Monday, March 12, 2012

Butterbeer Cupcakes

I'm amazed that it is only the tenth week of the year. New Year's seems so long ago, and we have been working on so many projects in the classroom since classes resumed from winter break.

One special day we had in the classroom recently, was Read Across America Day on Friday, March 2nd. It happened to coincide with Dr. Seuss' birthday, so many of the classrooms at our school celebrated accordingly. Students brought in sleeping bags, comfy clothes, and piles of books, and we dedicated the whole day to reading. We took our third graders down to the Pre-K room and read to the preschoolers, too.

Soon after, Week 10 of both the cooking and the baking challenge asked for Movie or Book inspired recipes. Luckily, this one is both; and from my favorite book series, too!

I adore the Harry Potter books. I spent all of my middle school and high school years reading a book, or between books. Then the movies came along to add on to the fun. Even after I started college, the last book came out and I went to a book-release party and had a blast. The series is something I'll always look fondly upon and associate with such good memories. These cupcakes are a great way to celebrate them!

Butterbeer Cupcakes
with Butterscotch Buttercream and Butterscotch Ganache

Slightly adapted from The Pastry Affair

these quantities make 8 cupcakes

1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 stick of butter (4 tablespoons)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 extra large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring
1/4 cup cream soda
1/4 cup whipping cream + 1 teaspoon vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl whisk together the cup of flour, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and the pinch of salt. Set aside.

Measure out the 1/4 cup of whipping cream and mix in the teaspoon of vinegar. (This takes the place of the buttermilk from the original recipe.) Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the 1/2 stick of butter and the 1/2 cup of brown sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and beat well. Mix in the teaspoon of vanilla and the 1/2 teaspoon of butter flavoring.

Add a 1/3 of the flour mixture into the larger bowl with the butter and mix together. Stir in the whipping cream (with vinegar), then another 1/3 of flour mixture. Mix in the cream soda, and fold in the remaining flour mixture. Mix gently in order to avoid overbeating.

Fill lined cupcake pan with the batter, and bake for 15 - 18 minutes, testing for doneness with a toothpick. Cool completely before frosting.

Butterscotch Ganache
(enough for 8 cupcakes, and a bit leftover)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup and 1/3 cup of butterscotch chips (equal to about 1/2 of an 11 oz. package)

Melt butterscotch chips with the heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir often, until smooth. Remove from heat, and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Butterscotch Buttercream
(enough for 8 cupcakes)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons Butterscotch Ganache
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
2 tablespoons of heavy cream

In large mixing bowl beat the softened butter until fluffy. Mix in butterscotch ganache, vanilla, butter flavoring, pinch of salt. Beat in powdered sugar for 2 - 3 minutes. Add the cream one tablespoon at a time until reaching desired consistency.

To Assemble
  • Using a paring knife, cut out the top of the cupcake in a cone shape.
  • Fill the space with 2-3 teaspoons of Butterscotch Ganache
  • Gently place the cupcake top back on.
  • Top with Butterscotch Buttercream, making sure to cover the cut from the knife.
  • Drizzle Ganache over the cupcake and buttercream.

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