Monday, September 15, 2008
Week 22: A little Sassafras and a lot of Fizz; Rootbeer Float Cupcakes
Hi friends! I am happy to share this cupcake with you for several reasons. As you know, I am never at a loss for words! In High School Sister Mary Christopher used to say to me "Dear child, you have to be the best extemporaneous speaker in your class." Little did I realize at the time she was mocking me a bit. I suppose our youth has a way of masking those moments from us. Or not... Sister Mary Christopher was not wrong, I have gone on to be able to hold my own ground in extemporaneous speaking, or being persuasive on short notice.
The reason I love this cupcake so much is because I love, love, love root beer floats. Oh my goodness what a treat. When I was a little girl I can remember my father making decked out root beer floats. My brother and I would sit on our back patio near the swimming pool under the large branches of a mango trees watching my father scoop enormous mounds of vanilla ice cream into frosty mugs. "You can't do this too quickly kids!" he would say to us. "Do you see how I slowly I am doing this?" Then he would begin to pour A&W Root Beer over the ice cream creating a frothy, bubbly eruption to appear! It seemed an eternity waiting for him to finish! I can remember squealing with glee as I finally got an icy mug with a foamy top spilling slightly over the edge. What I remember most about those days near the pool, was the anticipation and then the sharp bite of creamy root beer on my tongue. All that sassafras and fizz, creates a wonderful drink!
Now that I am older, I have to admit I love to create the same feeling of anticipation for my little guy with a root beer float. Yeah, I am cheesy like that! I suppose since I am "more modern gal" I like to buy IBC Root Beer in the dark amber bottles. I secretly have to laugh when he says "Hey Mom, can I have a beer?" I know I shouldn't encourage the idea of an 8 year old drinking an alcoholic beverage, but he thinks it is so bold for him to ask that question when I know he is talking about root beer! I do notice I seem to take painstakingly long to make a root beer float, but he is so excited while the ice cream is scooped, the foam is rising, the fizz is fizzing. It's all about anticipation.
Without further delay, I introduce The Cupcakery version of a root beer float in a cupcake! I was aiming for a moist cupcake with a not so subtle rootbeer flavor. I did not want it to be overwhelming either, so this was the challenge! I began looking around in cyberspace at root beer websites. They are about as varied as the cupcake world! I found a great site called The Rootbeer Brothers who had an absolutely delicious cupcake who they found from BitterSweet. After viewing many fantastic recipes, I decided to tweak this one. I was intrigued by the rootbeer soda, apple cider vinegar and extract combination. I have used canola oil in the past and for some reason I find this adds to making cupcakes exceedingly moist (plus it is heart healthy!) and I care about that!
I used a different frosting recipe, but feel free to use the ganache. I was looking for a light and airy frosting. The one I used, does not disappoint. I also think another tasty option would be Rootbeer Flavored Whipped Cream with a sprinkle of Nutmeg! Let me know if you try something different.
This cupcake was an enormous hit when I brought it into work. I heard a lot of reminiscing. My favorite was from a co-worker who said it reminded her of when her father would bring home root beer jelly beans at Easter from the Candy Barrel candy store. I guess I am not the only one hit with nostalgia!
Enjoy this tasty, creamy confection.
Rootbeer Float Cupcakes
1 Cup Root Beer Soda
1 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
3/4 Cup Sugar
1/3 Cup Canola Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 Teaspoons Rootbeer Extract
1 1/3 Cups Flour
3/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
Pinch of Salt
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and cupcake tins with papers.
2. Combine the soda and vinegar and let stand for a few minutes.
3. Add in the sugar and oil, whisking vigorously until slightly frothy.
4. Integrate your extracts, and gently introduce the flour, along with the baking powder/soda, and salt. Be careful not to over mix.
5. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared tins. Fill liners approximately 3/4 of the way to the top. Bake for about 18 - 22 minutes.
6. VERY IMPORTANT to let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
Root Beer Buttercream Frosting
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
3 tsp. McCormick® Root Beer Concentrate
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup milk
1. Beat butter in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.
2. Add Root Beer Concentrate; mix well. Mixture will turn a light amber color.
2. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until well blended after each addition and frequently scraping sides and bottom of bowl.
3. Add milk; beat until light and fluffy.
4. If frosting is too thick to pipe, add milk a splash at a time until you achieve the desired consistency. Rewhip before using.
* Should you not have root beer; make your own! It is so easy! Here is how:
Easy Homemade Root Beer
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick® Root Beer Concentrate
1 bottle (1 liter) cold soda water, seltzer or club soda
1. Bring water to boil in medium saucepan. Add sugar; stir until dissolved. Add Root Beer Concentrate; stir until well mixed.
2. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Slowly pour soda into root beer mixture until well blended and serve.