Momma Told Me: No regrets, eat the cake.
I'd like to apologize in advance for the potential loading time, and photo intensive post ahead; however, Momma Told Me to live live un-apologetically. That's not to say I go around shoving ice cream cones in the faces of little children, or wear my britches around my ankles simply because I can. Instead, it means I live with no regrets. I own up to my own actions, take the praise (And consequences) for my decisions, and whenever possible, eat the cupcake. This blog, Momma Told Me, is very much about Momma and my childhood, but it is my corner of the web. While I may do product placement, in the form of reviews, or inspired posts, I never 'plug' anything I do not already use myself; and I never leave the nitty-gritty behind for excess fluff. I fill my posts with full scale photos, that may be tedious for some processors to load, and can get a little wordy once the virtual ink starts flowing. Some love this, some (mainly those who would be counting load times and bounce rates) do not. Do I care about those who do not? To be blunt, no. I am here for my own therapeutic benefit, blogging away the memories of my childhood, and as much as I love my readers, I would just as happily sit here and type with 5, as much as 5k. That's why those of you who keep coming back, truly love this site, isn't it?
In any case, in 2013, I've been trying to get back into some of the things that inspire me; this week baking, next week I might pick up a sketch pad and work on drawing. Now, while I cook every single day, I do not bake as near as often. Baking, which often implies sugar but does not have to, is thought of to be a more frivolous kitchen creative. As someone who went on a low sugar diet late 2012, I know all too well the dangers of a stocked pantry. Customarily, I truly enjoy baking, but do so creatively, and when I have occasion. Every year I make my father a unique cake from scratch (last year was Dark Chocolate Chipotle, the year before an entirely edible 'BLT' cake complete with white chocolate dipped Ruffles), and inevitably throughout the year I am asked to do various children's birthday cakes. Mind you, I am no professional, aside from watching one too many episodes of Cake Boss and Cupcake Wars, I have no training. Things do not always turnout as picturesque as I'd envisioned them, but, so long as they taste good, I chalk it up to a win.
So, while I still haven't installed a fancy Recipe Add-On to blogger, and some may find cutting/pasting my recipes between photos a pain' recall there are no apologies from this Pink haired blogger. What you are about to see is the result of Cupcake Wars inspiration that inspired my own variation on Cola Cupcakes, yes, cupcakes made with soda (and no, that can't be healthy for the body, but it's oh so good for the soul!) If you do a Google search you'll likely find hundreds of hits for 'soda cupcakes' or 'Coke cupcakes'. some recipes are as simple as substituting the water in boxes mixes with soda. Some warn never to use diet soda as a substitute, and others include as many as 15 ingredients. Each and ever one has some sort of witty addition to the soda cake concept, the most popular being to top the cupcake with a Maraschino cherry, or cherry flavored frosting. In the end, the photos included are the result of hours of research and tinkering in the kitchen, to bring you 3 cohesive recipes; the Cola Cupcake itself, Dark Chocolate Cola Glaze, and Licorice Filling. Garnishes include Licorice Filling Filled Red Vines (Sugar Free, don't question me, this was the only thing I could munch on while baking without going diabetic!), and Cola Gummis by Haribo.
* 4oz Red Licorice (Red Vines Preferred)
* 1 3/4C Water
*1 1/4C Granulated Sugar (Or Splenda Baking Substitute)
* 1/4 C Cornstarch
* 1/4 TSP Salt
*3 Large Egg Yolks, Lightly Beaten
1.) Tear licorice into even, 1 inch, pieces and add to saucepan with water. Heat until mixture begins to boil and most of licorice has dissolved. Constant stirring will aid in even 'melting' of candy.
2.) Remove from heat and allow to cool 2-3 minutes.
3.) Whisk in dry ingredients and yolks.
4.) Place back over medium heat, whisking constantly until mixture evens to a thick and bubbly compound. Continue to cook an additional minute, then remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
Licorice filling will not solidify, and can be kept at room temperature; though refrigeration is suggested when preparing more than a day in advance. If stored in fridge, remove an hour before filling cupcakes and leave at room temperature to soften. I like to keep this mixture in a classic squeeze bottle (think pouring chocolates or old mustard bottle), with a spout to insert and 'fill' the cupcakes.
Dark Chocolate Cola Glaze
* 1/4 C Cola (Coca Cola preferred, diet substitutes will change thickness)
* 2 TBS Dark Cocoa Powder
* 2C Powdered Sugar
* 4 TBS Melted Butter, or margarine substitute
1.) Melt butter in a small pan over medium-low heat, or in microwave.
2.) Combine melted butter , cocoa powder, and cola in saucepan and whisk well. Remove from heat.
3.) When the mixture begins to boil, introduce powdered sugar gradually, constantly whisking.
Dark Chocolate Glaze will keep at room temperature, sealed, for up to 72 hours. As the mixture cools it will thicken to a chocolate syrup consistency.
Cola Cupcake Recipe
* 2C (1 Can) Cola, Coca Cola preferred, Diet will thin texture of cake.
* 1C Unsweetened, Dark Cocoa Powder
* 1/2 C (1 stick) Butter, Sliced For Melting
* 1 1/4 C Granulated Sugar (or Splenda Baking Mix)
* 1/2 C Packed Dark Brown Sugar
* 2 1/2 C All Purpose Flour
* 1 1/4 TSP Baking Soda
* 1 TSP Salt
* 2 Large Eggs
Preheat oven to 325F
1.) Treat cupcake liners with nonstick cooking spray, or use foil based liners. This batter will 'bleed' through paper liners.
2.) In a saucepan, heat Cola, Cocoa Powder, and Butter over Medium heat until combined/melted.
3.) Add sugars and whisk until completely dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool 5-6 mins, or with gentle water bath.
4.) In a large bowl combine remaining dry ingredients.
5.) In a separate bowl gently whisk eggs. Slowly introduce eggs into cooled cocoa mixture until combined.
6.) Gently fold flour into wet mixture. Batter will be slightly runny and lumpy. Resist the urge to over beat, which can change the texture of the finished cake.
7.) Pour the batter into prepared liners just under 3/4 full and bake for 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before decorating/filling.
(Kinda Cherry) Cupcake Assembly
1.) Keep cupcakes chilled until ready to fill/decorate. Introduce Licorice Filling into center of cupcakes via bottle or tipped bag, about 1" deep and fill until resistance if felt.
2.) Drizzle a TBS of Cola Chocolate Glaze atop cupcakes. If desired, use a toothpick to 'aerate' the top of the cupcake to allow the glaze to absorb quicker. Be careful not to run over the side of your liners!
3.) Top generously with Cool Whip Vanilla Frosting (Read more about my experiences below).
4.) Garnish as desired- I chose to cut my extra licorice in thirds and fill with remaining Licorice Filling. I then rolled the tops of these faux 'straws' in Strawberry PopRocks for a little extra interactive element guests and kids love. I balanced out the garnish with a Cola Gummi from Haribo.
What Daughter Says: This is one cake you'll try just to say you have- but be careful, the elements on their own are addictive!