The Royal Wedding is just days away and all over the papers and the 24 hour news channels. Surprisingly an offer of free union jack cupcake cases brought out the patriot in me. (Available from Lakeland who I am not sponsored by. I just wish I was.) So I made the most British cupcake I could think of: a mini victoria sponge cake with jam and buttercream icing. And just for good measure I iced them in red, white and blue (or more accurately dark pink, cream and blue!)
It’s the last day of National Cupcake Week here in the UK. I’ve only just found out about this wonderfully themed week and now I have a desperate need to try a Mojito cupcake. And a Cosmopolitan cupcake. And probably the winning cupcake banana and mango as well…
If you’re suddenly feeling inspired to run off and make a batch of sweet things then why not try some of our favourites? Shannon’s deliciously sinful St Patrick’s Day Cupcakes have three different types of alcohol in them: Bailey’s, Jameson’s and Guinness! There’s also Beer Cupcakes which are beautifully presented in mini glasses or some alcohol free but just as tasty Peanut Butter Cupcakes!
Happy National Cupcake Week everyone!
When I was preparing to cook a batch of these cupcakes, I found out that my oven was broken. Luckily I found out that the thermostat was kaput and the oven was reaching horrendously high temperatures when I popped in some garlic bread rather than these beauties. I think these might be the first child friendly cupcakes on the blog, as they’re not based on alcohol, and I like to think they look quite appealing to adults and children. Doug was very taken with these and as he’s not a fan of sweets and cakes in general I took that as a huge endorsement. These should be nice and easy to make with small children in tow. In fact I made them while watching television so that should give you an idea as to how little concentration they require.
From Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery, a thank you present from my lovely friend Sarah for doing nothing at all. More presents like this please! Continue Reading
So, here is the recipe for my Cupcake Camp Seattle submission. Some of the ingredients are a bit on the weird side, but not impossible to duplicate with “close enough” items from your local grocery store. To explain the brewing process: aside from water, the ingredients of beer are hops, malted barley, and “specialty grains.” You add these things at various stages in the boil, then cool it and add yeast, then let the yeast eat those sugars and leave lovely alcohol in their wake. Specialty grain is just varying grains, but usually mostly more malted barley, that you steep (like tea) to add special flavors to the beer. You add roasted malt to porters and stouts, which is why they have notes of chocolate and coffee, it’s the same roasted taste. The main cake recipe involves these grains. For the filling, I actually found malted barley syrup (similar to what’s used in brewing) in the sweetener section of my grocery store. It tastes a lot like caramel…well, caramel and plain ovaltine. Which, if you can’t find malted barley syrup, is what I recommend you use. Lastly, hops are an intensely flavorful flower, associated with the bitter taste in beer. For the frosting, I recommend sticking with IPA because it’s so hoppy. Frankly, while my hubby loves the stuff, it’s normally way too hoppy for me. But with all the other sweetness surrounding it, it just gives a nice floral twist to the frosting that’s really, really nice. When you use the beer, you can choose to boil it, if you want to reduce the alcohol content and/or make the beer taste stronger, but it isn’t necessary, and even helps add fluff to the glaze.
As far as decorating, I baked these guys in straight-walled shot glasses. With the color of the cupcake and the semi-liquid consistency of the frosting/glaze, it makes it look just like a pint of your favorite ale with a frosty head on it…only tinier. And less frosty, more frosting. On the side, I used melted chocolate to make logos of our favorite local microbrews on the glass. If you want to go this route, remember to grease the shot glasses before adding the batter, thoroughly wiping off the outside before decorating, and when serving them provide something to get the cupcakes out (I used wee bamboo forks, used for serving appetizers).
On April 10th, the Seattle branch of Double the Sugar (Shannon) will be at CupcakeCamp Seattle!
No decision has been made yet on what will be baked. For the competition, there are 3 categories:
- Most Unique Ingredients
- Best Seattle themes
- Healthiest Cupcake
Any thoughts which category we should go for? Let us know in the comments!
I know this is a blog that’s supposed to cross borders, and sometimes that means we should be a bit more sensitive to the various cultures that may or may not be reading this. But one of my favorite cupcake recipes has a name that…well, it’s not very sensitive. It’s based off a drink. This drink involves dropping a shot glass of Baileys & Jameson’s into a pint glass of Guinness. Because of the explosive look and the iconic Irish drinks, it’s called an Irish Car Bomb. Not a drink I would order in, say, Dublin, but tasty, and the basis for today’s cupcake recipe. But you have my permission to just think of them as Irish cupcakes: Chocolate Guinness cupcake with Jameson’s caramel sauce filling and Bailey’s buttercream frosting.
This might be obvious advice, but read the whole recipe first, to make sure you have the appropriate equipment, and to determine some of the order of operations.