Tag Archives: Cocktail in a cupcake

Cocktail in a Cupcake: Rose Martini

To celebrate the 1st birthday of the We Should Cocoa blog challenge, this month’s theme, set by Chele at Chocolate Teapot, is to bake something for a “virtual birthday party” – something chocolatey, of course!  Whilst a big cake would seem appropriate, I decided to go for cupcakes (I know that I totally missed the boat on National Cupcake Week which was last week) for the simple reason that I’ve had a cupcake idea floating around for a while and this seems like the perfect occasion to try it out.  Actually, it would have been my entry to last month’s We Should Cocoa challenge, for which the special ingredient was “rose” (you can see the round-up here), but my plans fell victim to the lovely bout of tonsillitis that laid me up in bed for a week (I’m still grumbling about it).

When I’d been looking for inspiration for last month’s challenge, I happened across the recipe for a Rose Martini, a vodka-based cocktail that contains white crème de cacao and rosewater.  To me that just sounded like a cupcake waiting to happen!  Incorporating white chocolate would have made it perfect for the theme, and I desperately wanted to see if the flavours would work in a cupcake, but never managed to get round to it (grumble, tonsillitis, grumble)…  However, this month’s theme has come galloping to the rescue, because I think that Rose Martini cupcakes definitely sound fit for a party, don’t you?  Wait, what’s that?  Oh, it’s supposed to be for a 1st birthday party…?  Can one year-olds eat cake?  I have no idea.  I don’t really have anything whatsoever to do with small children (can you tell?).  So anyway, these cupcakes are clearly adult-only.  I’m totally ok with that, because it’s not for an actual one year-old child…

The only problem with deciding to make cupcakes is that they usually come in batches, which is fine if you’ve got people to feed them to, but 12 cupcakes between just my mum and I is a bit much (I do love cupcakes, but I’d rather not make myself sick).  Especially since cupcakes don’t keep all that long, and stale cupcakes are rather depressing.  Thankfully though, I found a recipe to make two cupcakes (or one jumbo cupcake), which I adapted and doubled, and it ended up giving me five cupcakes filled with vodka, rosewater and white chocolate chips.  The icing included the Rose Martini ingredients: vodka, rosewater and white crème de cacao.  I may or may not have gotten slightly too enthusiastic about piping the rose (it took me five tries to get a decent one).  They turned out rather well, though quite heavy, and whilst the flavours do work together I think they could get quite sickly quite quickly.  I’d like to try adapting one of my tried and tested cupcake recipes for a full batch, just to see if it would make them a bit lighter.  We’ll see…  For now though, at least these look pretty!  And they do taste good, they’re just really quite heavy!

So all that remains (before sharing the recipe) is to wish happy birthday to We Should Cocoa – here’s to another year of challenges!

Rose Martini cupcakes

Makes 5-6 cupcakes
Cupcake recipe adapted from Sweet Road

The rosewater really comes through in this recipe, so if you’re not a fan, I would suggest decreasing the amount slightly, and perhaps adding slightly more vodka to cut through the flavour more.  The icing makes enough to pipe five roses, but if you want to just do some swirly decorative piping, you won’t need quite as much.  Also, don’t be worried if the cupcakes don’t really go golden – mine didn’t but they were still cooked!

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:
75g all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
25g unsalted butter
45g caster sugar
120 ml milk, room temperature
2 tsp vodka
1 tsp rosewater
½ tsp white crème de cacao
35g white chocolate chips (or chopped white chocolate)

For the icing:
2 tsp vodka
1 ½ tsp white crème de cacao
½ tsp rosewater
35g butter
70g icing sugar
Rose food colouring paste (optional)

Directions

To make the cupcakes:
1.  Line a cupcake tin with 5 or 6 liners or set out 5 or 6 silicon liners.  Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.

2.  Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a small bowl and mix together.

3.  In a different bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until well mixed.  Mix in half the milk (make sure it’s at room temperature otherwise it does weird things to the butter apparently), followed by the flour mixture.  Add the remaining milk, the vodka, rosewater and crème de cacao and mix until well incorporated (if the mixture looks like it’s separated or curdled or something, try mixing some more until vaguely smooth.  If that doesn’t work, add a little bit more flour.  If that doesn’t work, bake them anyway and hope for the best.  Sage advice right there.).  Stir in the chocolate chips.

4.  Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners and bake for 18-22 mins, until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.  Turn out onto a wire rack to cool fully.

To make the icing:
5.  In a measuring glass or small bowl, mix together the vodka, crème de cacao and rosewater.  Set aside.

6.  Cream together the butter and icing sugar (be prepared for a small icing sugar explosion if using an electric whisk).  When combined to form buttercream, add a tiny, tiny amount of rose food colouring paste (optional) and the alcohols, and mix well until completely incorporated.

7.  Once the cupcakes are completely cool, you can pipe the icing onto them.  To make an icing rose, use a rose petal tip.  Pipe a small blob in the middle of the cupcake, and then, making sure that the fat part of the tip is at the bottom, pipe vertical individual petals around the blob, turning the cupcake as you go (I realise that is a terrible explanation of how to make a rose out of icing – Google it, there are loads of videos available online).

Enjoy!

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Pimm’s cupcakes to celebrate the Royal Wedding

In case you haven’t heard (since there wasn’t any media coverage of it or anything), there was a Royal Wedding earlier today.  If you’ve vaguely followed the run-up to the wedding, you’ll know that William and Kate Catherine met at the University of St Andrews, so whilst they’re generally loved across the country, I think we all have a particular soft spot for them up here.  St Andrews is full of bunting (I have a secret love for bunting) and Union Jacks and a lot of people have been throwing parties, or attended the Royal Breakfast hosted in St Salvator’s quad, and have just generally been using today as an excuse for a celebration (it’s a busy weekend anyway with the May Dip on Sunday morning).

Unfortunately, I have a dissertation to write (which is why things have been a little quiet on the blog lately – I’ll start posting regularly again soon, I promise!), so no partying for me…  (Don’t be too sad, I’ll make up for it once the dissertation has been handed in.  iPlayer.  Royal Wedding Drinking Game.  Enough said.)  Instead I’ve spent the morning in the Bute computer lab with Kat, watching the Wedding on one computer and dissertating on another, whilst eating cupcakes.

Since they were in celebration of the Royal Wedding, they couldn’t just be any old cupcakes.  I decided to attempt Pimm’s cupcakes, because Pimm’s is just so quintessentially British and summery, with the added bonus of being super tasty, too.  They didn’t turn out as Pimm’s-y as I was expecting, but they were still lovely and fruity, and I think they can be declared a success.  Hurrah!  My dissertating, on the other hand was not such a success…  (30 words in 4 hours?  Epic fail.)  Never mind, the lack of productivity was worth it – the Wedding was beautiful to watch, Kate was beautiful (no surprises there) and so was her dress.  Though I would just like to say that I absolutely loved Pippa Middleton’s maid-of-honour dress – it suited her perfectly and she looked absolutely stunning in it.  So before I go off and dream about one day managing to look that exquisite (ha ha, good joke right there), I’ll just share these cupcakes with you for this wonderfully British celebration.  I’d also like to offer my congratulations and wish all the best to William and Catherine – I think they will make an absolutely superb royal couple.

Pimm’s cupcakes

Makes 16 cupcakes
Adapted from BakeSpace

This recipe isn’t quite as time-consuming as it looks, mostly because the glaze can be prepared whilst the cupcakes are in the oven, and the icing whilst they are cooling.  This would be a perfect street party food (to be kept in mind for the next royal event?)  I usually make Pimm’s with strawberries, but the raspberries worked really well with the cupcakes as they cut through the sweetness of the cupcakes perfectly.  I’m sure these would be wonderful served with a jug of Pimm’s.  Yummy!

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:
225g butter, softened
200g brown sugar
230g self-raising flour
¼ tsp baking powder
4 eggs
3 shots Pimm’s No. 1
Handful fresh mint, chopped (or you can use 1 tbsp dried mint)

For the glaze:
8 tbsp Pimm’s
2 tbsp brown sugar
Handful of raspberries
Further 6 tbsp Pimm’s No. 1 (optional)

For the icing:
170g butter, softened
370g icing sugar
Zest & juice of 2 limes
Zest & juice of 1 lemon
Fresh raspberries (to decorate)
Fresh mint, finely chopped (to decorate)

Directions

To make the cupcakes:
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.  Line a muffin with tin with 16 paper cases or set out silicone moulds.

2.  Cream the butter and brown sugar together in a large bowl.  Add all the other batter ingredients and mix well.

3.  Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared cases and bake for 18-20 minutes.

To make the glaze:
4.  Whilst the cupcakes bake, mix the glaze ingredients together in a small saucepan and mush in the raspberries.  Set on a low heat and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes until a little syrupy.

5.  When the cupcakes are done, remove from the oven, poke a few holes into the tops of each (I used a pointy chopstick) and spoon about 1 tsp of the glaze per cupcake into them.  Spoon in a bit of extra Pimm’s over the top of the glaze (optional, but so good).  Allow the cupcakes to cool on a wire rack.

To make the icing:
6.  Cream the butter and icing sugar (be prepared for an icing sugar explosion).  Add the rest of the icing ingredients (except the raspberries and chopped mint) and continue mixing until smooth.

7.  Pipe the icing over each cupcake once they have fully cooled.  Sprinkle with some raspberries and freshly-chopped mint before serving.

Enjoy!

Right.  I should probably get back to the dissertation now…  Joy.

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Cocktail in a cupcake: Mojito

In case you weren’t aware, yesterday was Valentine’s Day.  Now, I’m not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day.  This partially stems from a couple of incredibly awkward situations when I was still at school, but mostly it boils down the fact that I’m a little bit bitter and more than a little bit cynical.  (Though I’ll happily take any roses that unexpectedly come my way – they happen to be my favourite type of flower.  Which I realise is totally cliché.  And probably a little hypocritical, too.)

So the obvious way to ignore Valentine’s Day: cocktails and a James Bond film (we chose Goldfinger) with a couple of friends who share my cynicism.  A suitably non-pink cocktail: the Mojito.  And because we love baking: mojito cupcakes.  Oh yes…

These cupcakes turned out very rummy (would you have expected anything less?), and very yummy – the glaze and added rum soaks right into their centres.  As Kat put it, “I think these are my new favourite cupcakes!”

Mojito cupcakes

Makes 16 cupcakes
Recipe from BakeSpace

Adding rum after the glaze is totally optional, but let’s be honest, why wouldn’t you?  The recipe isn’t quite as time-consuming as it looks, mostly because the glaze can be prepared whilst the cupcakes are in the oven, and the icing whilst they are cooling.  I’m sure that if you used dark or spiced rum, the cupcakes would taste quite different, but equally yummy!

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:
225g butter, softened
200g brown sugar
230g self-raising flour
¼ tsp baking powder
4 eggs
Zest & juice of 1 lime
2 shots white rum
Handful fresh mint, chopped (or you can use 1 tbsp dried mint)

For the glaze:
5 tbsp white rum
Juice of 1 lime (about 2 tbsp)
2 tbsp brown sugar
A few leaves of fresh mint, finely chopped (or 1 tsp dried mint)
Further 8 tbsp white rum (optional)

For the icing:
85g butter, softened
185g icing sugar
Shot of white rum (perhaps a little extra…)
Zest & juice of ½ a lime (about 1 tbsp zest and 1 tbsp juice)
Brown sugar, to taste
Fresh mint, finely chopped (to decorate)

Directions

To make the cupcakes:
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.  Line a muffin with tin with 16 paper cases or set out silicone moulds.

2.  Cream the butter and brown sugar together in a large bowl.  Add all the other batter ingredients and mix well.

3.  Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared cases and bake for 18-20 minutes.

To make the glaze:
4.  Whilst the cupcakes bake, mix the glaze ingredients together in a small saucepan.  Set on a low heat and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes until a little syrupy.

5.  When the cupcakes are done, remove from the oven, poke a few holes into the tops of each (I used a pointy chopstick) and about 1 tsp of the glaze per cupcake into them.  Spoon in about ½ tsp of extra rum over the top of the glaze (optional, but so good).  Allow the cupcakes to cool on a wire rack.

To make the icing:
6.  Cream the butter and icing sugar (be prepared for an icing sugar explosion).  Add the rest of the icing ingredients (except the chopped mint) and continue mixing until smooth.

7.  Pipe the icing over each cupcake once they have fully cooled.  Sprinkle with some freshly-chopped mint to garnish before serving.

Enjoy!  (Responsibly, of course…  Ahem.)

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