Friday, February 20, 2009

Root Beer!

Alright, alright.  I don't normally bake this much, but its reading week so I have some spare time on my hands.  On tonights agenda: Root Beer cupcakes.

Now, the idea struck me for root beer cupcakes when I was first reading about cola cupcakes on Bakerella's blog.  I didn't think to google them at that point, so came up with my own recipe, which was... okay at best, though not my worst attempt at creating a recipe.  I basically took the coca-cola cake recipe and combined it with the guiness cupcake recipe I used earlier this week, replacing the guiness/cola with root beer and root beer schnapps.  Like I said, they were okay.  I overbaked them slightly, and they have too much  baking soda, but with a dollop of vanilla icing, you can't hardly notice.  They needed more root beer flavour, however, so I set out via the world wide google and came across a couple of fantastic cupcake blogs with root beer recipes.  After settling on one that appeared to be simple, and easy to follow, I set to work.  I lacked root beer extract so I replaced it with schnapps.  Aside from that, they are quite good.  I still wish the root beer flavour was stronger, but that would probably be fixed by using root beer extract, or maybe doubling the amount of schnapps I used, or creating a reduction or something.  I'm not that talented yet, however.

After making the frosting (I made the Vanilla Bean ButterCream as suggested) I came to two very stunning realizations:

1.  Salted butter is not for icing
2.  Do not buy vanilla beans online via e-bay

My sister insists it tastes like ice cream.  I can only taste sweetened, vaguely vanilla-flavoured butter.  I am going to try researching a way to turn whipped cream into icing, but I want it to be denser than whipped cream.  And taste like my boyfriend's homemade vanilla bourbon ice cream.  Is that so much to ask, really?

Yes, I am that lucky that my boyfriend is not only sexy and well dressed but he also cooks and makes confections!  Not to mention spoiles me R-O-T-T-E-N!

Root Beer Cupcakes (Originally from BitterSweet)

makes 12 cupcakes

  • 1 C rootbeer soda
  • 1 t apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1/3 C canola oil
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 t rootbeer extract
  • 1 1/3 C flour
  • 3/4 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  1. Combine the soda and vinegar and let stand for a few minutes.
  2. Add in the sugar and oil, whisking vigorously until slightly frothy.
  3. Integrate your extracts, and gently introduce the flour, along with the baking powder / soda, and salt, being careful not to over mix.
  4. Fill cupcake liners approximately 3/4 of the way to the top.
  5. Bake at 350 F for about 18 - 22 minutes.

Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting Recipe

  • 1 1/2 C confectioners' sugar (add more until it reaches your preferred consistency)
  • 1/2 C butter (room temperature)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (add more to taste)  (I used vanilla bean seeds right out of the pod)
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Mix together sugar and butter until they are blended and creamy. Add vanilla bean paste and milk and continue to beat for another minute. If desired, add more vanilla bean paste to taste, or more confectioners' sugar to make it stiffer.