Thursday, August 23, 2007

Calimocho Cupcakes

*read the last entry for part one of the work picnic cupcake story*

So, as you have just read (because you are so good at following directions) I wanted to make an alcohol based cupcake for my work picnic. I wanted to make a “cuptail” as some have dubbed it. The decision was off of which wonderful cocktail would I base my cuptail? I wanted something unusual, yet tasty; classy, yet fun. I was going to try a cuba libre cupcake, but those have a chocolate base and frosting, and since brownies were supplied, I didn’t want anything chocolatey. I needed to create my own cuptail.

The cocktail I decided to base it on was the Spanish calimocho. The calimocho is a drink consisting of equal parts red wine and coke. For those who thumb their noses at the sound of wasting wine by making it a cocktail, think. Red wine and coca cola. Can it be that bad?

I had actually stumbled across this fantastic combination quite on accident. In high school I took a trip to Europe and we went on a wine tasting tour. Since I was about 15 at the time, I didn’t drink and had no admiration for wine whatsoever. So, I, the uncouth young American, brought a bottle of coke with me on this wine tasting adventure. After every sip of wine that I didn’t like (which was every one) I washed my mouth out with a swig of cola. Hmm, the combination was actually rather good. I then started liking the red wines, so long as I drank coke before the after taste got me.

Then, this past Spring, I was doing research for my time in Barcelona and found that Spanish people drink wine cocktails, but not normally sangria. Some drink calimochos, that same red wine and coke combination I thought I had created!
So, I decided that this little known and often mocked cocktail deserved its own cupcake. Unfortunately, there were no recipes online, so I had to create one to represent this fine drink. It turned out to be everything I wanted! It was unusual (in that few think of combining wine and coke) and yet really tasty (the boy said this was my best creation yet; even better than the banana pudding cupcake). It is classy (has wine and comes from a European cocktail) yet fun (can you say calimocho without smiling?). Oh, and it wasn’t even chocolate! I have to add at this point that not only was it tasty, it is the softest, moistest cupcake, ever. I added extra wine and coke to increase their flavor, and it ended up making a great texture. Feel free to decrease the amount of liquid if you prefer a more solid cupcake though. Also, without food dye, the cupcakes come out a greenish color, so I added red dye. Feel free to add it or leave it out
Changes for next time: dear G*D I should make regular sized cupcakes. It took FOREVER to make the entire batch into mini cupcakes. Seventy Two mini cupcakes to be precise. And I could only bake 24 at a time. And I could only decorate one at a time. It took forever. Next time, make regular sized cupcakes! Perhaps decrease the oil even further so that the majority of the liquid is flavored with wine or coke. Could also probably try making either a cola or a wine cupcake with the frosting being the opposite flavor. Would be worth trying, but not necessary.
Calimocho Mini Cupcakes
1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 (3.5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
3/4 cup red wine
¾ cup coke of other cola
1/6 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
red dye
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, line mini muffin trays.
Combine cake mix and pudding mix in a large bowl. Add wine, coke and vegetable oil and mix lightly. Add eggs and dye and mix until smooth.
Fill muffin tins ½- ¾ full, then bake 10-12 min.

Calimocho Frosting
1 8oz package of Neufchatel Cheese (like low fat cream cheese), softened
¼ cup butter or margarine, softened
1 ½ tsp red wine
1 ½ tsp coke or other cola
Heaping cup of powdered sugar
red dye
In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the wine and coke, then gradually whip in the confectioners' sugar and dye. Store in the refrigerator until firm. Pipe or spread onto cupcakes. Store in fridge

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