Today I have a question. Should all blog entries detail successes? I have decided not. For me, baking is all about invention, trial and error and learning by my mistakes. It’s witchcraft. I like to concoct, pouring over my stainless steel cauldron, dropping in the ingredients that will magically transform from things you’d NEVER try dipping your fingers in, (let alone eating!) into mouthfuls of decadent and very naughty heaven.
Half an hour later we come to these: Tequila Slammer Cupcakes. I’ve been wanting to make these after trying a Tequila Slammer for the first time at the weekend. I wanted a cake that would impress my non-cake loving B/F and, knowing he likes lime and tequila (!!), I found a recipe for Key Lime cupcakes and decided to go for it. All I’d need to do would be to substitute some of the liquid for tequila. Simple. So this recipe was a bit of an experiment. But isn’t that what baking is all about? Alchemy?
First things first – the positives. The cakes were delicious. Sweet, zesty, tropical, a teeny tiny touch salty and very slightly alchoholic. Mmmmmmm. All of the good things about cakes… The frosting combined Trex (as I wanted a crisp white topping) with icing sugar, lime juice, lime zest and a splash of tequila. I candied some lime peel for the top. So far, so good.
Sadly, the cake batter was a different story. When I read the recipe, somehow I couldn’t help feeling that it called for too much liquid. Equal parts liquid to flour. In order to compensate, I gave them an extra 5 minutes in the oven and filled the cases over 3/4 full. Otherwise, I stuck to the recipe religiously, apart from removing 10ml of buttermilk and adding 10 ml of tequila.
When the cakes came out, they shrank by about 40%. They were heavy and not at all fluffy, although they DID taste good. VERY good. I decanted them from their original cases into some others to try and improve the visual but nevertheless, I’m going to try these again as I wasn’t convinced by them. Next time, I might use a basic vanilla recipe and tweak that – what a great excuse to get the new KMix out again next weekend!
If you would like to experiment yourself, here’s the recipe:
Tequila Slammer Cupcakes (Makes 8 cakes)
90g softened butter
150g caster sugar
1 egg, 1 egg yolk
zest of 1/2 lime and 4 tbsp lime juice
150g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
250g icing sugar
splash of tequila
juice and zest of 1 lime
Candied lime peel
* Preheat oven to 180C / 160C (fan oven) / gas 4. Line a cupcake tin with liners.
* Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs slowly. Add lime zest and juice, vanilla extract and tequila.
* Sift flour and baking powder. Add this to the mix with alternate spoonfuls of buttermilk. Add a pinch of salt.
* Divide the mixture between the cake cases and bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out of the cake clean.
* Combine all of the frosting ingredients. Beat well until soft, yet stiff. Use a piping bag to pipe onto the cakes when cool and top with candied peel.
Please let me know if anybody has success with this – personally I would reduce the amount of buttermilk further.