Saturday, August 3, 2013

Chocolate Toffee Cupcakes with a little Whiskey...

There's a party every summer with my group of friends called the Shuttlecock Tournament, and it's an all-day event of playing badminton (with the teams dressed in funny, creative costumes to match their team's name), while everyone else relaxes in the sun, drinks and eats good food.

Last year I made these Ice Cream Parlor Cupcakes, in flavors like Mint Chocolate Chip, S'mores and Ice Cream Sundae.  They disappeared in just a few hours, so this year, I decided to bring twice as many (not sure why I impose this kind of work on myself, but I'm a little obsessed in creating sweet treats for people as you see...).

So much of my Friday night, the evening before the party, was spent working on these Chocolate Toffee Cupcakes, as well as another batch that I will share in separate post.

These are the cupcake version of that Chocolate Toffee Bourbon Cake I made for our anniversary dinner in June, although this time with a little whiskey (Jameson, to be specific) -caramel soaked into each cupcake, then dipped in ganache, sprinkled with a bit of toffee, topped with vanilla buttercream, drizzled with more ganache, and finished with a sprinkling of coarse salt and a shard of toffee.

A shard of toffee.  I like how that sounds.

One Year Ago:   Baking Cookies in a Thunderstorm (Oatmeal Raisin Almond Cookies)
Two Years AgoGarden Tomatoes and Caprese Pasta with Sausage

Chocolate Toffee Bourbon Cupcakes


·         2 cups all-purpose flour
·         1 cup granulated sugar
·         3/4 cup Hershey’s Special Dark unsweetened cocoa powder
·         1 teaspoon salt
·         1 teaspoon baking soda
·         4 eggs
·         3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
·         1/2 cup sour cream
·         ½ cup vegetable oil
·         2 teaspoons vanilla
·         3-4 tablespoons each of bourbon and caramel

Vanilla buttercream:
·         1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
·         3 cups powdered sugar
·         2 tablespoons meringue powder
·         1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
·         3 tablespoons milk

·         10 ounces cream
·         8 ounces semi-sweet/bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
·         1 teaspoon vanilla

·         1 cup Toffee bits
·         Coarse Salt
·         3 Toffee bars, cut into 24 shards

Preheat the oven to 350 and line a muffin pan with 24 liners.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda.  Add the eggs, heavy cream, sour cream, oil and vanilla and whisk vigorously until well combined; batter will be very thick.

Divide the batter between the liners.  Bake for 17-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.  Transfer muffins to a wire rack, cool for completely.

Poke holes in each cupcake with a toothpick then drizzle lightly with the bourbon/caramel mixture.  Set aside to soak into the cake.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter until smooth, about 2 minutes.  Add the powdered sugar/meringue powder by spoonfuls until combined, then add the milk and vanilla.  Whip at medium high speed for 4-5 minutes until very light and fluffy.  Set aside.

Pour the cream into a saucepan and bring just to a simmer over medium low heat.  Remove from the heat, and add the chocolate and vanilla.  Let stand for 3 minutes, then stir with a spatula until smooth and shiny.

Frost and Garnish:
Dip each cooled cupcake in the ganache and lightly shake off the excess.  Sprinkle a few toffee bits around the edge of each.  Set aside.

Pipe the vanilla buttercream onto each cupcake.

Drizzle more ganache over the buttercream, letting it drip down the sides.

Sprinkle with salt and top with a shard of toffee.

Cover cupcakes and refrigerate to set the ganache before serving.

Yields 24 cupcakes

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen