Friday, July 15, 2011

July's Cupcake Of The Month: Butterbeer

When the Harry Potter series ended, it really felt like my childhood was ending. I mean, c'mon, Harry and I practically grew up together (practically... okay, maybe I'm just being dramatic)! And now the movies are coming to an end too! I'll admit it, though, I don't really love any of the movies. Yeah, there were some good ones, but then there were some really bad ones too (i.e. the sixth movie).

But with all that aside, as soon as I started doing the monthly cupcakes, I knew I had to make special ones for the last movie. And I figured, what would be more Harry Potter-ish than butterbeer cupcakes? Yeah, I could've just made the drink and called it a day, but c'mon, it's me. Cupcakes are always inevitable.

Unfortunately, I haven't gone to Harry Potter World yet, so my friend and I decided to try and make some of our own. We found a recipe here and set out to make this magical concoction. To be honest though, when we first started preparing the drink, it was a little off-putting. So much sugar and cream and butter... it was a little much for a girl who enjoys her bittersweets to take. And what I'm about to say next is probably going to make a lot of Potter fans hate me, but I really did not enjoy the butterbeer. Okay, that's a lie. I enjoyed the first few sips, but after that, the sweetness of the drink just kind of coated my mouth in a very unpleasant way. Now, I'm not saying that I won't ever drink butterbeer again... I mean, when I finally go to Harry Potter world, best believe that I'll be in line for one of their souvenir steins. But until then, I think I can do without.

So for the cupcakes, I tried my best to keep that butterbeer flavor but minus all the extra sweetness. If I made them again, I think I would've added a tsp of butter flavoring to the cake, but other than that, I'm pretty happy with what came out. If you want something a little sweeter, you can always make extra butterscotch sauce and fill the cupcakes with it. 

Anyway, hope you all enjoy the cupcakes!

The Ingredients (makes 2 dozen):
For the cupcakes:
-3 1/2 cups flour
-1 tbsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
-1/2 cup sugar
-1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
-2 tbsp vegetable oil
-4 eggs
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-1/2 cup milk
-1/2 cup cream soda
For the butterscotch sauce:
-1 cup of butterscotch chips
-1/3 cup heavy cream
For the frosting:
-1 cup unsalted butter, softened
-1 cup vegetable shortening
-1 cup butterscotch sauce, or to taste

The Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line your cupcake pans.
2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar and brown sugar until the butter is fluffy and everything is combined.
4. Add the eggs one a time, mixing until each one is just incorporated. Then add the vanilla and oil and mix well. In a separate bowl/cup, combine the cream soda and milk.
5. Add 1/3 of the dry mixture to the wet and mix until just combined. Then add half the cream soda and milk, mixing well, then another 1/3 of the dry, the second half of the soda/milk, and then the remaining flour. Make sure to scrape after each dry addition to ensure that everything gets mixed in.
6. Fill cupcake liners between 1/2 to 2/3 of the way up and bake for about 15 to 17 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.
7. Combine the butterscotch chips and heavy cream in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water and stir until smooth. Put aside to cool. If you don't feel like making your own butterscotch sauce, you can always grab a jar of it at the grocery store. I won't judge!
8. Whip the butter and shortening together until combined and fluffy.
9. Add the butterscotch sauce, 1/2 cup at a time, beating until well combined. Make sure you scrape the bottom of the bowl or some of the butterscotch will just sink to the bottom. Frost cupcakes.
10. Consume and enjoy!