I did it. I succumbed. I joined Pinterest. PIN ALL THE THINGS! And then, like a magical beacon of light, a cupcake photo appeared on my wall page site board.
Dark Chocolate Jack Daniels Whiskey Cupcakes. (Suddenly those petit fours instructing Alice, “Eat Me” didn’t seem so far fetched.)
PIN ALL THE SUGARY WHISKEY-Y WONDERFULNESS! I pinned the delectable to the board I have aptly named, “Recipes I will likely blow up before they’re ready.” An omen perhaps? No matter. Challenge accepted. I. Must. Have. These. Cupcakes.
At that moment, the devil decked the angel right off my shoulder and the two of us remaining decided the attempted baking-from-scratch of just such this culinary creation seemed like a great idea. (And if it seems like a good idea, what could go wrong…)
To show some blog love, it seemed only right to share my newfound excitement by commenting on the post. Twenty odd failed CAPTCHA attempts later, I began wondering if the universe was trying to distract me from my baking endeavors.
It was off to the store. I had my list of ingredients to make the cupcakes, ganache and buttercream frosting from scratch.
Question 1: What is ganache?
Question 2: What is the difference between milk, buttermilk and heavy cream?
Question 3: Is kosher salt different from the blue container with the girl and the umbrella?
Question 4: Vegetable oil and olive oil are completely interchangeable right?
Question 5: How much whiskey should I be tasting? (Also, should the flavor be noticeable in the cupcakes?)
Question 6: Is there a difference between Jack Daniels and Jim Beam? Is this like Coke vs. Pepsi of alcoholic baked goods? (Note: Jack and Coke FAR preferable to Jim and Pepsi. Research people.)
Question 7: Given my culinary track record in combination with the ingredients required, will Jon be available to administer BSTs (baking sobriety tests) before I am permitted to operate any kitchen machinery.
I will not blow anything up. I will not blow anything up. I will not blow anything up.
Heeere we go! I grinned over at Jon as I began making preparations – with only a few minor alterations. “Let’s see how badly I can screw this up…”
“Ooh! Are we taking bets? I have some theories,” he replied excitedly.
I see my reputation precedes me.
With a flurry of flour dust and cocoa powder, I was mixing and mastering. And also tasting. I think it’s legal baking law that you must lick the bowl. Side note – alcohol may evaporate in the oven. It does not evaporate from the bowl. This is important information.
I still have no idea what ganache it. It appears to be a creamy melty chocolatey concoction that I then added more whiskey to. And it smelled DELICIOUS. It took all of my non-existent willpower to refrain from simply eating my bowl of melty goodness.
For the frosting, the recipe states, “If it isn’t a strong enough whiskey taste for you add Tablespoon by Tablespoon of whiskey until it is to your liking.” (For future reference, turns out this means add to the creamy batter. Not drink a Jack and Coke until the frosting tastes better. Live and let learn.)
After one tiny mishap in which I was quickly educated on the gravitational pull capabilities of ganache in a frosting squeezy bag, the cupcakes were cooled. Did you know that if you attempt to inject filling into the cake with just a wee bit too much energetic force, the muffin will explode?
I blew something up.
Whoops. But hey – I’ve been covered in FAR more chocolate due to an unforeseen explosion. Full body culinary experience. And so tasty too!
Finally the survivors were frosted and photographed. (You didn’t think I’d keep my handiwork hidden did you?)
I let Jon have the first cupcake. Because I’m a good wife like that. (Of course, I would have seemed like a pretty crappy significant other had I inadvertently poisoned him.) So strike that. I gave him the first cupcake but took one for myself to eat as well.
Great news! No one died.
“Oh my god. Am I going to be drunk? They’re good!” decreed Jon.
Lookitmee go! I can bake like a big girl! (This round’s for you G.G.)
Of course, I couldn’t tell you if a single cupcake will cause inebriation as I was tasting along throughout this experiment.
But I hear they’re pretty potent. And I’m happy to share. But you have to come to me. I shan’t be driving this evening.
Join me for a Jack and Coke and some dark chocolate sweets?