Baking

Cocktail Cupcake: Pina Colada

Happy Friday everyone – I thought a little indulgence is just what this dull Friday needs – roll on the weekend! 

Cocktail Cupcake: Pina Colada
Cocktail Cupcake: Pina Colada

Topic: Cupcake, Alcoholic, Cocktail, Hens, Bachelorette, Baking, Party

If I am honest I would say that this is a coconut flavoured cupcake, where instead of using coconut essence I have used Malibu, but I’ve been taught to never let the truth get in the way of a good story, so instead I tell people that these are the ultimate in cocktail goodness.

The result from these cupcakes is so delicious, it feels almost like cheating, because they are so simple and quick to make. But again, I tell people it takes me hours in the kitchen, making sure I get the exact mix perfect for each individual cake. Some people will believe anything.

Cocktail Cupcake: Pina Colada
Cocktail Cupcake: Pina Colada

Ingredients

Batter

  • 55g unsalted butter
  • 140g sugar
  • 120ml coconut milk (later add the rest of the can to a soup – yummy!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 140g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 can pineapple rings drained and chopped

Icing

  • 110g unsalted butter
  • 110g cream cheese
  • 450g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp Malibu

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/Gas4. Line baking tin with paper cases
  2. In a large mixer cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  3. Mix cocnut milk and eggs together. Add to butter & sugar
  4. Sift in flour and baking powder. Mix well
  5. Add pineapple. Mix again
  6. Pour mixture into paper cases. Bake for 20 min
  7. For the icing: in a large mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese until creamy. The longer you beat it, the whiter it becomes.
  8. Mix in icing sugar and Malibu
  9. Spread over cupcakes & decorate

As you can see, these ones went straight to a Hen Party where they went down a storm teamed with a glass of champers!

Cocktail Cupcake: Pina Colada
Cocktail Cupcake:Pina Colada

Prohibition cake

prohabition cake

The roaring 20’s and America’s attempt to sober it up has become the latest new fad for the hip and happening young things in Dublin City (or so I am reliably informed). From the Vintage Cocktail Club to the Blind Pig, speakeasies are the places to be seen. This trend has rolled out of the city and into the lives of us country mice too. I was recently invited to a very elusive party. The invitation was black, and contained nothing but a date: Saturday, two weeks time – and the sentence ‘watch your phone, more to follow’.

Well I was intrigued, and because I apparently have befriended someone so secretive that they could work for MI6 and I would have never known it, I had no idea who sent it. All my friends received the same card, and all denied being the sender.

We waited. Two weeks passed. Saturday arrived and phones lit up with information. Directions and a time – We’re putting on the Ritz.

At this stage all you Sherlock Holmes out there had probably already deduced that this was a Prohibition Party, but I, like plodding Dr Watson, had only just got there. I dolled up, dropped the kid to the sitter and followed the enigmatic directions ‘take a left at the creepy church’ , ‘say hi to the green hoodie hanging out on your right’ ‘if you get to the traffic lights, go back to the creepy church and repeat directions until you see the green hoodie ’, ‘if you have been to the traffic lights twice you may have to broaden your definition of “green”’, “if you have been to the traffic lights thrice approach all suspicious looking hooligans in your vicinity – what’s the worst that could happen?”.

What followed was the best party of my life, no exaggeration. Hats off to the organiser (who was a friend with a scary gift for lying – note for future self, don’t ask her if your bum looks big in this!).

The party left me inspired and thinking of all the ways to smuggle liquor, for some reason this inspiration led me to cake – whiskey cake with cointreau icing – a delicious and exciting mix.

The recipe for this comes from Avoca’s Cook Book and Cupcake Girls Eat Me – if I have combined two recipes into one does this technically mean I have created my own recipe? No? Oh, ok, don’t over-reach, I get it.

Ingredients for cake

  • 325g each of sultanas, currents, raisens
  • 150g glace cherries
  • 75g chopped mixed peel
  • finely grated zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
  • 100ml of whiskey
  • 2 cooking apples, grated
  • 75g nibbed almonds
  • 275g unsalted better
  • 275g light brown sugar
  • 7 medium eggs
  • 350g plain flour
  • 75g ground almonds

Required for cake

  • 23cm round baking tin, with brown paper wrapped around the outside, at least 5cm higher than the top of the tin
  • Mixer

Method for cake

  1. Wash all dried fruit and place in bowl, with zest and whiskey and leave overnight
  2. Preheat oven to 150 degrees
  3. Add apple and nibbed almonds to fruit in bowl
  4. In a mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Then add eggs. Gradually add flour and ground almonds.
  5. Fold in fruit from bowl. Pour mixture into baking tin.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes. Reduce temperature to 120 degrees and bake for another 40 minutes.

prohabition cake 2

To make the icing

Ingredients for icing

  • 110g unsalted butter
  • 110g cream cheese
  • 450g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp cointreau

Method for icing

  1. In a mixer beat butter and cream cheese together.
  2. Add icing sugar and mix well
  3. Add cointreau and mix

Prohabition Cake

 

Hen Party Cupcake Decoration

Hen Party Cupcake Decoration
Hen Party Cupcake Decoration

Topic: cupcakes, decoration, hen, bachelorette, party

I recently volunteered to provide cupcakes for a hen party. Now, it would have been possible to show up with a few butterfly buns, as my baking ability is not internationally renowned and the expectations were not high. But it was the hen party of my future sister-in-law and I thought it would be nice to put in a little effort and see if I could make something special.

Making the cupcakes was no problem. I cracked the spine on my favourite cookbook for alcoholic cupcakes and with a few modifications created Southern Comfort & Coke, Pina Colada, Margarita and White Maria cupcakes.

It can be sometimes tricky to get 40 women to eat cupcakes, especially if they are thinking of having to squeeze into their frock for the wedding which was only a few weeks away. I have found that the more appetising and interesting the cupcakes look, the more chance that they will be eaten. To help me with this I recruited Jean from Pretty Tasty Bakes to give me a tutorial on cupcake decoration.

The first thing Jean did was put a cupcake case in front of me. {Well, that’s a lie, the first thing she did was come into the house, unpack a suitcase worth of equipment and have a cuppa before getting started. But the first thing she did right after that was to put the cupcake case before me} so that I would keep scale in mind. There is no point making something with lots of detail that people either can’t see or that won’t fit on the top of the cupcake. Scale is very important.

I had trawled through Pinterest and picked out a few designs that I liked and saved them to a board. Jean reviewed this so that we were both on the same page. We started with the simplest design: black and pink hen party regulars.

 

Cocktail Cupcake: Pina Colada
Cocktail Cupcake: Pina Colada

Required

  • Cutting/chopping board on which to work
  • Rolling pin
  • Circular cookie cutter
  • Craft knife
  • Gem mould if available
  • Letter stamp impressions
  • Non-toxic shimmer dust

Method

  1. To make the black base: Take a blob of black icing, tease until warm and flexible, and roll it smooth, on a cutting board to protect your table, with a rolling pin. Black icing is one of the few colours that should be bought premade, because of the amount of dye it takes to colour white icing to make it black, as opposed to grey (red is another one of these, it takes bottles to move it from being pink to being scarlet). Then take a circular cookie cutter about the size of the cupcake case you are using and cut out enough circles to place on top of each cupcake. Put these aside to dry and harden.
  2. To make the learner signs take a blob of white icing, tease and roll out. From this cut the white square for the L sign. Use a ruler or guide to ensure these are square. Place to one side to dry. Next take a blob of pink, tease and roll out. Use a craft knife to cut out the letter L (being careful of scale). Place to the side to dry.
  3. To make the rings, take a blob of white and roll between your hands to make a worm shape. Once the worm has started to take shape, put the roll on the board and using one finger only roll until a thin long snake is made. Using only one finger will help to keep the width of the snake consistent. Once the correct diameter has been reached, cut and make a circle from it. Place to one side to harden. To make the gem, Jean had a handy gem mould which we used. However, if you did not have this, using a craft knife, impress edges onto a small ball of white icing, until it has a cut diamond appearance. Dust with shimmer dust to give gleam. Place to one side to harden
  4. To make the flags, take a blob of pink icing, tease and roll. Use a craft knife to cut out the flag shape. Use letter stamps to impress message onto the icing. Use toothpick to decorate the edge of the flag with small dots. Dust with shimmer dust to give gleam.
  5. Once the cupcakes are ready to decorate, stack pieces on top of one another, holding in place with non-toxic baking glue.

Some little tips:

How to get lots of different colours without spending a fortune?

There is no need to buy lots of different coloured icing to get different colours, instead buy small bottles of food colouring and a large block of white icing. Add a very small, tiny, miniscule drop of colouring to a blob of white icing. Mix this in by pulling apart and resticking the icing together (as you would to warm up bluetack) until the colour is uniform. This will work for ever colour except dark ones such as red, black, purple, for those colours you will need to buy the pre-dyed icing.

What to do if the icing gets too sticky?

Add some icing sugar, this will dry up some of the moisture.

Leaving it to dry:

It is best to leave your decorations harden overnight, in a cool dark space if possible. I find the oven an excellent place to do this, plus it gives me the perfect excuse to order pizza!

Hen Party Cupcake Decoration
Hen Party Cupcake Decoration
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