Thursday, July 14, 2011

Cherry Coke and Strawberry Daiquiri

This past weekend I went back to the 80's.  A friend was celebrating her 40th birthday and her husband threw her a great party.  We started off with a wonderful dinner where we all behaved like adults and then regressed back to our youth as the night went on.  The birthday girl requested a cupcake bar at her celebration.  She didn't request any particular flavors, just a fun variety.  I worked with another friend to come up with a couple flavor options and after much deliberation we decided on Strawberry Daiquiri, Key Lime, Cherry Coke and Chocolate Cream.  I didn't get any pictures of the final cupcake display, we didn't set it up until later in the evening and had left the "adult" stage far behind us.  I am hoping there is a picture of the cupcakes out there somewhere as we decided to make themed cupcake wrappers about 3 hours before the party.  We found paper reminiscent of each of her 40 decades and cut wrappers using this template.  They took more time than we anticipated, but they were really cute and made the display look wonderful.
I made the Strawberry Daiquiri and Cherry Coke cupcakes and was very happy with both.  I have been playing around some adult flavor cupcakes and the Strawberry Daiquiri is definitely one I will be adding to my list.  The rum taste was subtle, but flavorful enough that you knew what you were having.  I opted with a buttercream frosting since they were going to be in the car and then sitting outside, but I think they would be great with just simple whipped cream topping.

For the daiquiri cupcakes I used a basic white cake mix and followed the directions on the box replacing the water with daiquiri mix and rum and adding a little lime zest.  As I said they were flavorful without being overly powerful.  I topped them with a rum and lime zest buttercream and they were decorated with a little more zest and half a strawberry.

The Cherry Coke cupcakes were also a big hit, both within my family and at the party.  I was lucky to leave the house them, I think Will would have been happy eating the entire batch.  The coke flavor is not very strong, but it does give the cupcakes a great texture and when mixed with the cherry juice you definitely know what you are eating.  Steph over at Cupcake Project recommends using Kola extract to enhance the flavor.  I was short on time and wasn't able to order some for this batch, but would love to have some on hand for future batches, it would make these cupcakes perfect.

Cherry Coke Cupcake
Printer Ready  makes 24 cupcakes

3 c. Flour
1/4 c. Cocoa Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 1/2 c. Sugar
1/2 tsp. Salt
2. c. Butter, at room temperature
1 c. Buttermilk
2. c. Cocoa-Cola
1 tsp. Maraschino Cherry Juice
24 Maraschino Cherries, stemless

Preheat oven 350.  Line cupcake pan with wrappers, set aside.  

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt, set aside.  In bowl of electric mixer cream sugar and butter, mix together until light and fluffy.  In medium bowl mix together buttermilk, cocoa-cola and cherry juice.  Alternately add flour and liquid mixture to creamed butter, beginning and ending with the flour.  Divide batter evenly between cupcake tins.  Drop one cherry into each cupcake.  Bake for 15 minutes or until tester comes out clean.
Top with cherry flavored buttercream and whole cherry

Cherry Buttercream
Printer Ready

½  c. Vegetable Shortening
½ c. Butter, at room temperature
4 c. Confectioners Sugar, sifted
1 Tbs. Milk
2 Tbs. Cherry Juice
¼ c. Finely Chopped Maraschino Cherries

In mixing bowl cream shortening and butter together until smooth and blended.  Slowly add confections sugar, scrapping bowl as necessary.  Add milk mix until fluffy.  Add cherry juice, mix until combined. Carefully stir in cherries.