Here is another blog from our friends at the Juniper Cakery to make the festive period even cheerier.
The Christmas period has always been synonymous with liqueur fuelled festivities. Combine this with a little bit (or a lot) of indulgence at the dinner table and you should be left with a flurry of luxurious booze-y desserts! With this in mind Juniper Cakery have whipped up a tempting Brandy Alexander cupcake; a creme de cacao with dark chocolate and brandy cake swirled with silky brandy and mascarpone buttercream, dusted with gold and finished with twinkling edible star sequins just for The Devilled Egg! This decadent cocktail inspired cupcake will no doubt have all of the grown ups at the party rushing to your dessert tables and cake stands for a sample or several.
226g self raising flour
226g caster sugar
2 heaped tablespoons of cocoa powder
100g melted dark chocolate
50ml creme de cacao
Pre-heat your oven to Gas Mark 3 / 160C / 325F and line a cupcake pan with cupcake cases and set to one side.
Cream your butter and sugar first and when creamy add your eggs.
When mixed together it is time to add the flour.
Mix well until silky then roughly separate a quarter of your batter and leave to one side.
Add the cocoa powder to your remaining batter along with the melted dark chocolate, mix well and pour in the creme de cacao.
Place to one side and return to the batter you separated earlier and mix in the brandy.
How to create the two-tone Brandy Alexander cupcake
Step one: Prepare two separate piping bags and fill one will your brandy mix and the other with your creme de cacao mix.
Bring back the lined cupcake pan you prepared earlier.
Step two: Begin with your creme de cacao mix by piping a generous amount in each case in a circular motion. Ideally you will create a ‘well’ in the middle of each case but not to worry if this isn’t achieved.
Step three: Take the piping bag filled with your brandy mix and begin filling each well with fairly small amounts.
If there is no well for you to pipe into simply push your piping bag into the creme de cacao batter and pipe into it; this will create a similar, two-tone effect as the end of the piping bag will separate the batter enough for you to fill it with your brandy batter mix.
At this stage your cupcakes should have an outer circle of creme de cacao and an inner circle of brandy.
Don’t worry if they’re not perfect circles or some has more, of one flavoured batter in it then the other, as the overall look of your cupcakes will be determined in the oven.
Bake for around 20 minutes to 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean when tested.
Mascarpone & Brandy Buttercream Recipe
250-300g icing sugar (keep testing when adding to make sure it is the consistency and sweetness you like and are comfortable with)
3 heaped tablespoons of mascarpone (again, keep testing as you add this, if the buttercream becomes too runny add icing sugar little by little to stiffen) 25ml brandy
Dice the butter into pieces and add half to your mixer.
Once the butter is smooth gradually add icing sugar and the remaining butter (also diced into cubes) until you get a smooth, creamy texture.
Once happy with the taste and texture of your basic buttercream separate a quarter of it into another bowl.
Add the brandy to the separated buttercream, mix well and add a small amount of caramel / ivory food colour gel paste to get a slight two-tone technique when piping.
Put this to one side and add the mascarpone to your remaining buttercream and mix well.
How to pipe the two-tone buttercream
Step one: Fill one piping bag with your mascarpone buttercream and another with your brandy buttercream.
Step two: Snip both piping bags, fit your third bag with the 808 tip and place both filled piping bags inside.
Step three: Squeeze a little buttercream out onto a surface to ensure both the brandy and mascarpone buttercream are being released at the same time and if so you are ready to pipe onto your cupcakes, swirl generously using the 808 piping tip by Ateco!
Now you have luxurious Brandy Alexander cupcakes perfect for the festive season!