Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Eve Choco-tini Cupcakes

Chocolate Martini Cupcakes! Or, as I've been describing them: Choco-tini Cupcakes! sinfully spiked and delicious!

I've just got to say... if this is an indication of how the year 2013 turns out, it's off to a great start!

In preparation for New Year's Eve, I quickly found makeshift solutions to THREE different minor roadblocks to pull off these fabulous vodka-spiked chocolate cupcakes with enough time leftover to get showered and changed before my friend's party. 
  1. HOMEMADE Chocolate Vodka — obviously, this is the most exciting! Just melt chocolate in a double broiler, mix in vodka and strain out any large bits of chocolate. BAM – Chocolate Liqueur!
  2. Cake Flour — put 2 tablespoons of corn starch into a one-cup measuring cup and fill the rest with all-purpose flour... Then sift it up and good to go! (Why might this be important? Cake flour can yield a lighter, fluffier cake)
  3. Fine grain sugar — I have this organic vegan-friendly sugar that I would love more if only the individual grains were finer (sugar grain size affects how the sugar dissolves in the oven, which can affect the final product quite a bit). I ground up the sugar for about 30 seconds before adding it to the mix. Problem solved!
As 2013 kicks off, I get very excited about these types of makeshift solutions because they ultimately help solve the biggest problem I face in the kitchen: 

How can I create awesome, fancy and delicious treats on a budget? Specialty items get expensive and I love the idea of making these items myself!

A couple of photos from last night curtesy of my new friend over at Story of Style:

Though the frosting melted a bit on my commute over to the party, it still maintained a solid vodka bite. Nothing overwhelming, but enough to say, "these are not your average chocolate cupcakes." One cupcake doesn't have enough alcohol to get you you buzzed... but we had plenty of champagne for that! :)

Chocolate Vodka (directions found and loosely followed at The Sunday Sparkle)
  • About 8 ounces good quality chocolate
  • About 1 cup vodka
  • Melt chocolate over a double broiler
  • Once it's almost smooth, add vodka and mix well — don't let it boil because then you will lose all the alcohol... Definitely don't want that!
  • Remove from heat and let cool to about room temperature
  • Strain into a small jar and refrigerate until ready to use
Note: I didn't measure the chocolate very precisely — My end result was very thick.. Too thick for drinking, but perfect for baking. Play around according to your preferences and let me know how it goes! Any leftover syrup makes great "grown up" chocolate milk!

Choco-Tini Cupcakes (Young Idealistic Baker original recipe)
Makes 12-16 cupcakes
  • 1 1/2 cake flour (Make your own easily — see directions above)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup homemade chocolate vodka
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
  • Sift together dry ingredients (Note: Because I made my own cake flour for this recipe, this is one of the few times that I actually sifted the dry ingredients)
  • In a medium bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  • Add eggs, one at a time and beat until combined
  • Add vanilla and beat until combined
  • Alternate adding dry ingredients and remaining wet ingredients until all incorporated
  • Spoon into prepared cupcake tin and fill each about 2/3 full
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes or until cupcake springs back when lightly poked

Chocolate Vodka Frosting (also a Young Idealistic Baker original)
Makes just enough to pipe onto 16 cupcakes if planned carefully
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons homemade chocolate vodka
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • In a medium bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy
  • Add powdered sugar and beat until incorporated
  • Add 2 tablespoons chocolate vodka and beat until incorporated
  • Add second cup of powdered sugar, vanilla extract, salt and remaining chocolate vodka and beat until incorporated, light and fluffy

Happy 2013!

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