Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Crown Royal Cupcakes

As the wedding approaches, the time to blog spreads even thinner than usual. That's right ladies and gentleman. We are 54 days to go! Woo hoo! I am determined to sneak a few posts in here between now and then. So let's all take a deep cleansing breath... and focus on cupcakes.

Recently, we attended a surprise birthday party for an old friend of mine. (Happy Birthday again Tito! I'm sure your birthday wish was to beat me at Smash Brother's one day! It's okay, don't cry- you can't be the best at everything.) I collaborated with his cousin on what tasty treat to bring. Thai Iced Tea Cupcakes? Apple, Blueberry, and Ginger Shortcrust Pie? How about Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes or Blue Moon Cupcakes? At the sound of booze,  his cousin instantly perked up. Booze was one thing this crowd could handle. Apparently the birthday boy has a thing for Crown Royal.  

Crown Royal is a Canadian whisky and quite frankly... I've never touched the stuff. Without a clue of its flavor profile, I turned to ye old trusty internet for a few recommendations. The cupcake of choice is from Java Cupcake! Hooray!

There are three components to the cupcake: cake, filling, and frosting. That being you said, you know it's going to be just a touch time consuming. In these situations, best practice is to make at least 2 of the components the night before for sanity's sake. So much for sanity! Eh, wedding planning already has taken the majority of it anyway!

The cake has a cocoa powder base giving it a light chocolate flavor. There's also a generous 3/4 cups of Crown Royal! Before pouring it in... Mike and I tried a lick of straight whisky. It made the hair stand straight up on the back our necks and we both declared our disgust. Mix it into batter though, and oh my. Chocolate can make anything amazing.

The filling is essentially chocolate frosting with a touch of cinnamon. The cinnamon pairs surprisingly well with the whisky and I think it helped to bring out the flavor. You know that face you make when you have some strong liqueur? The cinnamon tries to replicate that feeling but in a good way.

Last but not least is the frosting. This element, in my humble opinion, is what makes or breaks the flavor of a boozey cupcake. It's the first thing your taste buds experience. Too much, and it's overpowering. Too little, and people have no idea what the flavor is supposed to be. It's a thin line to walk. Tread carefully and use your own judgement as you add the whisky. This recipe is almost a buttercream except there is just a touch of cream cheese to smooth things out. 

Overall, I was pleased with these cupcakes even though I'm not a whisky kinda gal. Java's version used Crown Royal Reserve. I stuck with 2 teensy bottles of the standard issue Crown Royal from the ABC store. Mike said that to get the full effect, you have to eat all three elements together. Whisky lovers, let me know what you think!

For the full recipe, check out Java Cupcake's fun and yummy blog!