01 February 2010

Cosmopolitan Cupcakes

Ugh. I was feeling absolutely miserable today - first day back at work after my Melbourne holiday. I was absolutely swamped, but I had also come down with a nasty bug. I ended up having to go home early. I tried sleeping for a while, but I was really craving a cocktail - but let's face it, alcohol isn't really the best cure for illness. So I decided to turn my misery into productivity, and made a cupcake version of one of my favourite cocktails - a Cosmopolitan.

The traditional cosmo flavours are lime, orange (through the cointreau) and, of course, cranberry. So I decided to make lime cupcakes with the orange and cranberry flavours incorporated into the icing. Since I didn't use any booze, I tried to make the citrussy flavours pack as much of a punch as possible - and I was rather pleased with the results! The cupcakes were light and fluffy with a big lime hit, and the frosting was creamy, fluffy and delicious. Topping cosmo cupcakes off with a virgin Cosmo - I reckon that's a better cure for a bug than chicken soup...

OK I'll be honest - even after cupcakes and cocktails I'm still pretty sick. But at least I get to be sick and happy!

Lime Cupcakes (based on this recipe for lemon cupcakes from HTEAC)

You will need:

250 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1.5 cups all-purpose gluten free flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
zest of 2 limes
juice of 1.5 limes
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 drop green food dye (optional)

cupcake tin (12 cupcakes)
patty pans
mix master/hand beater
3 bowls
knife + cutting board
measuring cups + spoons

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Insert patty pans into a medium cupcake pan.
  2. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time to creamed mixture, beating 1 minute after each addition.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, alternating with the milk. Mix until completely integrated. Add the lime zest, juice, food dye and vanilla. Mix the batter for 30 seconds.
  5. Fill the cupcake liners three-quarters full. Bake for about 20 minutes (mine took 29) or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the pan.

Cranberry - Orange SMBC (my own recipe)

1 C cranberry juice (preferably unsweetened but you can use sweetened if you can't get it)
zest + juice of 1 orange
250 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 C sugar
2 egg whites

hand beater/mixmaster
saucepan + wooden spoon
boiling water
  1. Mix juices + orange zest in a small saucepan. Simmer (do NOT boil! All the lovely aromatic oils from the zest will evaporate) and allow to reduce by about 3/4. It will be slightly syrupy, but not viscous. Allow to cool.
  2. Put egg whites and sugar into the top of a double boiler over a pan of simmering water. Whisking constantly, cook until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm (about 70 C).
  3. Pour heated egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat egg white mixture on high speed until it forms stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until fluffy and cooled, about 7 minutes.
  4. With mixer on medium-low, add butter two tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Increase speed to medium-high; continue beating until frosting appears thick, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low; add cranberry-orange reduction and continue beating 2 minutes to eliminate air bubbles.
Virgin Cosmo

juice 1/2 lime + 1 slice for garnish
juice 1/2 an orange
1 C cranberry juice

  1. Mix the juices together and shake over ice.
  2. Serve in a tall glass and garnish with lime slice.

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