CH#6: Rum Punch CupcakesFebruary 24, 2008 at 5:40 pm | Posted in cupcakes, events, sweet things | 18 Comments
If you ask me, any time involving rum punch is a good time. It may have been a decade (or more!) since spring break in Cancún, but rum punch is just as much fun today as it was back then. For this month’s liquor-laden Cupcake Hero event (hosted, as always by Laurie, and this time with the assistance of Tempered Woman), I wanted to make a cupcake that, while maybe didn’t have quite the same GGW effect (totally kidding–that is not me at all!!) as knocking back a few plastic cups o’ rum punch, at least incorporated some the flavors. Pineapple, orange, and of course rum, were what I was going for. And please don’t forget the paper umbrella…
To start off, I made some modifications to Billy Reece’s Vanilla, Vanilla Cupcake recipe, which I used in my cherry-lime rickey cupcakes awhile back. By modifications, I mean I dropped the vanilla, vanilla and made them rum, rum. I swapped out all of the vanilla extract and one-quarter of the milk for Caribbean rum. They did have a different texture than Billy’s original recipe. Not dry at all, but more dense…almost like a rummy poundcake. I’m guessing this is because when I substituted 25% of the milk for rum, I took out a portion of the fat component. I didn’t expect that to happen, but I didn’t entirely mind it either.
I wanted to make a filling for the cupcakes, but didn’t want to do a lot of work. I decided to spruce up some more of that Bird’s custard powder I have in the cupboard (any custard mix would do and homemade would be great) with orange zest and Grand Marnier. I set aside a portion of the cooled orange custard and mixed crushed pineapple into the rest. (I bough a fresh pineapple and roughly crushed up a good sized chunk of it in my mini food processor.) Filling done.
Coming up with a frosting was a tricky one. Meringue didn’t sound right…too sweet and not enough flavor. And buttercream was too heavy and fussy. I really liked the whipped cream topping on my cappuccino cupcakes last month. It was super easy and light, but also needed a bit of tropical flavor. I took that plain orange custard I had set aside before and folded that into whipped cream, and my frosting was ready to go. Since whipped cream is not the most stable stuff in the world, I’d recommend doing this part shortly before serving.
These were quite nice; pleasantly boozy but not too overpowering. And I love anything with a little umbrella!
You may notice that the recipe below is rather vague in measurements (quite bogan as they say in Australia). This is because I quartered the cupcake recipe (this gave me four cupcakes, but I could have squeaked out five if I’d made them a bit smaller), and then I basically eyeballed what I’d need to fill and frost them, since there were so few. I trust that you have good judgement, and if you make too much of something, then consider it an extra snack.
Rum Punch Cupcakes– makes as many as you want
-Start with a batch of baked and cooled Billy’s Vanilla, Vanilla Cupcakes, substitute rum for all of the vanilla in the recipe and up to 25% of the milk. (Not wanting 30 cupcakes, I did a quarter batch, which yields four or five.)
-Make and cool some rum simple syrup. See here for the recipe for plain simple syrup. To flavor it, add a splash of rum as soon as you take it off the heat. (You can make a full recipe of plain syrup and just flavor a portion with rum. The rest can be saved in the fridge for a month or so and be used to sweeten iced tea or coffee, or to moisten other cakes, etc.)
-Make and chill some orange custard, using your favorite pudding recipe with orange zest and Grand Marnier added to taste, or prepare custard powder according to package instructions, flavoring with orange zest and Grand Marnier. Set aside about 1/4 of it for filling and the rest for topping.
-Into the filling portion of the custard, stir in some drained crushed pineapple. This will probably be a couple of spoonfuls, depending on how many cupcakes you are making. You can used canned crushed pineapple or roughly crush some fresh pineapple in the food processor.
-To fill the cupcakes, use a small knife or round cookie cutter to cut a plug out of the center of each (going in from the top). Save the top bit of each plug. Spoon a small amount (about 1/4 teaspoon) of rum simple syrup into each cavity. This is just to keep the cakes moist…don’t drown them. Fill each cavity with pineapple-orange custard. Cover with the top bit so the filling is not exposed.
-Make the frosting from lightly sweetened whipped cream folded together with the reserved plain orange custard (about equal parts). You can whip it up a bit more if it is not stiff enough to sit nicely on top.
-Top and decorate as you see fit.