Butterbeer Cupcakes

It seems like everyone I know has made these in honor of the HP7.2 premiere – probably because I only know the coolest people. There’s no better way to kick off the recipes on here, because this one was full of all sorts of techniques I had never before attempted in baking – making ganache, filling cupcakes, etc.

I found the recipe here, on amy bites. Sadly, I did not spot her Golden Snitch Butterbeer Cake Pops until too late, but I think gum paste may have been too ambitious anyway.

Instead of making 18 regular-sized cupcakes like the directions say, my co-worker recommended (and gave me) 48 two-inch foil baking cups from Reynolds. They were fantastic, because I could use them just on a cookie sheet – meaning I was able to make 30 cupcakes on two cookie sheets. This was a huge time-saver for which I was glad, ┬ábecause I started the whole process a little later than I wanted.

Here is my adaptation of the recipe:

Cupcake:

2 C flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 C (1 stick) margarine
1/2 C granulated sugar
1/2 C dark brown sugar, packed
3 large eggs
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp butter flavoring
1/2 C buttermilk
1/2 C cream soda

Preheat oven to 350 F. Cream margarine with sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and butter flavoring; and mix well. Combine dry ingredients in a different bowl (flour, baking powder and soda, and salt). Add buttermilk, cream soda, and dry ingredients by alternating and mixing well in between each addition. Fill each cupcake liner 3/4 full and bake until center comes out clean with a toothpick. With these smaller cupcakes, it took between 12 and 15 minutes. Remove cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Ganache:

1 11-oz. package butterscotch chips
1 C heavy cream

In a double-boiler (or a larger saucepan sitting on top of a smaller saucepan), combine and melt butterscotch chips and cream. Cool to room temperature.

I transferred the melted ganache to a glass, liquid measuring cup and put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes to cool it, because I can get impatient when I bake. A layer of what I can only assume was fat appeared on the top of the ganache. When I tried to mix it, it just broke up into chunks and did not dissolve into the cooled ganache. When I transferred the ganache to a plastic squeeze bottle (courtesy my co-worker), I just filtered out the chunks with a rubber spatula. There was more than enough ganache for the entire recipe, so I was not concerned about loosing a small amount.

Insert tip of squeeze bottle into each cupcake, filling with ganache until it overflows a bit out the top. There never seemed to be any consistency in how much ganache the cupcakes took.

Frosting:

1/2 C (1 stick) margarine, softened
1/3 C butterscotch ganache
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp butter flavoring
1/8 tsp salt
1 16-oz. package powdered sugar

Cream margarine in a large bowl until creamy. Mix in ganache, vanilla, butter flavoring, and salt. Beat in powdered sugar, a little bit at a time. Frost cupcakes and drizzle with ganache.

The original recipe calls for the addition of milk or cream if the frosting is too thick. I had the opposite problem – my frosting was really runny. I didn’t want to add any more sugar, because it was already too sweet, so I left it as more of a glaze. Perhaps the use of margarine instead of butter causes this? I don’t know. I also attempted to use a piping bag (I know – I was feeling fancy), but the consistency of my frosting was not right for a bag, so the frosting just poured out the tip. Instead, I employed the use of my frosting spatula and just tried to slather the frosting on each cupcake. The frosting did harden after a few minutes of being on the cupcake (just not before making a huge mess all over my hands and the cookie sheets). After frosting once, I went back through and added more frosting, because really, “too much frosting” is just not something in which I believe. When I came back with the ganache, it melted a bit. I also wonder if the temperature of my apartment had something to do with it. I decided to let the cupcakes sit overnight, and I drizzled a little more ganache on them before I packed them up for work.

They may not look the prettiest, but I’m sure it’s just a sugar rush wrapped into a delicious little package, so I’m not too concerned my co-workers won’t like them:

Butterbeer cupcakes

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