Cannonball Depth Charge!

spoooongebob!

SO. Indulgence time, ready…go.

These cupcakes have THREE kinds of alcohol in them. Impressed? Yes. You should be. And no… I did NOT bake these in my car… though I’m pretty sure my car would smell aaaamazing if I had done so. Though perhaps making your car smell like alcoholic beverages is really not the best idea…

Anywayyy.

As a belated Vati’s Day reward for Vacuum Vati (AAND as a virtual birthday present for Carl—Happy Birthday!!), I decided to make him/them cupcakes! But wait. Not just ANY cupcakes, oh no. These correspond appropriately to the logic these two jokers so often spout when they get together: beer = a meal in a glass; cupcakes = sissy dessert. By my logic, then: beer in a cupcake = a complete meal + non-sissy, manly dessert. QED. Ha. Infallible logic, don’t you think? And why settle for just beer in a cupcake, when you could have 2 more types of alcohol as well? And what better compliment to beer than Irish whiskey and Bailey’s?! Let’s be real, Bailey’s goes with anything.

mmm

That being said, these cupcakes are indulgently delicious. No stinting on the butter in these babies (live a little every so often!). The cake is moist (eww no, not that word again!) HYDRATED, and delicately compliments the slightly bitter chocolate-whiskey ganache. Bailey’s buttercream completes an already ridiculous combo, rounding out the flavors perfectly. Guinness, Jameson, and Bailey’s… an inspired trifecta! These take the Guinness brownies to an entirely new level (and I definitely like them better)… are you salivating yet? Hmm, I thought so.

In endeavoring to be politically correct and inoffensive to all parties involved, let’s call these..

//

Depth Charge Cupcakes!

(hehe. get it?! Like a shot dropped into a beer… use your imagination.) I made a half-batch and ended up with 12 cupcakes, a perfectly manageable number for 3 people. I’ll give my measurements here; double if you need a mega-batch. Recipe very slightly adapted from Brown Eyed Baker! I reduced the sugar slightly—it may even be okay to take it down a bit more, as per sweetness preferences.

Let’s do this:

un-sprinkled

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • scant 3/4 c sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • very heaping 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 c plain lowfat yogurt
  • 1/2 c Guinness
  • 1/2 c unsalted butter, softish
  • 1/4 c + 1/8 c unsweetened cocoa powder

For the whiskey-ganache:

  • 4 oz dark chocolate (I used one bar of Trader Joe’s 72% Fair Trade Belgian chocolate)
  • 1/3 c heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp butter, softish
  • 2 tsp of Jameson or other Irish whiskey (mine were two teaspoons that *oops* accidentally mega-runneth over)

For the buttercream:

  • 1 c unsalted butter (2 sticks), a bit soft
  • 2.5 c powdered sugar
  • a good glug of Bailey’s (somewhere in the vicinity of 5 tbsp)
  • a dash of Jameson (I didn’t measure, likely around 2 or 3 tsp)
filled :)

Proceed!

Preheat the oven to 350, and line a cupcake/muffin tin with liners… mine happened to be Spongebob. Don’t judge! In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. In a larger bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together egg and yogurt until combined. In a small saucepan, bring Guinness and butter to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in cocoa powder. Let cool a bit. Once cool(er), add the Guinness-butter mixture to the egg/yogurt, and beat until combined. I ran the mixer on low while adding mine, since it was still on the warm side, to prevent scrambled eggs (ewww, who wants that?!). Reduce speed to low and add in flour mixture, beating until combined (but minimally, to keep cupcakes fluffy!). Fold in any remaining flour. Pour batter into cupcake tins, and bake for just about 17 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

up close and cupcake personal

While the cupcakes are baking, make the ganache! In a small saucepan, heat cream until just barely simmering (watch it like a hawk—we don’t want it scalded! Ewwwy). Break chocolate up into smallish pieces and place in a heatproof bowl. When the cream reaches the simmer point, pour it over the chocolate and let sit for one minute, then stir it carefully together until incorporated. Add butter and whiskey and stir until combined. Let sit for a bit, until it firms up just slightly but is still scoop-able.

For the buttercream: I recommend a stand mixer for this. Do as I say, not as I do… a hand mixer was not the smartest choice…

Beat softened butter a few minutes until fluffy. Add in powdered sugar gradually, until completely incorporated. Add in Bailey’s and whiskey and beat until combined. It should be spreadable: light and fluffy!

Assembly:

Using a metal decorating tip (I found a small spoon for scooping to be helpful), cut out the centers of the cooled cupcakes, about 2/3 of the way down (extra bonus: eating the centers is totally acceptable). Fill the resulting hole with slightly-cooled ganache. Frost as desired. Sprinkles are nice :)

Imbibe. Indulge. Enjoy your canon ball depth charge in cupcake form.

I know, I know… don’t be jealous ;)

 

Healthy fats are my excuse to eat [more] dessert

You see those classy Spongebob liners? Oh yes.

Okayyyy… I lied. I promised you healthy things, but oops oh well! You get cupcakes instead! Life happened and I was notified of a demand for sweet things. And of course, I can always be persuaded to make dessert. Teeheehee. Plenty of time for healthy things later.

Besides, in terms of desserts, these actually aren’t all that bad… perhaps they qualify as a healthyish item? I think so. Whole wheat and a good dose of healthy hazelnut and coconut fats. Plus, they’re vegan! So no pesky saturated fats from butter. And cupcakes are adorable. They’re like tiny cakes, which makes it totally acceptable to eat multiples in one sitting. Especially if the fats are good for you. (I will, apparently, come up with any excuse to eat dessert. Not like this is anything new…)

Life is too short to NOT eat dessert! I’ve decided I need about 5 stomachs to accommodate all the food I want to eat. Desserts included. I need to be like a cow. Except minus the ability to digest grass (they have… what is it… a rumen? to digest grass? I’ll pass on that bit, grass looks unappealing, thank you).

ANYwayyy. Let’s move on, after that semi-awkward tangentially irreverent thought. These cupcakes are fab! And they have nothing to do with cows. They’re full of coconutty goodness, and I highly recommend them. Make them, eat them, love them. Preferably with friends you haven’t seen in ages. Dessert with company is always the best idea :]

mmm, cupcakessss

Vegan Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut-Hazelnut Frosting

Slightly adapted from (Never home)Maker, here! Makes 12 normal-sized cupcakes.

For the cupcakes, acquire:

  • 1.5 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 c sugar (I used half turbinado, half regular granulated)
  • 1/2 c unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c light coconut  milk
  • 1/3 c canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

For the frosting!

  • 1/4 c light coconut milk
  • 1/2 c Earth Balance (vegan butter)
  • 2 c powdered sugar
  • 1/3 c finely ground hazelnuts (blitz whole ones in the food processor for a bit)
  • 1/2 c unsweetened, shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350, and line a muffin tin/cupcake pan with liners. Or not, depending on your preference.

In a large bowl, sift flour, sugar, baking soda, coconut, and salt. In  a smaller bowl, combine coconut milk, canola oil, and vanilla. Combine wet into dry, stir just to combine. Add apple cider vinegar at the last bit (so that you get max fluffiness out of the cupcakes, when the baking soda reacts with the vinegar). Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake pans, and bake for 20-25 minutes. Mine were done after about 23. They’ll be done when a tester comes out clean.

While the cupcakes are cooling, make your frosting!

In a bowl, combine coconut milk, Earth Balance, and powdered sugar. Use an electric mixer to beat until it reaches frosting consistency, on high speed. Stir in hazelnut and shredded coconut. Frost cupcakes when they’re completely cool! I topped mine with a sprinkle of cocoa powder, which I found to add a nice counterpoint to the sweet frosting.

Eat. Drool. Enjoy your good fats, and revel in the fact that you’re being sneakily healthy :]