Friday, July 15, 2011

Butterbeer Cupcakes

Earlier this week, the Engineer and I went to our friends Rob and Jen’s place to visit them, make butterbeer cupcakes and have dinner. What’s this about butterbeer cupcakes, you ask? Well, those of you who are Harry Potter fans know that the beverage of choice in the books is butterbeer; those who are not Harry Potter fans (who are you people?) may want to skip this post entirely. The Harry Potter theme park in Orlando, which is on my bucket list, serves a J.K Rowling-approved version of the butterbeer. There are various recipes for it floating around online, but one blogger in particular, at AmyBites, decided to recreate the taste in cupcake form. These are it; we had been waiting months to make them. And what better day to post the recipe, since the last movie opens today?

These pictures were taken by Jen and I in her kitchen, and will be posted on her sister’s blog as well, The Littlest Crafter. The original recipe is supposed to make 18 cupcakes, but we got 16. We had a little ganache and frosting left over. These cupcakes were not lactose-free, and they were very sweet, so ideally try to find someone with whom you can share them! They call for butter flavouring, which is artificial but vegan, so you could probably make them with margarine and butter flavouring without losing too much of the intended flavour. And instead of regular cream, you can try either vegan alternatives or Natrel’s lactose-free creams, so this CAN be made lactose-free. For the cream soda, we used our Canadian brand, Crush, but now that I look at the pictures on AmyBites, I think the American version is different. That being said, the cupcakes taste mostly like caramel and butter – butterscotch, really. They were approved by all tasters present. And while Jen and I were feeling pretty crafty about making these, Amy of AmyBites one-upped us by making Golden Snitch Butterbeer Cake Pops!

For more Harry Potter-themed treats, go take a look at The Pastry Affair, which has recipes for butterbeer, beautiful cauldron cakes, as well as acid pops, cockroach clusters, liquorice wands and chocolate frogs.

Butterbeer Cupcakes

For the cupcakes
2 cups flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened (or fridge-temperature margarine)
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
3 large eggs
1 ½ tsp vanilla
1 tsp butter flavoring
½ cup buttermilk (or lactose-free milk with a splash of vinegar)
½ cup cream soda

For the butterscotch ganache
1 11-oz package butterscotch chips
1 cup heavy cream (you can use lactose-free cream, or a vegan equivalent)

For the buttercream frosting
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened (or fridge-temperature margarine)
1/3 cup butterscotch ganache
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp butter flavoring
1/8 tsp salt
1 16-oz package powdered sugar
splash of milk or cream (as needed)

For the cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350 °F and line cupcake pans with paper liners (or grease them). Combine your flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, cream your butter until light and fluffy. Add your sugars and beat until well-combined. Beat in your eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Then beat in your vanilla and butter flavoring.

Alternate adding your buttermilk, cream soda, and dry ingredients in batches until all are well incorporated. Fill each cupcake liner ¾ full, then bake for 15 to 17 minutes until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean and cake springs back to the touch. Cool completely on wire racks.

For the butterscotch ganache
Meanwhile, in a double boiler (heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water on the stove), combine butterscotch chips and heavy cream and stir until completely combined and smooth. Cool to room temperature as the cupcakes cool. Set aside 1/3 cup of the ganache. Fill a squeeze bottle with the rest of the ganache and insert into the center of each cupcake, squeezing until filling begins to overflow. (The trick is to fill them slowly, to give the ganache time to seep into the crumb of the cupcakes).

For the buttercream frosting
Cream butter in a large bowl until fluffy. Add in ganache, vanilla, butter flavoring, and salt and mix until well combined. Beat in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until reaching desired consistency. Add milk or cream by the tablespoon as needed. Frost the cupcakes and top with a drizzle of butterscotch ganache. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Amélie said...

And by the way, here's how to make just butterbeer: