I’m sorry, what? Booze in cupcakes?
Uh… yah! Why didn’t I try this sooner?
I’ve never tried baking with alcohol and probably wouldn’t have tried if it wasn’t for Chris’ friend. Let’s rewind so I can explain… his friend had asked me to make a Grand Marnier birthday cake for an event, and I happily agreed. I figured, sure, lets give it a shot – it’ll be good experience, I’ll have an excuse to bake a big cake, and I get to experiment with booze. Sounds fun, right?
Because I wasn’t too familiar with the flavour combination, I wanted to do a test-run first before making the real cake. So instead of a mini 6-inch cake… which I almost decided to make, I opted for cupcakes (bit less work for the test run). I’m sure you all know this already, but the combination of Grand Marnier + chocolate is absolutely delicious. I made these test run cupcakes a weekend before the actual cake was due, which worked out well because it also happened to be my dad’s birthday =)
I have to say that the cupcakes turned out pretty darn good – moist chocolate cake, filled with grand marnier chocolate ganache, topped with fluffy grand marnier buttercream. What a combination. The original recipe was posted on Three Many Cooks and it is a definite winner. The only change that I made was that I added a little more grand marnier to the ganache and buttercream and slightly decreased the sugar in the buttercream. Basically just added little by little and continued to taste until I was happy with the flavour.
A little tidbit of info if you like a stronger grand marnier flavour – don’t go nuts on the grand marnier off the bat. We found the grand marnier flavour got a little stronger as it sat in the ganache and buttercream, so I’d probably suggest to add just enough to taste it, then let it sit for a bit, taste it again and adjust if necessary.
Tip – if you need to practice piping out Happy Birthday with ganache, practice on a plate because its easy to scrape/ wash off!