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Archive for the ‘Alcohol’ Category

007I had the amazing opportunity to go back to Denmark this summer for the third time.  In Denmark, the predominant flavor for sweets and alcohol, much to my dismay, is licorice.  Salted licorice candy and liquors like Små Grå dominate the market.  I had to get used to the question, “Does it taste like licorice?” when offered anything new.  Thankfully,  Denmark does rely on other flavor profiles, and much to my surprise, I have fallen in love with other candies and liquors.  Has anyone heard of Fiske Fjæs?  One shot of that menthol-tasting alcohol and your sinuses will be cleared!

I always go back to an original favorite, though.  Eight years ago, almost to the day, I arrived in Copenhagen, Denmark, for a semester abroad.  One of my first trips with my classmates was out on a fishing boat.  We started the journey with a shot of ice cold Akvavit, or Snaps.  Danish Akvavit does not rely on licorice, thank goodness, but on caraway and dill.  It sounds like it would not be pleasant, but there is something earthy and satisfying about it!  For these cupcakes, I used Danish Aalborg Akvavit.

I decided to pay homage to licorice through the use of fennel seeds in this cupcake.  Pair it with the herbaceousness of the Akvavit in a cream cheese frosting, and you have a Danish-inspired cupcake!

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007It is summer time!  My school year is almost complete – just two more finals to give to students – and then I will be FREE for a few months.  I have wonderful trips planned to Alaska and Europe, so there will be few cupcake posts this summer (not like there have been many recently).

Anyway, to celebrate the end of the school year, some colleagues and I are throwing a BBQ.  I asked them what flavor cupcake they wanted, and piña colada was the answer.  A good summer cupcake, me thinks.

In fact, these were some of my best in a LONG time.  The cupcake was fluffy and moist (thanks to the crushed pineapple), and I whipped the frosting into a nice consistency.  One of my coworkers, with whom these were shared, described the frosting as being light and yet rich.  Score!

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170It has finally happened – the San Francisco 49ers have prevailed and will be playing in the Super Bowl this Sunday!  My father has claimed that his children have always brought the 49ers luck.  A month after my brother was born, our boys won their first national championship.  Just 15 days after I was born, they won their second.  They have been undefeated since then in their five Super Bowl games.  I am just hoping with all hope that this Sunday they can make it six!

To celebrate, I have developed a deep, rich, and tangy cupcake to show my love for my team.  I am borrowing my all-time favorite chocolate cupcake recipe (developed for a Super Bowl party three years ago), filling it with tangy and boozey cherries, with a topping of red and gold pride in the form of a rich cream cheese frosting.  Start the cherry filling a few days ahead so the cherries can reach full re-hydration and flavor.

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My brother and sister-in-law held a Halloween party this weekend.  They are ones to appreciate a good cocktail, so I thought I’d bring them yet ANOTHER cocktail-themed cupcake.  I have finally learned from my previous (and numerous) disappointments with alcoholic cupcakes, and created a wonderfully successful rendition of a Manhattan!  The trick?  I will never use alcohol in the batter (other than beer) ever again.  It has always yielded a dense cake with little of the original alcohol’s flavor.  You must put your alcohol in the FROSTING.  The treat?  A fluffy cake with the full-flavor of the alcohol and the bouquet of it as you take a bite :)

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I made a batch of Dark Chocolate Cupcakes, to be featured in my next post, and had some leftover batter. This resulted in a dozen or so mini-cupcakes.  I didn’t want to do the same exact cupcake as my main batch, so I improvised with what was lying around!  For me, that’s alcohol :)  And so was born the ruby port buttercream frosting!

Ruby Port Buttercream Frosting

1/2 c. butter, room temp.

3 c. powdered sugar

3 tbsp. ruby port

Approach this like any other buttercream: beat the butter until soft and creamy, slowly add in the powdered sugar, then the port, until you reach a desired flavor and consistency.  Both the powdered sugar and port are “give or take” measurements and can be adjusted to reflect your own personal tastes.

The color turned out to be a very pale pink.  If you want to make more of a statement, feel free to play with food coloring that may reflect a more port-like visual appeal!

Pipe onto cupcakes and enjoy!  I would suggest serving the cupcakes with the same port with which you made the frosting.

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Snickerdoodle cupcakes were recently mentioned by the now famous Sadie.  I associate snickerdoodles with Christmas, with family, and with pure deliciousness.  Thinking about how to translate my vision of a snickerdoodle cookie into cupcake form led me to come up with the idea of making a brown sugar cupcake, laced with cinnamon, topped with a brandy-spiked buttercream.  To make it absolute perfection, I decided to top the frosting off with a cinnamon and sugar dusting.  And, VOILA!  The Spiked Snickerdoodle Cupcake is born.

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Patriotic Cupcake!

Hello, all!  Long time, no post.  It’s another holiday, which means cupcakes.  It is also my Danish family’s first time celebrating the 4th of July, so these are for them :)

My creativity went soaring with these, and I pretty much used tried and true recipes from Gibbs and I.  The cupcakes is Gibbs’s Brown Sugar Cupcake recipes (also seen in the Peanut Butter and Jelly cupcakes and perhaps a few others) and the frosting is a basic buttercream.  I did make them  festive with the stripes of strawberries and blueberries, both fortified with a little light rum :)

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