Monday, April 6, 2009

"L" is for The Big LEBOWSKI Cupcake

Every time anyone has a birthday or a party now, I get asked to make cupcakes! I am, after all, the Cupcake Queen! These were requested for Ryan's 31st birthday party. The theme (because you know we all love theme-parties) was THE BIG LEBOWSKI. Now I admit that I don't know much about the movie, so I was tipped off that "The Dude" drinks a lot of White Russians and I should make a cupcake that resembled his favorite drink. A White Russian is made with vodka, Kahlua and cream or milk. So this would be a boozy cupcake! Fun!

Of course, I googled "The Big Lebowski cupcake" and "White Russian cupcake" and "Kahlua cupcake" and anything else I could think of to find a good recipe. And really, the only thing I could really find that was anything close included a cake mix from The Cake Mix Doctor! Not what I wanted at all. I ended up finding a recipe from 125 Best Cupcake Recipes on a website and modified them to my liking. They ended up fairly dense but with the whipped cream frosting tasted Oh So Good! They were a big (LEBOWSKI) hit!

This cupcake has 2 parts:
1. The White Russian Cupcake
2. The Kahlua whipped cream

Part 1: The White Russian Cupcake
This cupcake is a modification of a Kahlua cupcake. My modification is that I used less milk and more alcohol to include vodka. They were pretty dense, so if I make them again maybe I'll use the indicated amount of milk and just add extra alcohol. Sounds like a good idea!

The White Russian Cupcake
Makes 24 cupcakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
Pinch salt
½ cup Kahlua
½ cup Vodka
2 tbsp instant coffee granules (I used ground up chocolate covered coffee beans!)
1½ cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
4 egg whites
½ cup buttermilk (I would add 2/3 cup instead)

Heat oven to 350F
1. In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt (set aside)
2. In a small bowl, mix together Kahlua and vodka (set aside)
3. In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together sugar and butter until light and fluffy
4. Add egg whites one at a time, beating after each addition
5. Alternately beat in the flour mixture, buttermilk and liqueur mixture, making three additions of flour and one each of the buttermilk and liqueur, beat until smooth
6. Stir in ground up coffee beans
7. Scoop batter into prepared cupcake pan (about ¾ of the way full)
8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until tops of cupcakes spring back slightly when touched
9. Let cool completely on wire racks

The cupcake is full of holes. I'm assuming it's from the alcohol evaporating!

Watch out when you open the oven door to check on your cupcakes. You'll get a face-full of...alcohol? You'll get a face-full of something that's for sure! I burned my eyeballs a little!

Part 2: Kahlua Whipped Cream
Whipped cream goes so well on these cupcakes, for one to include the "cream" part of the White Russian, and two because it is so light and luscious. Whipped cream is great because you can play around with the quantities of icing sugar and Kahlua to get the flavour and texture that you want.

Kahlua Whipped Cream
Makes enough for 24 cupcakes

1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup icing sugar
3 tbsp Kahlua

1. To get the fullest whipped cream, start with a chilled bowl and utensils. The cream should be cold as well.
2. Whip the cream and icing sugar until soft peaks form.
3. Add the Kahlua and mix on low until incorporated. Adjust flavour and consistency by adding more Kahlua or icing sugar.
4. Remember: Don't overbeat or you'll end up with butter!

Final Assembly
Pipe the whipped cream onto the cupcake by using a piping bag or spoon it on in a big dollop. Sprinkle with crushed chocolate covered coffee beans. Place one whole chocolate covered coffee bean on top. Enjoy! HAPPY BIRTHDAY RYAN!!

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