Vanilla Bean Cupcake Shooters

20120327-193239.jpgMy 4 year old daughter asked for a “banilla” cake for her birthday cake and I had some leftover batter so I it into poured it into mini-cupcake pans and baked them after I baked her cake. I also had some chocolate, whipping cream and bourbon on hand and made a ganache to frost the mini cakes with. Ganache always gets a wow reaction but it is easy to make and really easy to frost a cupcake with. Just dunk it in and you are done. I brought them into work for a birthday and one of the guys in passing said “ Those cupcake shooters are good” I guess it would seem like a shooter to a dude. Just pop it into your mouth in one bite and it did have bourbon in it. -Steph McVox

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Vanilla Bean Cupcakes
Source: Smitten Kitchen
Makes 24-30 mini-cupcakes or 12ish regular cupcakes. Feel free to double the recipe to have 24-30 regular sized cupcakes or a two 9” round layer cakes.

· 2 cups cake or pastry flour
· 1 teaspoon baking powder
· ¾ teaspoon baking soda
· ½ teaspoon salt
· ½ cup butter, at room temperature
· 1 cup sugar
· 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract or I vanilla bean pod, with the seeds scraped out
· 2 large eggs, at room temperature
· 1 cup buttermilk at room temperature and well-shaken

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line mini-cupcake pans with mini-cupcake papers. Sift or whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar together with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla extract or seeds. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well and scraping the bowl after each adding. At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined (mixture may look curdled). Add flour mixture in three batches, mixing until each addition is just incorporated.

2. Using a tablespoon or small ice cream scoop, drop a small amount of batter into each liner, filling about 2/3 full. Bake until golden and a wooden toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean, 11 to 14 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove cupcakes from pan and cool completely on a wire rack. Dip into the ganache and let it set before eating.

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Chocolate Bourbon Ganache
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped into small uniform pieces or buy Bernard Callebaut’ Chocolate Drops
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon white corn syrup
1 tablespoon Bourbon

Place the chocolate into a medium bowl. Heat the cream and corn syrup in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, watching carefully that is doesn’t burn. Pour over the chopped chocolate, and stir until smooth. Stir in the bourbon. I usually dip the cupcakes at this point. The longer you leave it out the thicker it will become.

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