Wednesday, February 13, 2008

finally, a recipe

The lovely ladies whose tastebuds i am vying for in this month’s CCH prize, slush at quirky cupcake and tempered woman, have informed me to be in the running i need to supply all of you out there in your cyber kitchens with a recipes for my cocktail party of cakes.

The basic recipe is adapted from Nigella Lawson, with some modifications to make it cocktaily. I’m not a great baker, because i’m not used to working with precise measurements as you’ll see from what ensues (see my ‘handful’ measurement below):

Basic cakes

125g of each unsalted butter (at room temp), caster sugar and self raising flour.

2 large eggs

½ tsnp vanilla extract

Cream the butter and the sugar, sift in the flour then add the eggs and vanilla and mix to a smooth batter. Now for the fun part! The original recipe calls for 2-3 tablespoons of milk. In place of this add approx 1 to 1½ cap fulls of spirit, to form a nice batter that drops easily into muffin tins lined with cake papers. Different spirits affect the liquidity of the batter differently, so start with half a cap and continue to add until the batter is smooth, but not too runny.

cosmopolitans: cointreau

strawberry daiquiris: plain vanilla (add milk). Pipe a good quality, not over sweet strawberry jam into the cakes after they are cooked.

mango daiquiris: mango pulp and milk

cowboy cocksuckers: bailey’s irish cream

B52s: kahlua

mojitos or margaritas: juice of approximately 2 limes

affogato: plain vanilla (add milk)

Bake for 15-20 minutes in a pre-heated 200 degree celsius oven. Transfer to cake rakes and ice when cooled.

For the icing

For the basic batter sift 125g of icing sugar into 100g of softened cream cheese. This makes the icing quite stiff, but the spirit added can easily make it runny. If you want extra punch in your icing, you will need to add a little more icing sugar

Cosmopolitans. A few days before take a handful of dried cranberries, place in a bowl or plastic container and just cover with vodka. Leave to sit until the cranberries are plump and the vodka is coloured. Add the liquid to the icing, and top the cakes with the fruit.

Strawberry daiquiris: add vodka, and some red food colouring for effect. Top with strawberry slices

Mango daiquiris: add vodka and some mango pulp to icing. Top with more mango

Cowboy cocksuckers: add butterscotch schnapps to the icing and top with crushed butterscotch lollies

B52s: baileys icing

Mojito: add lime juice to icing. Garnish with a sugared mint lolly

Margaritas: lemon juice and tequila icing (be careful not to add too much juice or it will make the icing too runny. You could go easy on the tequila instead but...well, you know). Garnish with lime wedges

Affogato: frangelico and coffee icing. Garnish with coffee bean

And that’s it. Off course making a batch of each of these simultaneously will leave you very full, or very drunk. And if you’re doing this to get drunk, you’re probably better of just drinking the tequila. I made a batch with one of each cake. The recipe is for 12 cakes, but by the time you’ve divided them up into separate bowls to add the flavours, and lost batter on the side of each bowl, and each spoon, you end up with around 10 cakes anyway, same with the icing. For this challenge I tried a few others that either didn’t work (note: blue curacao and cakes just don’t mix), or were a little too obvious: vodka and orange. However there were flavours i was using just to get into the spirit of it (no pun intended) that really did work – the tequila in the margarita icing was particularly nice.

One of the joys of these would be making them for some sort of girlie party. You get to eat cake and have the flavour of the alcohol without ending up completely messy. The pink of the cosmopolitans is extra cute. Of course they’re not particularly appropriate for children’s parties or prohibitionist gatherings.

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