Friday, March 13, 2009
For a long time now I've sworn not to be sucked into the cupcake blackhole that is swirling around on the food blogosphere. Cupcakes! What?! Those tiny little cake/muffin wannabes often decorated to look like sickly cottage drawings; so cute you want to throw them against a wall just to rid them of that sickly pastel hue used in a gazillion pounds of butter and cream and sugar.
Cupcakes! Sold in overpriced shops in the chicest of neighbourhoods, charged at $5 a pop for a malt-button, candy-cane, marzipan topping in the shape of effing "Hello Kitty" or god knows what species of hydrangea and posies. Those bloody cupcakes. I told you I swore not to be sucked in.
But I've come to the realization that cupcake resistance is futile. They're easy to make, come in bite-size amounts, AND you can slather tons of disasterous artery-clogging fat on it, and it will still turn out beautiful. That's the unfortunate and evil beauty of cupcakes.
I thought and thought for days about something to make for St.Patrick's day in order to satisfy my ever-burgeoning sweet-tooth. Somehow the idea of clover-patterned cookies just seem so cliched. Enter the liquer-infused cupcake. Alcohol? Check. Sugar? Check. Butter and cream? Check.
I've been trying for aeons to figure out how to get rid of the bottle of Irish Cream sitting in the back of the liquor cabinet for a long time now. I would drink it neat but it just seems like such a 1990s "mom" thing to do. So here, with my Irish cream buttercream, cream-filled face in hand, I present the beast that is my green-coloured Irish Cream Cupcakes for St. Patrick's Day. They're moist, smell slightly of coffee and topped off with silly little shamrock rosettes. Póg mo Thóin indeed!
P/S: As I write this, I promise you I am NOT drunkk.
Irish Cream Cupcakes
Makes 6 cupcakes (because hey, these can and should be illegal).
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 cup brewed coffee, cooled
1/3 cup Irish Cream
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 6 cupcake tin with liners.
On a piece of wax or parchment paper, sieve together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes using a stand mixer or 5 minutes using a handheld mixer.
Add in eggs, vanilla, liqueur and coffee. Beat until just combined. Gently fold in the flour mixture and beat for about 1 minute until the mixture starts to form. DO NOT OVERBEAT. Turn off the mixer and use a rubber spatula to fold all the ingredients until completely combined.
Divide the batter into the prepared tin, filling the liners until about 2/3 full. DO NOT OVERFILL. Bake in preheated oven at 350°F for 15 - 20 minutes until tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Turn the cupcakes out and cool completely on a wire rack. Top with buttercream frosting (recipe follows).
Irish Buttercream Frosting
2 tbsp butter, room temperature
1/4 cup and 2 tbsp powdered sugar
2 tbsp Irish cream
Green food coloring
Cream the butter, powdered sugar and Irish cream in a bowl for about 1 minute until fluffy. Add in a few drops of green food coloring and stir thoroughly. Spoon buttercream into pastry bag and use a 22 star tip to pipe little rosettes in the shape of a shamrock onto the cupcakes.