Monday, December 21, 2009

Eggnog Cupcakes

Eggnog Cupcakes:

(double this recipe to make 24 cupcakes)
1/4 cup dark rum or bourbon
1 cup eggnog
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
scant 1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly ground
1 cup sugar
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350F. Fill a 12-cup muffin tin with liners.In a small bowl, mix together rum, eggnog, vegetable oil, vinegar and vanilla.In a large bowl, mix together nutmeg, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Pour in rum mixture and whisk until just combined. Divide evenly into muffin tins (a 1/4 cup measure is a good tool for this).Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a tester comes out clean and the cakes spring back when lightly pressed.Cool in the pan for 3-5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before filling.

Prepare a yellow "pudding in the mix", following directions but substituting eggnog for the liquid and adding 1/4 tsp nutmeg and 1/4 cup dark rum. Fill cupcake liners and bake, allow to cool.

Eggnog Pastry Cream

- 1 cup eggnog (do not use fat-free)
- 1 cup whole milk
-4 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup sugar
- ¼ cup flour
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Heaping ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup rum

1. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, bring the eggnog and milk to a simmer.
2. While the mixture is heating, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, flour, cornstarch, nutmeg, salt and vanilla in a medium bowl.
2. Temper the egg mixture by slowly whisking in 1/3 to ½ of the heated eggnog mixture, then whisk the tempered egg mixture back into the eggnog mixture in the saucepan. Return the pan to a medium-low to medium burner, bring the mixture to a low boil, and cook, whisking constantly, for about 4 to 6 minutes total, or until mixture is very thick. (Be careful not to overcook or the eggs will scramble.)
3. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl and press a piece of plastic wrap on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate to chill for at least 2 hours.
Fill cupcakes with pastry cream (thin with eggnog if too thick).

Whipped cream marshmallow frosting:

Funny story-- it was getting pretty late, and I only had less than an hour to get the frosting made and on the cupcakes (and get cleaned up and dressed for the party..). So instead of making stabilized whipped cream using gelatin (which doesn't always work out well anyway, especially when rushed), I remembered that I had a container of "Marshmallow Fluff" in the cupboard. So basically what I did was:
Whipped a pint of whipping cream until soft peaks began to form using a chilled balloon whisk attachment and chilled mixing bowl, and then added a small container of marshmallow fluff and 1/4 cup rum. Whip this until stiff peaks form, and then pipe onto cupcakes. Sprinkle with nutmeg to taste. Chill cupcakes until ready to serve, allowing them to sit at room temperature for one hour.


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