Monday

Butterbeer Cupcakes

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Before we get to the bulk of this entry, please allow me to get my geek on and give you a little lesson on the Potterverse (otherwise known to us magical folk as the Wizarding World), care of this nifty little invention called Wikipedia (which, little known to muggles is in fact founded, and managed completely by a terribly entrepreneurial band of rogue house-elves! Can you believe it? Of course you don't, you simple muggle):

Butterbeer is the drink of choice for younger wizards. Harry is first presented with the beverage in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Although House-elves can become intoxicated on Butterbeer, the amount of alcohol contained in Butterbeer has a negligible effect on Witches and Wizards. J.K. Rowling said in her interview to Bon App├ętit magazine that she imagines it "to taste a little bit like less-sicklybutterscotch." Butterbeer can be served cold or hot but either way it has a warming effect.

Butterbeer was a real drink, the earliest reference to Buttered Beere is from, 'The Good Huswifes Handmaide for the Kitchin' published in London in AD 1588,[28] made from beer, sugar, eggs, nutmeg, cloves and butter back in Tudor times. Another old recipe for Buttered Beer, published by Robert May in AD 1664., from his recipe book, 'The Accomplisht Cook' calls for liquorish root and anniseeds to be added.[29] British celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal recreated the drink for his show "Heston's Tudor Feast."[30]

It was announced in April 2010 that a drink named after butterbeer is sold in the theme park, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando. It has a sweet taste and is a non-alcoholic beverage. It was taste-tested by J. K. Rowling herself. According to Neil Genzlinger, a staff editor on the culture desk of The New York Times, the beverage "is indistinguishable from a good quality cream soda."

Last weekend I discovered a disturbing fact: not everyone I know is a Harry Potter fan.

Why are we even friends?

lol, jokes. But just to manage your expectations, you probably wouldn't understand how important the following recipe is if you aren't a Harry Potter fan. The recipe will still be delicious, but it will lack the magic of Diagon Alley, the Leaky Cauldron and the Three Broomsticks. I still encourage you to try it though... while reading a copy of Philosopher's Stone, of course!

My attention was first brought to this recipe by Ern (of SS fame), and I've had it on my mind for months now! I've always wanted to taste Butterbeer, and I actually can't wait til I get to the WWoHP next summer, first of all to have a flagon of this fictional fizzy drink, and then to buy myself a wand at Ollivanders.

According to friends who have had the opportunity to try Butterbeer for themselves, it's supposed to taste like butter, cream soda and butterscotch. Which sounds delicious, right? The brilliant Amy over at amybites.com created the cupcake recipe as close to the taste of the drink as she could make it. I can only trust her taste buds, as I can't validate it myself for at least another year.

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Butterbeer Cupcakes

Makes 18

For the cupcakes:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon butter flavoring
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup cream soda (I just used F&N’s Ice Cream Soda)

For the ganache:

  • 1 11-oz. package butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup heavy cream (I used 1 cup buttermilk)

For the buttercream frosting:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup butterscotch ganache
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon butter flavoring
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 16-oz. package powdered sugar
  • Splash of milk or cream (as needed)

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This recipe makes such a yummy batter! Good thing I was fasting, or I’d have gobbled it up

For the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and prepare your cupcake pans
  2. In a medium sized bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl (or use self-raising flour! which I just figured out already has baking powder in it...)
  3. In a large bowl, cream your butter until light and fluffy. Add sugar and beat until well-combined
  4. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Then beat in your vanilla and butter flavouring
  5. Alternate adding your buttermilk, cream soda, and dry ingredients in batches until all are well incorporated
  6. Fill cupcake liners up to around 3/4 of the sides, I used a medium sized ice-cream scoop to get my measurements consistent, though. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted at an angle comes out clean

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For butterscotch filling:

1. 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

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I used buttermilk instead of heavy cream and got a really liquid “ganache”

2. Cool to room temperature. Fill a squeeze bottle with ganache and insert into the center of each cupcake, squeezing until filling begins to overflow.(I didn’t have a more appropriate squeeze bottle, so just used a cleaned out Wilton Cookie Icing bottle I’ve had in the bottom of my drawer)

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For buttercream frosting:

  1. Cream butter in a large bowl until fluffy
  2. Add in ganache, vanilla, butter flavoring, and salt and mix until well combined
  3. Beat in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until reaching desired consistency
  4. Add milk or cream slowly, just until you achieve the consistency you desire
  5. Decorate cupcakes and top with a drizzle of butterscotch ganache (I think without the butterscotch ganache is fine)

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Look, this one looks like a wizard’s hat!

I used a Wilton 1A tip for these cupcakes

I brought a container of cupcakes to the Bazaar/flea market in Rasta TTDI later that night, and we managed to sell out at RM3 a piece (though all proceeds went straight to our fund to help a friend in need, more on that later). Not bad, eh? Though in future, I’ll probably make mini cupcakes for these things.

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I definitely prefer it without the extra drizzle on top. Very sweet on it’s own!

On a side note, please click this link to a Facebook page for our friend Rara. She is in need of financial assistance for her medical bills, as she’ll be in an out of surgery. I don’t know Rara personally, but we do share a group of friends who are all actively trying to help her and her family out.

Thanks, and enjoy the magic

x Nabiya

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