Monday, 25 May 2009

Cocktail cupcakes

I'm starting to think that this blog really should be called 'Munchkin Messups'. I rarely seem to report on something without going into a digression about how I forgot this or failed to do that, or had to battle with an insubordinate oven. Well this time is no different, and on this occasion the problem was our drinks cabinet. Or, more precisely, the fact that our drinks cabinet is a small and extremely random collection of bottles which live on a wooden box in the living room, and which doesn't include tequila. You know how everyone has a spirit they can't touch because they had an unfortunate incident with it in their late teens? For The Scientist that spirit is tequila, which isn't normally a problem because we are no longer 19, but this weekend it was a problem.

To back up a step, we had been invited to a BBQ party at the house of some very good friends from our university days and I had offered to take some cupcakes. I selected the Mucho Margarita cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, thinking that it would be fun to take a cocktail in cake form. The trouble was that given The Scientist's issues with tequila (the base alcohol for the Margarita cocktail) there was no point investing in a whole bottle, and I just couldn't find a miniature bottle anywhere. Eventually, with no more time for searching, I just used what we had on hand, which in our case, is ALWAYS Tenerifian honey rum, which The Scientist brought back in perhaps unwise quantities after a long research trip out there. I decided that as long as you could taste the alcohol and included a lot of lime, people wouldn't notice the difference. I am sorry to say that I also de-veganised the cupcakes as I was worried that our friends would pick up the distinctive note of soya milk, and so used regular milk and marge [sorry].

The cupcakes were really good - both limey and light, and you could definitely taste that there was alcohol present. The decoration was supposed to be coloured sugar crystals and kosher salt but since I'm trying to get through some of my excessive pantry store of baking goods I used the coloured sprinkles I had on hand, plus the salt. Not quite as authentic, but then I think I threw authenticity out of the window as soon as I opened the rum bottle. I liked the fact that you got the odd tang of salt, although our host did look a little surprised when he got his first salty taste. The cupcakes also travelled well even in a hot car, and just had a brief chill in the fridge when we arrived to firm up the icing again. They disappeared very fast and helped to fuel an exhausting afternoon of sitting on our friends' patio, admiring their vegetable plants (I came home with two more tomato plants so I consider the cupcakes a good investment), laughing at how melty a big black dog can go in the sun, and chatting about all manner of arcane topics.

[Note: In fairness to The Scientist I should probably admit that I couldn't face Baileys for my entire twenties :) ]

Ambiguous Cocktail Cupcakes: based on Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World's Mucho Margarita cupcakes. Cupcake Project's take on the recipe is here. I used a simplified buttercream icing with lime juice.


Rachel Cotterill said...

They look great, and the salt is a really unique twist.

Johanna said...

I've seen a few cocktail cupcakes I long to make but we too have a small liquor supply - I use a lot of cointreau after buying a large bottle from duty free - but love the idea of margharita cupcakes

Anonymous said...

for me it was that yellow advocat egg nog thing


Eco Sis said...

is there a significance to kosher salt? they look cool, i like the colour. Lisa has her first Final tomorrow, i'm going to make the boston cream pie for her last one...

Lysy said...

Rachel - Thank you! I wish I could take credit for the salt but it certainly adds a nice taste!

Johanna - I love cointreau as well and it's one of the other few liqueurs we do have. Perhaps some more experimentation with the cocktail cupcakes is in order!

MG - advocat?!?! Erk.

Eco Sis - I think that kosher salt is just the big grained stuff (I actually used flaked sea salt). Good luck to Lisa and I hope she likes the pie!

Elyse said...

Sounds like these cupcakes were a huge hit! How awesome! Didn't seem to matter at all that there was no tequila around (oh, and who hasn't had a bad experience with tequila?! :) ) Great job!