Monday, October 25, 2010

Chocolate Whiskey Cupcakes

We recently found a advertisement for the best cake recipe EVER. Our first thought was the  Chocolate Whiskey Cake our dear friend Lee makes for every special occasion. She has made it for everyone's birthday and the latest was my sister's engagement party. She was even so wonderful as to bring me the recipe so I could write it up on my Ode to Twenty Eight blog.

Well, today I decided to actually make the cake. It's a cake with chocolate and whiskey, are you kidding? This is a no brainer! I think this is sure to win if it tastes anywhere as good as it sounds.
I made a few changes not because the cake needed changes, but because I didn't have all of the original ingredients she uses. I did a few 'operational work arounds' and made cupcakes. Believe it or not I don't have cake pans. Don't worry-- it's on the shopping list now. But who doesn't love cupcakes and since I am baking them for our sous chef's birthday at work, it makes it really easy to share.

While testing out this recipe I discovered how that I didn't have any milk powder. So I discovered how to substitute. Please forgive me if you are a kitchen protege and already know about this. If you don't have milk powder (like I don't) you simply used 1 cup of milk for every 1/4 cup of milk powder that is called for in the original recipe and then omit that additional cup or two of water the recipe calls for. Milk powder is a 1 to 4 ratio. For example this recipe called for 1/3 cup milk powder and an additional 1 1/4 cup of water. Instead I omitted the water and added 1 1/4 cup low fat milk.

Mom and I also just spent Sunday tasting wines at our local Mission Mountain Winery (located one mile from our house) and picked up some delicious Cocoa Vin dessert wine which we decided to use that for the frosting. The wine maker and owner Tom and his wife, Hema, are as delightful as the sun is bright and turned us on this this and several other wines we will be talking about in upcoming blog posts. 
As promised on our facebook page this is our first recipe of many incorporating their award winning wines. We used our two favorite ingredients: dark chocolate and Cocoa Vin chocolate liquor. A match made in heaven.

And don't worry if you don't have Cocoa Vin you can either order from the website (which is beautiful) depending on which state you live in or substitute any chocolate or coffee liquor. If you don't want to use liquor you can also substitute vanilla or rum extract. Enjoy!

Chocolate Whiskey Cupcakes with a Cocoa Vin frosting

adapted from: Lee’s Special Dark Chocolate Whiskey Cake

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Dry Ingredients

2 C. Organic Flour
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
¾ C. Dark Chocolate Cocoa
1 tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. dried clove powder

Wet ingredients

2 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla
½ C. Irish whiskey (we used Bushmills)
¾ C. honey (we used local Lambeth Honey)
½ C. water
½ C. canola oil
1 cup milk (or fat free half in half is what we used)
1. Mix the flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and clove together. Set that bowl aside.

2. In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients and stir with a whisk until the honey softens into the other ingredients.

3. Then pour the wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix well-about 2 minutes on medium. (You don't need the additional ingredients as the original recipe called for because we used milk instead of the milk powder.) Batter will be thin.

4. Spray your muffin tins and fill with 1/4 cup of batter. Cook 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes for 20 minutes then remove from pan and cool on rack. 
 5. When cup cakes are cool, they are ready to frost with the delicious frosting below!

Cocoa Vin Chocolate Frosting
1 T. organic butter
1 (3.5 ounce) bar Hershey's dark chocolate; chopped 
3 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons cocoa vin (If you can't find Cocoa Vin any chocolate or coffee liquor with work!)
3 Tablespoons Cocoa powder

1. Melt butter and chocolate in the microwave for 1 minute at power 50. Remove and stir until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. 

2. Add the cocoa vin, honey, and cocoa powder. Stir to combine with a whisk until it is smooth and shiny. 

3. To frost hold the bottom of the cupcake and dip the top in the frosting. Remove from the frosting and swirl to get a clean frost on the cupcake. Repeat with all of the cupcakes and allow to set for 15 minutes.

Servings: 24 cupcakes

Nutritional Skinny (without frosting):

127.5 calories / 5.1 g fat / 18. 3 g carbohydrates  / 1.2 fiber / 3 g protein

Nutritional Skinny (with frosting):

165.3 calories / 7.1 g fat / 24 g carbohydrates / 2 fiber / 3.5 protein 

Mental Health Benefit:  When you think about chocolate cupcakes you usually think sinful-- right? Well, these taste completely sin-licious. I put one in my mouth and was transported to the palm of an angel's hand. Then I calculated the calories and was blown away. These not only are lower in fat and calories than other options they are also loaded with anti-oxidants and flavonoids in chocolate that protect our bodies from free radicals (those nasty things that cause aging) and have been shown to lower blood pressure. So as sin-licious as these taste, there are some really important health benefits if we eat them in moderation! Okay.. good luck with that!

~ Why not meet me in the kitchen and get cooking!

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