Liquor Cupcake? I Don’t Even Know Her IV

FullSizeRender (70).jpg

The Blood and Sand cocktail was named after a 1922 bullfighter movie starring Rudolph Valentino. The ingredients in the cocktail are blood, sand, and booze. They are actually scotch, sweet vermouth, cherry heering (Danish cherry liqueor), and orange juice. My cupcake version is chocolate scotch with blood orange buttercream.

My chocolate cake and basic buttercream recipes are the same old same old with a twist. I used almost a cup of scotch and just a little whipping cream in the cake batter. Baking with booze is a fun chemistry experiment. Even Betty Crocker bakes with booze but the alcohol usually flavors the frosting and not the cake.

Some of the alcohol burned off in the baking of the cupcakes but not all. They are smaller than usual with more of a spongecake-like texture. You can taste the alcohol and they are delicious.

The frosting could have been orangier. The 3 Safeway blood oranges were not that juicy. I threw in some Grand Marnier and added dried oranges as decoration. I wish the color would have been deeper pink as well.

Don’t be afraid to mess around and improvise with baking. As long as you have the basic dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda), it’s really hard to mess up. This is the second time I’ve baked cupcakes for a friend’s boyfriend’s birthday in two weeks. I’m now retired.

Liquor Cupcake? I Don’t Even Know Her IV

Tequila Lime Birthday Cake

FullSizeRender (64)I’m the girl that brings the spiked baked goods to people’s birthdays. I think that a birthday celebration must have something sweet to stick a candle in. How else can the birthday person make a wish? I didn’t know what kind of cake my friend R would like so I asked him what his favorite candy was. I hoped he say something chocolate but he said, “Skittles.” Skittles cake? Nope. I remembered he liked tequila and that is how the tequila lime cake was born. Yellow Skittles made an appearance.

I used a white cake mix, lemon pudding mix, egg whites, oil, vanilla, fresh squeezed lime juice and a cup of Cazadores tequila blanco. By the way, If you want to impress a bartender and don’t have a pile of money, ridicule Patron and then order Cazadores. The frosting was basic buttercream. Cream butter and butter flavored Crisco (so the frosting will behave) and powdered sugar. Add a tablespoon of vanilla. You’re supposed to put about a third of a cup of milk in the mix but I didn’t have any so I used more tequila and lime juice.

I fucked up this cake pretty badly twice. Don’t fear baking people. I wing it all the time. I thought I was using a one-cup measurer (too many swigs of tequila) when it was a two-cup. A cake mix calls for three eggs but I always use 4. This time I used 8. Whoops! Hmmm, the batter is so runny, what do I do. I ran to the store and grabbed another cake mix. I was a little skeptical so I baked one cupcake just to make sure it was edible. It was.

The next time I fucked up was when frosting. I bought that set of three tinfoil baking pans. It was going to be a three-layer cake but 85% of the way into frosting it I realized that I didn’t have enough and had to cut out a layer and scrape off as much as possible. I bake at a friend’s house and he was very happy to find the reject layer when he got home later. It made up for any sticky spots I may have left behind. I am a messy critter and even after I clean up you’re likely to find buttered handles everywhere I touched.

Frosting a cake is always annoying as fuck. That’s why people use fondant, which gives a cake that perfectly smooth look. Fondant tastes disgusting. I usually put the cake in the freezer for a bit to make it less likely to crumb up the frosting. I also smooth out the frosting with a wet knife. Decorating was super easy because I used the star tip from my Williams-Sonoma tip set. I squeezed and then plopped on the Skittles to make the flowers. I couldn’t find my cake carrier so later it got smooshed during the car ride. It was real pretty before that happened.

I gave R the leftover tequila and Skittles as presents. My friend L and I covered that cake with candles and embarrassed the shit out of the birthday boy and that’s how it should be. I got compliments.

S with the sticky spots said, “Made me think of a piña colada on the beach in cake form. Super good!” R the birthday boy said, “It was the best, no one has done anything like that for me.”

Aww, thanks friends. It was my pleasure even though I burned myself on the oven.

Tequila Lime Birthday Cake

Liquor Cupcake? I Don’t Even Know Her III

FullSizeRender (43)
Chocolate cupcake with salted caramel filling and vanilla bourbon buttercream

Tomorrow night is my friend L’s 30th birthday at Missouri Lounge in Berkeley. After my Easter brunch with a friend’s family (pumpernickel bagel, egg salad, Kerns pear nectar, and See’s chocolate Easter eggs), I got to work baking cupcakes. It feels good not to have to follow recipes and be able to improvise now. Baking isn’t as rigid/scientific as some people think.

I did my usual Duncan Hines Devil’s Food mix with a box of chocolate pudding mix for the dry ingredients. Four eggs, 1/3 of a cup vegetable oil, 3/4 of a cup buttermilk, and 1/4 cup bourbon got mixed in.

I decided to fill them this time. Filling is fun. You core out little pockets of cake with a pairing knife, pipe in some goo and then pop the little tops back on. After frosting, no one is the wiser until they take a bite. I’d asked my friend P to get me salted caramels to melt at Berkeley Bowl but he was too stressed out by being in that fucking madhouse, he abandoned his mission.

I ended up at Safeway at 9 am buying something trying to fancy next to squeeze bottles of Hershey’s Syrup. It ended up tasting not salty at all, so I added salt. Then it was too salty. I’d say I eventually wrestled that shit into submission.

The frosting was standard buttercream with extra vanilla and some more bourbon. I went to the fancy cupcake store and got snazzy little chocolate vanilla swirl straws to top them off. Very professional looking. I also got 3 and 0 candles because I think everyone should blow out candles on their birthday. I hope they help make a it a special night for her. She deserves it. She’s wonderful.

 

Liquor Cupcake? I Don’t Even Know Her III