So you know the Scharffen-Berger Chocolate Adventure Contest?

I’m about to share my failed entry with you.

the good stuff

Actually, it was neither an entry nor a failure (“Talk amongst yourselves!”), but it didn’t come out how I imagined, so I didn’t submit it.  If I had made my first attempt not on the day of the deadline, then maybe I could have experimented a little more and adjusted the recipe.  But you know me.  :P


For this year’s contest, they were asking people to come up with cupcake recipes using Scharffen-Berger chocolate (of course) and at least one of the following 14 adventure ingredients: stout beer (oatmeal, chocolate, imperial or any other stout); ricotta; buttermilk; coconut butter, coconut milk, or coconut cream; saffron; molasses (light, dark or blackstrap); adzuki beans; fresh beet; sweetened condensed milk; fresh or whole dried chili pepper; bee pollen; meyer lemon; almond flour; and Sumatra coffee beans.  I found out about this contest in October when Bakerella posted about it (she’s a judge!), but didn’t really have any great ideas until a few weeks ago. 

As I mentioned at the end of my last post, I don’t like sugar in my coffee.  However, Vietnamese iced coffee is a huge exception to this rule.  If you’ve never had it, it’s basically coffee poured over sweetened condensed milk and ice.  SO good.  You can probably see where my mind then went.

adventure ingredients

So, I decided to try to make a chocolate Vietnamese coffee cupcake with sweetened condensed milk whipped cream.  I found Sumatra beans at Whole Foods, and also bought some sweetened condensed milk and Scharffen-Berger chocolate and cocoa powder.  And actually, I used buttermilk also!

I <3 my mini French press.

What I did was brew 3/4 cup water with 5 tablespoons of the ground coffee beans.  I then mixed 1 tablespoon of sweetened condensed milk with 1/2 cup of the brewed coffee and used this in place of the 1/2 cup of water in these cupcakes.  While they were cooling, I poked several holes in the tops and brushed three coats of the remaining coffee on them.

coffee with and without condensed milk melting chocolate and butter unbaked cupcakes brushing with coffee

For the topping, I beat 1/2 cup of whipping cream in a mixer on high, then after soft peaks formed, added 1 tablespoon of sweetened condensed milk.  It never got very stiff because I accidentally got whipping cream instead of heavy whipping cream…apparently it makes a little bit of a difference! Whatever, though…it’s ridiiiculously good.


What I ended up with tasted like a really good chocolate cupcake with sweetened condensed milk whipped cream.  Super yummy, but not convincing!  Just to be sure, I had my friend Rachel try one, and she thought they were good.  This is bad because she hates coffee!  I told her there was coffee in them, but she could barely taste it.

Ideas for how I could have made these more convincing: used finely ground coffee in the batter (in addition to the brewed coffee), filled with a concentrated coffee/sweetened condensed milk mixture, topped with a chocolate coffee ganache…oh, and I’m not sure why I used semi-sweet instead of bittersweet chocolate. huh.

yummy cupcake fail!
Loose whipped cream is loose!

Anyway, I’m glad I at least tried because I know I would have regretted it otherwise.  Also, I’m sure I’m not the only one who thought of this combination.  Looking forward to when they announce finalists and winners for this contest and seeing their recipes!