Monday, June 1, 2020

Day 78, G&T Cupcakes, Quarantine Kitchen

Like this palm tree, California is beginning to open up, and we are now into phase 2.  I'll deal with the other issues facing us in another post, but the fact that we can now get haircuts, meet in small groups, and maybe get to the gym in a few weeks feels so freeing. 
Dr. C. and I have been really trying to stay home, with trips to the store kept to a minimum and restricting ourselves to walking in the neighborhood, but tomorrow we are headed to see a friend in LA and get our hair cut.  I'm bringing lunch to our friend in LA, so I decided it was time to try out a recipe I've had in my files for a while--Gin and Tonic cupcakes.  This is a work in progress, I think the cake is the right one, and I think the final result is delicious, but it's still not a G&T.  Since gin burns off when heated, there isn't a lot of the floral flavor of the gin in the cupcake or the frosting, but the lime and tonic flavors do come through.  So I'd say it's a win.

Gin and Tonic Cupcakes
Makes 18 cupcakes or two 8-inch rounds

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon lime oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup lime juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line 18 muffin cups with paper liners.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter, oil, and sugar. 
Add the eggs one at a time, and add the lime oil. 
Stir in the flour, and baking powder, alternating with the buttermilk and lime juice until the mixture is smooth.  
Using a portion scoop, fill the paper liners 3/4 full.  
Bake for 18 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center, comes out clean.  Allow to cool.
If you are making 8-inch layers, they will bake for 35 minutes.  

For the Syrup

2/3 cup tonic water
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup lime juice
1/3 cup gin

While the cupcakes are baking combine the tonic water, sugar, and lime juice in a saucepan, and cook over medium high heat until syrupy, about 10 minutes.  Cool, and add the gin.  
Brush the warm cupcakes with the syrup.  Any leftover syrup can be frozen for use in cocktails.  

For the Frosting
3/4 cup unsalted butter
4 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon lime oil
2 tablespoons gin
1 tablespoon tonic water
1 lime sliced, into 1/4-inch slices, then cut into 1/2 moons

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, and sugar together until smooth.  Add the lime oil, gin and tonic water until spreading consistency.  Adding more gin or tonic water as needed.  
Spread onto the cupcakes, and garnish with lime slices.  

Lime oil is super concentrated; many recipes will use lime zest which I find to be bitter, the lime oil is the zest in a liquid form.  You can buy it here.   If you would rather use the zest, use the same amount.  Stay safe and stay well.  

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