Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring Fling: Margarita and Tiramisu cupcakes

Right about now, you're thinking, "wow, this woman makes a lot of cupcakes.  It's a wonder she doesn't have diabetes." 

I had a good excuse, though.   For the past few years now, my building has hosted a potluck lunch during Spring Break.  It's an event we look forward to, despite the stress of late-night mid-week cooking, because even though we don't work in a very big building, it's rare that we have the opportunity to sit down and talk with one another, especially given that we represent four different units.  And because the staff in the building is diverse, so is the food at the potluck.  Today we had homemade samosas and empanadas, pernil (Puerto Rican roast pork), rice and beans, soft pretzels, Italian antipasto salad, cole slaw, pierogies, macaroni and cheese, and cream cheese flan.  I decided that being spring break and all, I'd bring some of my more "adult" cupcakes: margarita (with tequila) and tiramisu (with Kahlua).

So the potluck gave me an excuse to make cupcakes, and making cupcakes gave me an excuse to bake with Ian.  Though he has the impetuousness of a typical three year old (I have to tell him more than once to "wait for me," which you'd think was oh so tiresome!), he also takes this work very seriously.  I learned last night that he's gotten quite proficient at pouring (he told me he practices this at school, with water); when I noticed how steadily he was holding the bottle, and how gradually he was tipping it, I let him measure the vanilla on his own, and he did it like a pro ... better, in fact, than I do myself sometimes.
Ian is also a champion whisker.  He loves watching the fats separate from the other liquids in the bowl, and then combining them to make smaller "blobs."  He also loves pouring in the dry ingredients, distributing them evenly throughout the bowl.  I suspect that type-A gene is mine.

Here are the final products.  It's fun to rim the margarita ones in large sugar crystals, which resemble a salt-rimmed glass.  And the tiramisu ones are an architectural feat, requiring a spoon to eat them.  Both were a big hit at the potluck.  I had to laugh, watching the conversation grow more and more boisterous and giddy, until someone said to me, "now, how much alcohol is in these things?"  Well, now you know.

Margarita Cupcakes
1/4 cup lime juice
1 1/2 tsp lime zest (1 lime, it's OK to use lemon if you have no lime on hand)
1 cup unsweetened soy milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp tequila
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Fill a 12-cup muffin tin with liners.  In a large bowl, mix together lime juice, lime zest, soy milk, oil , tequila, vanilla and sugar.  Sift in flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk until just combined. Divide evenly into muffin tins. Bake for 20-24 minutes, until a tester comes out clean and the cakes spring back when lightly pressed. Cool completely before frosting. 

Tequila and Lime Frosting
1/4 butter or nonhydrogenated shortening, softened
1 tbsp soymilk
3 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp tequila
2+ cups confectioners' sugar
coarse sugar for "rims"

Cream together butter/nonhydrogenated shortening (depending on whether you want the frosting vegan or not), soymilk, lime juice, tequila, and 2 cups of confectioners' sugar. Add in more sugar as needed to make frosting stiff, but spreadable. Spread on cupcakes and roll the edges in a small amount of coarse sugar (poured into a small bowl, so it's easy to direct it).

Tiramisu Cupcakes

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 cup nonhydrogogenated margarine (softened)
1/4 cup vegan (or regular) cream cheese (softened)
2 cups of confectioners' sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Beat the margarine and cream cheese together well.  Slowly mix in powdered sugar and beat until creamy.  Add vanilla and beat until well combined.

1 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract1 1/4 cups all purpose flour 
2 tbsp cornstarch
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Mix vinegar and soy milk together and let sit to curdle for about 10 minutes. Whisk in wet ingredients .  Sift in dry ingredients and whisk until no large lumps remain.  Bake 20- 22 minutes at 350 in 12 cupcake liners.  Let your cupcakes cool.

Soaking liquid
1/3 cup espresso or strong coffee
1/3 cup Kahlua or other coffee flavored liqueur

1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
12 chocolate covered coffee beans or chocolate chips

Cut a little cone shape of the top of the cupcake, about 1 inch from the center, and remove it with a spoon.  Pour about 1.5 tablespoons of Kahlua mixture into the divot you cut in your cupcake top and let it soak in.
Fill the divot with icing.  Dip the little cone shaped piece of cup cake you cut out in to the Kahlua mixture then place it on top of the icing.  Put another little dollop of icing on top of that, then dust with cocoa, cinnamon, and add coffee beans and chocolate chips.

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  1. WOW they look sooo yummy, in fact I think I just put on a couple pounds just looking at the pics!


  2. OMG those cupcakes look amazing!!! Your co-workers are so lucky! Thanks for sharing the recipes!

    Happy ICLW:)

  3. I'm totally going to make those tiramisu ones! Oh my goodness the gorgeousness.

    And IAN. OH my gosh, I may have a crush! :)

    ICLW #29

  4. I can't get past how spotless your kitchen is;)


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