Friday, September 17, 2010

Crow's Nest Cupcakes (they give you wiiings...)

Last month, Alisa of The Insomniac Baker won Cupcake Hero, and thus became this month's host. Her theme ingredient? Caffeine. Not coffee. Caffeine.

How cool is that?

I immediately decided against coffee as my caffeinated ingredient, as I figured everyone would go there. So what to use? Okay, so here's a confession: I love Red Bull. I know, I know, it's bad for you, and actually I haven't had one for years. But when I was younger and significantly less dependent on sleep, Red Bull was my friend. And it is sooo yummy...

Also it now comes in these handy little "Red Bull Energy Shots" - all the caffeine of a standard can, in just 60mL of liquid!! Wowza. I don't know whether even I would drink that on a regular basis... But on the up side, it's perfect for baking with.

So I had my ingredient, and I also decided I wanted pirate-themed cupcakes, what with Talk Like A Pirate Day being this Sunday (spread the word, me hearties - and the word is Aarrr!).

So here's what I came up with: A surprisingly light and delicate cupcake, with a double helping of white rum (naturally) and scented with lime zest (to stop ye from gettin' scurvy), all topped off with Red Bull buttercream. And here they are...

Crow's Nest Cupcakes
(cupcake recipe adapted from Billy Reece's Vanilla Vanilla recipe. Buttercream recipe is my own.)
1 cup caster sugar
Zest of one lime
225g plain flour
1 Tblsp baking powder
120g butter, softened
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup white rum

1/4 cup sugar (extra - for syrup)
1/4 cup white rum (extra - for syrup)

Mix lime zest and sugar together and bash in a mortar and pestle until the sugar goes greenish from the zest (I'm sure you could also do this in a food processor or similar). Sift the sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer, discarding any larger bits of zest that are left in the sieve/sifter. Add flour and baking powder to the sugar and mix together. Add butter and mix until just combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla and rum. Add to dry ingredients, a third at a time, beating until combined after each addition.
Spoon mixture into cupcake cases (fill about 2/3 full), and bake at 170 degrees Celsius until they test clean (start checking after 10 minutes).
While they are baking, you can make the rum syrup: mix the extra sugar and white rum together in a small saucepan and stir over a medium heat to dissolve the sugar. Bring to the boil (this will cook off most of the alcohol), and then remove from the heat and let the syrup cool.
While cupcakes are still warm, brush them with the rum syrup and then leave them to cool. When cool, top with Red Bull buttercream.

Red Bull Buttercream
240g salt reduced butter (you can also use half salted, half unsalted)
300g icing sugar
2 tsp cream
60mL (1 can) Red Bull Energy Shot

Cream butter and icing sugar until very pale. Beat in the cream, then add the Red Bull and beat until fluffy. Pipe or spread onto cupcakes.

And there ye have it - cupcakes t' keep ye awake on the long night watch when ye're up in the crow's nest. Unless o' course, ye wants 'em a little more swashbucklin' - in which case simply add the topper o' yer choosin:-



Kimberly Johnson said...

Your cupcakes look and sound delicious! Great idea!

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