Saturday, December 31, 2011

Mixology Cupcakes

With New Years right around the corner, I thought it would only be appropriate if I mixed up some spirits to make a cupcake treat.  This one has 3 types of alcohol in it, so I did not skimp on the mixer at all!  Even though I am not a certified mixologist when it comes to bar drinks, I think these are well worth presenting at a New Year's Eve party.

The base is a cupcake made with port wine.  Then, I poked holes in the top with a wooden skewer and brushed some syrup on top made out of Godiva liqueur.  It not only made the cupcakes have more flavor, it made them very moist.  Instead of leaving it at that, I frosted them with a fluffy Amaretto frosting.  The final touch was chocolate sprinkles on top.  The recipe makes 20 cupcakes.

Before I get to the recipe, I wanted to write a few thoughts about the coming of the New Year.  It is a time when the door is open to set things straight.  In other words, to get your house in order before 2012 gets here.  This may mean settling differences you may have with family or friends.  Or it may mean that you fix that door that has been creaking for the last 6 months. By doing that, the new year will be a fresh start.  Once your house is in order, then it is time to sit down and raise a glass to say goodbye to 2011 and hello to 2012! I wish all of you a happy New Year and that at midnight tonight, you are ringing in the New Year the best way you know how! Cheers!

Mixology Cupcakes
by fhourtrader

4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup red wine
1 2/3 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt, plus 1 pinch

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare muffin pan by greasing the top edge of the cavities.  Then line with cupcake papers.  Set aside.

Sift together flour, baking soda and 1/4 tsp of salt.  Then whisk in the sugar.  Pour in 1/4 cup of vegetable oil and stir until all is blended.  Mix in 1/4 cup of red wine.  Then repeat the same, adding the two liquids in 1/4 cup intervals until all the wine and oil is mixed in.

In a small bowl, beat one egg yolk with a fork and then add to batter.  Stir batter with a wooden spoon until mixture is smooth and the egg is mixed in.  Continue with the same process for each of the egg yolks, so all is blended into the batter.  Set aside.

Fill a separate bowl with the egg whites and a pinch of salt.  Then beat at a high speed until the egg whites hold stiff, but not dry, peaks.  Fold the egg white mixture into the sugar/wine batter until no white streaks remain.

Then fill the cupcake liners with the batter. You can either pour it into the paper liners or use an ice cream scoop.  The cups should be filled evenly, about 3/4 full.

Place cupcakes in oven and bake until a tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes.  Remove and let cool in pan for 1 minute and then transfer to rack to finish cooling.

Once cool, take a wooden skewer and poke holes in the top of the cupcakes.  The holes should be about 3/4 the depth of the entire cupcake.

Ingredients/Godiva Syrup
1/2 cup Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
2 tsp sugar

Stir together ingredients in a small saucepan and place over medium heat.  Let cook and stir until sugar is completely dissolved.  Then remove from heat and let cool for 30 minutes.

Using a pastry brush, brush syrup over the top of the cupcakes and let soak in.  Continue with the process until no more syrup is left.

Regarding the frosting below, it cannot be made in advance.  It must be prepared and used immediately.

adapted from Martha Stewart

1 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cup plus 2 tbs of butter (room temp)
4 egg whites
3 tbs and 1 tsp water
2/3 tsp vanilla
pinch of cream of tartar
2 tbs Amaretto
pinch of salt

Place sugar and water in a saucepan and stir. Put over medium high heat and let come to a boil until the sugar dissolves.  Then let cook until it reaches the soft ball stage or 238 degrees.  This can happen very quickly and if your mixture turns from white or clear to an amber color, it probably has gone past the soft ball stage.  Once proper consistency and temperature is reached, remove from heat.  Then pour into a heat proof bowl to let cool.

In a medium size bowl, beat egg whites for 30 seconds.  Then add the cream of tartar and salt.  Then beat on medium high until stiff peaks form but mixture is not dry.

Once the sugar syrup has cooled to lukewarm temperature or cooler, pour 2 tablespoons into the egg white mixture and beat for 30 seconds.  Then add the rest of the syrup and beat for 3 minutes.  Set aside.

In another bowl, cream the butter till fluffy. Add 1/4 cup of the butter to the sugar batter and beat for 2 minutes.  Continue with this process of beating the butter into the sugar batter in intervals.  Lastly add vanilla extract and amaretto and beat for 1 minute.

Then cut the corner off a gallon zip lock bag and place decorating tip inside, sticking out of the corner.  Fill the bag with the frosting and then ice the cupcakes.  Lastly, top with chocolate sprinkles.
                              **LAST YEAR: Pink Champagne Cupcakes**