Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mudslide Cupcakes

I just got back from Savannah, GA and let me tell you something-- those people know how to eat.  The food there is out of control.  I seriously gorged myself on Southern food and drink for about 48 hours straight.  We traveled with our good friends and had a fantastic time-- we stayed at a famously haunted inn, and I managed to scare the mess out of myself the first day, before we even walked into our room.  The story is that a broken-hearted girl threw herself out of an upstairs window and now haunts room 204, moving things around and generally being ghost-y.  So Joe and I end up in room 203-- literally right next door to the ghost room.  Wonderful.  So we climb the little stairs, turn the corner to our room, and that's when I see it.  There is SOMETHING IN THE WINDOW in the hallway.  I shriek and drop my bags and that's when I's a mannequin.  A really bad mannequin in a bad wedding dress and a worse wig, draped in the curtains.  That's what I am running from.  At this point Joe is laughing so hard that he can't unlock the door-- it was ridiculous.  Luckily, that's most supernatural experience that we had this weekend (although there were mysteriously falling cell phones in our friends' room)-- we devoted the rest of our time there to eating our way through Savannah.

Savannah is amazingly hospitable and full of wonderful places to eat and drink-- we have a new favorite from this trip, though.  It's called The Olde Pink House and it's literally some of the best southern food I've ever had.  And I grew up in Jacksonville and I have eaten my fair share of Southern cooking, so that's pretty high praise.  Anyway, that's our recommendation for food if you ever find yourself out that way.  :)  I also made my traveling companions stop and sample cupcakes at the bakeries-- I really had to twist their arms (ha ha).  There were some good ones, but husband and friends kept talking about these Mudslide cupcakes that I made right around the 4th of July.  I also promised some family that I would post the recipe for these, so now that I'm home, I finally have a minute to do it.  So here they are-- enjoy!

Mudslide Cupcakes
Makes about 22 cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes
(Recipe from Annie's Eats)

9 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup strong coffee
1/2 cup milk (either whole or 2%)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Sift together the cocoa powder, cake flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.  In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, blend the butter and sugar on medium-high speed, until fluffy (about 4-5 minutes).  Add the eggs one at a time-- scrape the bowl after you add each egg.  Combine the coffee and milk in a liquid measuring cup.

Add half the dry ingredients to the sugar/butter and mix until just incorporated.  Next, add the coffee-milk mixture and stir until combined-- the batter will look pretty runny at this point.  Add the remainder of the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.  Spoon batter into cupcake pans with liners-- you should make these no more than 3/4 full, because these cupcakes rise and dome very well-- you don't want them to overflow.  Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Allow cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack.  When cupcakes are cool, core them in preparation for filling. 

While these cupcakes cool, I make the ganache and the icing.
Kahlua Ganache
(Adapted from

5 ounces chocolate, chopped (I used semi-sweet for this recipe)
1/3 cup heavy cream
3-4 Tbsp Kahlua

Place chopped chocolate in a heat-proof bowl.  In a small saucepan, bring cream to a simmer.  Pour cream over chopped chocolate, add the Kahlua and let it sit for 5 minutes.  This is important!  Don't be impatient and try to stir too early (like I did the first few times I made ganache).  Then, whisk until smooth.  Let the ganache cool-- it will thicken a bit as it cools.  Fill the cupcakes with the cooled ganache.
Bailey's Buttercream
(Adapted from The Curvy Carrot)
2 sticks (16 Tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (I used clear for this)
5-6 Tbsp Bailey's Irish Cream
In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter.  Add the vanilla and beat until incorporated.  Add three cups of the powdered sugar, one cup at a time-- beat until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl after each cup is added.  Add the Bailey's to taste (feel free to use more or less than what is listed in the recipe).  Add powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached.  Transfer icing to another bowl and cover until ready to use.
Kahlua Buttercream
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
3-4 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
4 Tbsp Kahlua
3 Tbsp hot coffee
In a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the butter.  Add three cups of the powdered sugar, once cup at a time-- beat until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl after each cup is added.  Add the cocoa powder, Kahlua, and coffee and beat until smooth (make sure you start your mixer slowly here-- I definitely flung Kahlua and cocoa powder all over my kitchen). If necessary, add more powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached. 
To ice the cupcakes:  I once again used the swirl method from GoodLife Eats, which you can access by clicking on the link (the highlighted name).  The description and instruction there is very clear and easy to follow-- I would just end up confusing you-- so check it out over there.  :)

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