Thursday, October 13, 2011

Jamaican Rum + Cupcakes = :)

Wow so I definitely have not posted a blog entry in a good six months   All the planning and excitement of my birthday distracted me back in April, and my birthday and party wasn’t even until the end of May.  But let me tell you, it was freakin' awesome!  Then, in the beginning of August that marked my One year of survival from the thrombotic and hemorrhagic stroke I suffered in 2010, which was a super exciting occasion :) I had two celebratory dinners, one with some friends at Carrabba's, which, i LOVE their Spiedino de Mar (scallops and shrimp lightly breaded in Italian breadcrumbs, sauteed and drizzle with lemon butter sauce) it's amazing...  Mmm...   Then, another night, with other friends, we went to Mimi’s Café, which I generally love because it’s the only restaurant that serves pot roast and steamed white rice, but the pot roast was extra fatty and not so awesome on that night; bummer, but whatever, it was still nice.  In  September I was busy baking cheesecakes and putting all the profits towards St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital– I raised $1,031 in five weeks!   I was unable to participate in the festivities last year, because I was in the hospital and then in recovery, so I had to make up for lost time.  As you can see, I have still been baking, just not blogging about it, whoops :) So we’ll get back in the swing of things with some fall based baking, soon.
Today I’m not doing any sort of seasonal baking, but I do, however, need to make some Appleton’s Cupcakes.  A month or two back, I had a friend ask me to make some Vanilla-Rum cupcakes for her sister’s baby shower (I know, rum cupcakes at a baby shower are not the norm), so I did, however, she then forgot to tell me when she needed them and so I created the recipe for nothing.   I bought the rum for nothing, we all know I do not drink– and if I happen to indulge, it’s going to be a good Riesling or Moscato, not liquor   Oh, how I love a good German wine...
Okay, enough getting sidetracked, it’s someone’s birthday today, and that is the kind of treat he wants for his birthday.  He is turning 13 today, but don’t fret, when you cook and/or bake with liquor it cooks out the alcohol content, so no one will be getting a buzz off these.   I call them Appleton’s Cupcakes because I use Appleton’s Jamaican rum in them (along with some rum extract).  I use the “gold” or dark rum, not the white, since I feel as though the flavor doesn’t have as strong of a presence as the gold, and since that’s where most of the flavor is coming from (the rum), it needs a strong presence.

Appleton’s Cupcakes

3 Cups All-purpose flour
2 Cups granulated sugar
3 Teaspoons baking powder
1 Teaspoon kosher salt
1 Cup vanilla bean Greek yogurt (sour cream)
1 Cup unsalted butter
½ Cup of Appleton’s Dark Rum (or any other dark rum)
2 Large or extra large eggs
4 Yolk from large or extra large eggs
2 Tablespoons of vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon of vanilla bean paste
1 Teaspoon rum extract

Preheat the over to 350 degrees; then set out all chilled ingredients so they can become room temperature.
Using a flour sifter, whisk or sieve, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set to the side.
The bowl of your standing mixer (in a bowl with a handheld mixer) put the (room temperature) butter and sugar and cream together for ninety seconds or until white and fluffy.  
Add the Greek yogurt and mix until incorporated.
Add the eggs and egg yolks to the creamed mixture and beat until just incorporated.
In three additions, add the dry ingredients, mixing well after each addition.
Finally, add the Rum, extracts, and paste and beat thoroughly.
Fill 24 paper-lined cups about 3/4 full and bake for approximately 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the cupcakes comes out clean.
After letting the cupcakes cool for about five minutes in their pan, remove them and let cool completely on a wire rack for about 20 minutes.  
For an even more prominent rum flavor, you can brush the tops of the cupcakes with more rum before icing them :)
Since I am never satisfied with icing I make from scratch, I didn’t even bother, with these :) There’s no shame in my game, I admit I took a large can of Vanilla Buttercream Icing and put it in a mixing bowl with a half teaspoon of rum extract, a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste, and two tablespoons of rum and mix together with my stand mixer.  It makes the icing fluffier, tastier, and it goes with the theme of the cupcakes   Simple, too.  One day I will actually take the time to perfect my icing, but that day has yet to come.  I really just don’t have the patience to do it, currently, and I don’t feel like wasting the cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar.  Eff that mess, this works just fine!
So since I’ve slacked so much in the past half of the year, I will be trying to do at least two or three blog entries a week... but we’ll see if I remember to do that, haha, keep your fingers crossed for me!

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