Cocktail Cupcakes- infusing cake with alcohol
There's a big party we go to for my husband's old high school friends every year after Thanksgiving. It's pretty excessive, so in the spirit of the celebration I want to bring an alcoholic dessert. Preferably something you could actually get a little tipsy from, not some pie that only has 2 tbls of liquor for the whole thing.
I was thinking of infusing some cupcakes with different liquors, shot each, in a cocktail manner, trying gingerbread and whiskey (ginger ale and whiskey is my favorite drink), that kind of thing. I have a few questions about this:
1) Should I try heavier cakes like pound cakes rather than the standard cupcake kind of cake?
2) Will the alcohol evaporate over night once it's been poured onto the cake?
3) I'm thinking silver foil cupcake liners ought to be able to hold the alcohol inside the cake without it all getting to messy, agree?
Ideally I'll make this the day before or the morning of the party. My plan is to make a few different kinds of cupcakes, pour the shots over them, wait awhile, then frost them.
Combinations I'm thinking of:
Gingerbread and Whiskey
Chocolate and Peppermint Schnapps
Rum and something.
Vanilla cupcake and something.
Maybe try Pumpkin pie vodka?
Any suggestions and advice would be helpful. Also, let me know if you think this has no chance of working.
Wondering if anyone has tried anything new like this, since the last post? In particular am looking for ways to incorporate a liqueur (OK, Jagermeister) into a pudding- or Boston Creme-type filling as well as a frosting for cupcakes without losing the alcohol content much.
I recently made some gin cupcakes, added about a spoonful of gin in the cake mixture and then poked a few holes in the cake and infused it with lots of gin, using a pastry brush. It doesn't get too soggy this way. Then I added more gin (as a replacement for milk) into the icing mix and a squeeze of fresh lime. The end result proved fairly lethal.
I love the bacardi rum cake I make and it's pretty darn boozy-and would convert easily to cupcakes, I think. But a much boozier alternative would be trife (I agree with other posters that your cupcakes might dissolve with that much alcohol on them.) Since the cake part of trifle is meant to be soggy, you can pour as much alcohol as you want on them, then add your pudding or custard. Even do them in little individual ramekins, and frost with spiked whipped cream, perhaps?
I think you should go with some sort of filling, either that you inject afterwards, or that you drop into the batter and bake the cupcake around. I was thinking a boozy whipped cream filling, or else making something similar to a rumball and baking it into the center of the cupcake. You can then put the boozy frosting of your choice on top.
the jello shooters mention gives me an idea - I bet you could make a jello poke cake (or cupcakes) with liquor in the jello. Or make jello pudding with Kahlua instead of milk for a trifle or cake filling- or you could inject your cupcakes with liquorey goodness! Or maybe try Sandra Lee on foodnetwork for an idea. Her cranberry sauce recipe is basically a jello shooter. She's a major boozer.
I used to do Kahlua chocolate trifle for potlucks - particularly during my undergrad - which required Kahlua soaked chocolate cake. My suggestion: 1 oz. per cupcake will be overload, I used 2-2.5 oz for a whole 9x13 cake... Once cool I poked several small holes in the cake with a toothpick (as Alton would say "perforate prodigiously") then used a vermouth mister loaded with Kahlua and misted the entire cake and let it sit several hours/overnight which allowed for even distribution of the alcohol... simply pouring it on meant it puddled and some parts of the cake were a soggy mess, and some were bereft of alcohol.
High ratio flour will increase the amount of liquid that the batter can hold. But I fear you will not be able to incorporate 1oz of liquid in a normal size cupcake and still call it cake, pudding maybe, cake no. Even reducing the oven temp and increasing the baking time will not evaporate enough liquid so that it could be considered a cupcake.
Now you could take part of the liquor and reduce it, which will reduce some of the alcohol. The greater the reduction the greater the increase of flavour, and also the greater you reduced the alcohol content. You could add some unreduced alcohol to the reduced alcohol to increase the alcohol content. Here what you are doing is increasing the flavour of the liquor, but unfortunately your alcohol content is still reduced. But the flavour of the liquor is increased by the amount you reduced. This depending on the liquor will also give the illusion of more booze.
I'm a little leery about posting re. food intending to intoxicate....sounds like what you really need is jello shots here, but you asked, soooo....
Todao is right about the cooking tips...if you want to feel/really taste alcohol, you'd be better off going with homemade or storebought chocolates with alcohol/liqueur nips inside them, and even then the amount of alcohol is enough for just a bit of a burn. These can be conventionally shaped or (if storebought) shaped like little airline-size spirit bottles.
Another absolutely simple idea is to serve dessert beverages. Mudslides are sweet and delicious and can be very potent, as can some hot coffee and hot chocolate based drinks. There's also the option of sipping Godiva liqueur or Chambord, etc, but this doesn't sound like a sipping crowd.
I hope this helps.
I usually infuse cupcakes/cakes with an alcohol based syrup so, inasmuch as it's heated, it looses some of its alcohol. To answer your questions more directly, a full "shot" of booze poured onto a cupcake is going to make mush so serve it with spoons.
A heavier cake would be less mushy, but it's still a pretty small serving of cake to hold an ounce and a half of liquor poured onto it.
You will experience a small amount of alcohol evaporation in the time frame you listed but it won't be enough to matter.
My recommendation is try it before you jump into it with both feet. You've got plenty of time between now and Thanksgiving to experiment. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.