)
110g chopped walnuts
Coffee Frosting:
Adatped from Martha Steward: Cupcakes
120g butter, room temperature
160g icing sugar, sifted
2 tbsp instant coffee powder

To make coffee cupcakes:
1. Preheat oven to 180 degree celsius. Line muffin tray with cupcake liners.

2. Cream butter in an electric mixer for a few minutes. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combines.

3. Add eggs and beat until mixture is well blended, light and fluffy.

4. Add vanilla extract and mix well.

5. Add half the flour and beat on low speed. Add coffee and the remaining flour and beat until combined. Do not over beat, stop immediately once the flour and coffee are well mixed into the batter.

6. Fold in walnuts using a spatula.

7. Spoon batter into cupcake liners until three-quarters full. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of cakes comes out clean.

8. Remove from oven and transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

To make coffee frosting:
1. Beat butter and coffee at medium speed for 2 minutes.

2. Reduce speed and add the icing sugar 60g at a time. Beat well after each addition.

3. Pipe buttercream on top of cupcakes. Garnish with walnuts.