Sunday, August 16, 2009

There's Always Next Year (Or The Year After That) ... And Until Then, There's Cupcakes

Time for another round of baking therapy! Another Cleveland sports team underachieves ... and unlike the Cavs, it's not a so-close-you-could-taste-it underachieves, it's a great big couldn't-taste-it-if-it-was-served-in-front-of-you-with-a-spoon underachieves. Not are the Indians way, way out of playoff contention, they're in full blown rebuilding mode, complete with trading away ... well, everyone that mattered.

The dismal state of things truly hit home for me when I watched the funny (and wistful) Major League for the first time the other night. "Watch, GoatSpawn, this may be the only time you see a Cleveland sports team go to the playoffs, " Foodgoat said, "It's what you call 'fiction'."

After my baking therapy project for the Cavs' season, someone suggested that it wasn't cake they needed to handle the trauma of Cleveland sports losses, it was whiskey. But why not have both?

To assuage the pain of Cleveland Indians season (and next, this re-building mode will probably last a while), I made chocolate whiskey cupcakes.

Chocolate Whiskey Cupcakes

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened (not Dutch process) cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups strong brewed coffee (I used the dark roast from Phoenix for extra flavor)
1/2 cup whiskey
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Preheat over to 325°F.
  2. Heat the coffee, butter, and cocoa powder in a heavy medium saucepan over low heat until the butter is melted, whisking occasionally.
  3. Add the sugars and whisk until dissolved. Remove from the heat, transfer the mixture to a large bowl, add the whiskey, and let cool.
  1. Meanwhile, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate, small bowl, whisk the eggs and vanilla. Slowly whisk the eggs into the chocolate mixture until combined. Add the flour mixture and whisk until smooth. The batter will be pretty thin.
  2. Pour the batter into a cupcake pan (or Reynolds Fun Shapes, which made heart-shaped cupcakes) and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean, about 15 to 18 minutes.
You can frost them of course, but rather than run the risk of the ugliest cupcakes in the world, I just dusted them with powdered sugar just before serving. Easier, neater, prettier, and dare I say, tastier.

They turned out infinitely better than the chocolate sourdough cake ... light and fluffy (I learned my lesson regarding types of cocoa powder), not too sweet, moist, and a hint of whiskey.

Cleveland sports may not be improving, but my baking abilities are. And if the first Browns preseason game is any indication, I may be whipping up pies and custards and cookies by the end of the season.

No comments:

Post a Comment