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Friday, August 21, 2009

Cocktail in a Cupcake?

My healthy get-as-much-iron-as-I-possibly-can kick continues, especially after my relapse on Wednesday where I spent most of the day on the sofa munching on cereal and consoling my gargantuan megrims and hebetude by plowing through Season 2 of "How I Met Your Mother." Bee tee dubs, if you have never seen this show before, go watch it right now. In the course of six days it has become one of my favourite shows, and I'm determined to be all caught up by the time the new season begins in September. Luckily, being sick allows me to waste, I mean UTILISE my time watching episode after episode. Story of my life.

This summer, I practically lived at the SigEp fraternity house baking. The guys there are the healthiest health nuts I have ever met, but now that I need to eat uber healthy, I can finally appreciate their obsessions, and it's allowed me over the past couple months to hone my own baking into products that are more nutritious yet still delicious!

My latest concoction is an adaption of a recipe I found off of Baking Bites. Nicole came up with an awesome idea of infusing a lemon drop cocktail into a cupcake, complete with vodka and everything. It sounded so unique I had to give them a try. I didn't have strawberries, so I used blackberries instead, creating a purple swirl in the cakes, along with whole wheat flour so that I get my iron dose. I also wanted a distinct lemon flavour, so I used lemon juice instead of zest.

At first, the batter was super thick, and I was worried that these would just turn out hard. But they came out great! The texture was nearly like cornmeal cakes, which I attribute to the blackberry seeds. You couldn't really taste the vodka, which I'm not sure is a good or bad thing; I think it would be interesting to actually have that flavour come through and counter the blackberries and lemon.

You can get the original recipe here if you are interested in making both and comparing them!

Ideas for next time: Blackberry or citrus-flavoured vodka, different fruit filling

Blackberry Lemon Drop Cupcakes

1 stick butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup lemon juice
3 cups whole-wheat flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk [any kind, I used nonfat]
1/2 cup vodka
2 cups fresh, halved blackberries

Preheat oven to 350F and line 18 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and lemon juice.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In a measuring cup, combine the milk and vodka. Working in three or four additions, alternate adding the flour mixture and the vodka/milk mixture, ending with an addition of dry ingredients. Only mix until no streaks of flour remain visible. Stir in blackberries gently by hand to create a swirl effect.
Divide batter evenly into prepared muffin tins.

Bake for 16-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool cupcakes on a wire rack.

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