There’s something about extreme weather that makes us almost instinctively nestle into our homes, doing what we can to make them comfortable and comforting for our loved ones. For me, this often involves a flurry of cleaning followed by a marathon of over-cooking – usually some kind of potato based comfort food – followed by lots of baking.
This past storm was no different. And so while I sat on that first dark and stormy night, listening to Sandy’s howling wind and torrential rain against the windows, my thoughts turned to baking-specifically cupcake baking and particularly Dark and Stormy cupcake baking.
My Aunt Anne introduced me to my first Dark and Stormy cocktail during one of our “excellent adventures” to watch our beloved Boston Red Sox. We make these trips, along with my Uncle Hillary and sister Laura, all across North America, once or twice a year to cheer on the Red Sox or the New England Patriots, depending on the season. The only real pre-requisite for these adventures is that there must be an official trip cocktail. And so it was that I had my first Dark and Stormy.
Dark and Stormy’s are not for the faint of heart. The 151 proof Gosling’s Black Seal dark rum, combined with the spicy ginger-beer, makes for an intense cocktail that truly warms the body and soul. The perfect cocktail to take off that wintry chill.
These Dark and Stormy cupcakes stay true to their namesake cocktail. The gingery dark batter baked with the rum enhanced light batter create a bold, moist, flavorful cupcake, topped with rum-spiked cream cheese frosting. A few extra steps, but definitely worth the effort…. the next time you’re stuck in the house on a dark and stormy night.
Dark And Stormy Cupcakes
(adapted from cupcakes Take the Cake)
Dark Ginger Cake Batter
1 rounded tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon baking soda
In a large bowl, mix the molasses, sugar and oil. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, cinnamon, cloves, and black pepper. Microwave the water to just boiling. Stir in the baking soda. Add to wet ingredients. Stir in grated ginger. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Add egg and mix until combined. Batter will be thick and bubbly.
Light Rum Batter
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 whole egg, 1 yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
3/8 dark rum
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla, lemon rind, and rum, beating well after each. Batter will look slightly curdled. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add dry ingredients to wet, alternating with the whipping cream, starting and finishing with the dry ingredients.
Fill paper lined muffin tins half full of the dark batter. Top each with a large dollop of the light batter.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Combine 4 tablespoons of butter, 3/8 cup of sugar and 1/3 cup of dark rum in a sauce pan over medium heat until sugar completely dissolves.
Cool for approx. 10 minutes.
Cool cupcakes for approx. 15 minutes. Poke holes in the cupcakes with toothpick, then gently ladle spoonfuls of the syrup over the cupcakes.
Dark Rum Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cream together butter and cream cheese. Add 1 cup of powdered sugar, vanilla, and dash of dark rum. Continue to add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until desired consistency. Add dark rum to taste. Sprinkle with minced candied ginger, if desired.