Liquor Cupcake? I Don’t Even Know Her IV

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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

Christmas in May

Christmas was 5 months ago but my friend Peter just received this in the mail. Along with my former boss, Peter and I “adopted” the family and bought, wrapped, and delivered everything on the their wish list. We’ve done it for 3 years and love every minute of it. EMQ FamiliesFirst is a great charity run by the wonderfully responsive and organized Antoinette Harris. Please consider donating today, or keep them in mind for the holidays this year.
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Christmas in May

Liquor Cupcake? I Don’t Even Know Her III

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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