Sunday, March 18, 2012

Irish Coffee Cake

I love any holiday that encourages drinking good alcohol, especially those that can also be translated into drinking good alcohol while baking with alcohol too. That being said- here’s my second recipe, also based on a cocktail, from yesterday’s St. Patrick’s celebrations, Irish Coffee Cake.
The Irish Coffee cocktail consists of fresh brewed coffee poured over a sugar cube, spiked with a little Irish whiskey, then topped with a little lightly whipped, unsweetened heavy cream. For easy video instructions on the cocktail visit The Chew at ABC.com.
While inspired by the drink, I was a little unsure how to proceed with all the liquid without getting a mushy cake. So I decided on instant coffee first to K.I.S.S., we’ve all heard it: keep it simple stupid. I started with 3 cups of flour, added 2 tsp of baking soda, my salt, threw it in my mixer and then had a panic moment. “Maybe I should have researched this first?” I thought to myself. “Will I be able to dissolve the coffee in the butter (which I had already melted) or do I need to add water first or will that be too much liquid in addition to the milk?”
Pioneer Woman’s blog to the rescue! I typed in the words: coffee flavored cake, and her blog was the first thing to pop up! First world crisis averted. So when you see that our recipes are really similar I just want everyone to know her recipe definitely had a lot influence. I want to give proper credit. I feel like this recipe started as my own, but finished as an adaptation.
Irish Coffee Cupcakes

IRISH COFFEE CAKE:

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp Dutch process cocoa powder
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup of milk
3 Tbsp instant coffee
½ cup Irish whiskey
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups sugar
3 eggs

1.     Sift the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder together.
2.     Add the sugar to the other dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly.
3.     Melt the butter in a saucepan on the stove at a medium-low temperature.
4.     In a separate cup dissolve the instant coffee into the cup of milk. Pour contents into the butter.
5.     Add your Whiskey and vanilla to the butter.
6.     Turn your standing mixer on to level 4. Slowly start adding a third of your warm butter liquid. Leave the mixer on. Wait 20 seconds.
7.     Now add an egg, when the mixture is cool enough not to curdle the eggs.
8.     Repeat steps 6-7 two more times.
9.     Preheat oven to 325°.
10. Grease your chosen glassware/ coffee cups generously.
11. Fill glassware 1/3 full with cake batter.
12. Place filled cups on a cookie sheet for easy placement in/removal from the oven.
13. Bake for 25-35 minutes depending on the thickness and material of your glassware. I’d recommend checking for doneness in five-minute intervals the first time around. The cake is done when you can insert a toothpick into the center and the toothpick comes out clean.
14. If you accidentally overfilled your cup with batter and the finished product has overgrown, don’t panic. While the cake is still warm, take a bread knife and slice off the extra muffin top; let the knife rest on the rim of the glass as you cut. As the cake cools it will, retreat slightly back into the cup, leaving just enough room for the whipped Irish Cream topping.

WHIPPED IRISH CREAM:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
¾ cup Bailey’s Irish Cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

1.     Pour all your ingredients into one container, and refrigerate until just before serving.
2.     Pour chilled liquid into a mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed for two minutes and then high for a few more minutes until your reach a nice fluffy consistency.
3.     Drop two generous dollops a top each coffee cake, spread evenly with the back of a spoon.
4.     Sprinkles are optional, but always awesome.

You can make three 8” cake layers, or roughly 32 traditional cupcakes. Since it’s coffee flavored cake I went with 8, regular 6 oz coffee cups, although traditional Irish Coffee cocktails are served in footed glasses.
The taste came out better than I had anticipated. I fully intend to make this cake more often than just once a year. I hope you enjoyed your holiday and weren’t too hung over this morning!

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