Sunday, April 15, 2012

Coconut Rum-Raisin Cupcakes

If the sight of coconut rum-raisin cupcakes doesn't get your blood flowing and your juices pumping then frankly, I don't know what will. But please, try to hold yourself together. In Martha's cookbook each cupcake comes with a description. Perhaps to prepare you for what's coming or to tell you what the cupcakes are supposed to taste like in case you can't figure it out by the name of the recipe or the ingredients in it. Either way, the lovely description that comes with these cupcakes is as follows, "Drizzled with liquor-spiked caramel glaze and filled with rum-soaked raisins, these cupcakes are reminiscent of a popular ice cream flavor." Your mouth is now watering isn't it? Mine too.

I will be honest, the only thing I've ever heard involving rum raisin anything has to do with ice cream. I know 2 things about this particular flavor of ice cream. One involves a rather entertaining story about my dad that I don't quite remember all the details to, my mom could tell you. The other involves Bobby accidentally trying the ice cream on our vacation to the Dominican Republic last year when he thought what he was eating was vanilla ice cream. Honest mistake. It should be taken into consideration that the ice cream at our resort certainly couldn't hold a candle to my beloved Perry's Ice Cream (it's made outside my hometown and I miss it so much) but even so, it was not very tasty. Combine that knowledge with my dislike of coconut and I was not feeling particularly good about how these cupcakes would taste.

As you all are aware from reading about these stout cupcakes and these sticky toffee pudding cupcakes, I'm not very familiar with alcohol. And, if you haven't already figured it out from the name of these cupcakes, they required rum. Dark rum if we're being specific. Is Captain Morgan considered dark rum? I don't know, but today it was. We have nearly half a handle of Captain Morgan on top of our fridge that my dad left at our house that we never drink. Instead of buying more rum that we wouldn't drink I used the rum we already had on hand that we don't drink. Now that there's less in the bottle it at least looks like we're trying.

Nothing about this recipe was difficult, and in fact the batter pre rum, raisins and coconut was really good. Like, really, really good. As soon as I tasted it I suddenly had high hopes for the cupcakes. I thought even rum, raisins and coconut couldn't destroy this tasty concoction that I had created. I was right. Even once I had mixed in the above-mentioned ingredients the batter was still quite delicious. Things were looking good.

I filled my buttered and floured pans (someday cupcake liners will come back into my life) three-quarters full and baked the first batch for 30 total minutes with a turn halfway through the baking time. After the first batch I decided I could knock down the baking time a little bit. The cupcakes didn't turn out burnt or anything, but they were a little more golden than I thought they should be. For the remaining 2 batches I baked them for 26 total minutes with a turn halfway through the baking time, they were perfect. I tried a cupcake without the glaze and it was good. The only thing I didn't love were the raisins. I like raisins and they were fine in the cupcake, but the cake itself was so good it was almost like the raisins got in the way. In a surprising turn of events I didn't mind the coconut at all.

The rum-caramel glaze was nerve racking to make and I'm still not quite sure if it turned out exactly how it was supposed to, but it tasted good. And really, that's all the matters. I've made a glaze that required a similar process before, though I can't remember which cupcake it was for, and I always hate having to wait for the sugar-water mixture to turn color. I feel like I never know when it's reached the right hue and I should remove it from the burner. I waited until the mixture turned to what I thought was medium amber and then removed the pan from the stove. I added the rum and heavy cream. Martha was right when she warned me that this would cause the glaze to splatter. It sure did! It was like watching an experiment or something, it was actually pretty cool. But, I think I waited too long to start stirring since I ended up having some chunks of hardened glaze. However, I wasn't too worried because there was plenty of liquid glaze to use and it tasted just fine. The alcohol wasn't even noticeable in the glaze, or in the cupcakes for that matter. If I didn't now it was there, I wouldn't have known it was there.