Mojito Cupcakes for the teachers

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I can't believe today is Ozzy's last day of primary and his last day at his school. The school is closing and French Immersion will be moved to another school in our area. G says it's like deja vu...she started at the same school Oz went to this year and then was moved to the school Oz is going to next year when it opened.

At the end of October last year I started a new job and that meant I needed before and after school care for my little man. I was lucky enough to get a spot in EXCEL and while I worried about him having such a long day at school, he has loved every minute. And let's face it after the school year is up teachers deserve a little "cheer" to celebrate the end of another year with no casualties :)

Keeping in mind that we're on a budget, I wanted to give his EXCEL teachers something practical that they would enjoy but that wouldn't break the bank. One thing that screams summer to me in the mojito. My darling friend Kelly introduced them to me a few years back. At first I wanted no part of drinking something with mint but I didn't want to be rude so I took a glass figuring I would sip it. Yeah...that glass was gone in about 5 minutes and I think we went through 3 pitchers that night...but I digress...

Cupcakes and booze you can't go wrong! I searched Pinterest to find a recipe and didn't find one that I loved so I decided to mash a few recipes together..the result was an amazing, moist chocolate cupcake with a light and refreshing icing...These will be made again! The cake recipe made 24 regular and 24 mini cupcakes while the frosting was only enough to cover the regular cupcakes...guess those minis in my freezer will need a fresh batch in the near future! Enjoy!

Chocolate Mojito Cupcakes

Chocolate cake- adapted from Martha Stewart

Yields 24 cupcakes and 24 mini cupcakes

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups dutch-process cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil, plus 2 tablespoons
1  tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp pure peppermint extract
1 1/2 tbsp white rum
1 1/4 cups warm water

Preheat oven to 350F and line or spray two standard 12-cup muffin pans and 1 mini cupcake tray. 

Sift into the mixer bowl: flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the eggs, yolk, milk, oil, vanilla, peppermint, rum and warm water.  I like to combine my wet ingredients in a bowl and then add them. I find that I get a better cake texture in teh end. 

Beat with a paddle attachment on low speed until smooth and combined, about 3 minutes; scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed.

Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups (my batter was pretty liquid, so I used a measuring cup to pour it out into the muffin cups). 

Bake, rotating pans halfway through the baking time, until a cake tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan for a little bit and then transfer onto a wire rack or board to cool completely.
Cupcakes can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days (or frozen for a few months)

Mojito Icing- adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
2 tbsp white rum
1 pk know gelatin (about 2.25 tsp)
juice from half a lime
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 sprigs of fresh mint finely chopped
1/2 cup icing sugar
zest from 2 limes

Measure the rum onto a glass measuring cup with a handle. Sprinkle the gelatin over the rum, set aside.
In a bowl combine the whipping cream and the finely chopped mint. Set in the fridge. Zest the 2 limes and finely chop the zest (you can leave some more coarsely chopped for the garnish if you like)

After two minutes the gelatin should have softened in the rum. Add the juice of half a lime and whisk to combine. Place the glass cup with the gelatin mixture in a pot of bowling water and whisk until the gelatin in completely dissolved. Set aside and allow mixture to cool to room temperature.

Strain the cream mixture into the mixing bowl. Set aside the chopped mint for a later step. Whip the cream on high for 1 minute. Reduce speed and add the icing sugar, return to high, slowly pour in the gelatin mixture down the side of the mixing bowl. Whip until stiff peaks form.

Using a spatula, incorporate half the reserved mint and half of the lime zest. You can add a little green food colour if you like but make sure it has no taste!

I chilled the icing for 5 minutes before piping it onto the cupcakes using a large star tip. I garnished each cupcake with a small mint leaf and the remaining lime zest.

Store frosted cupcakes in the fridge.

I did bring a few into the office and they were met with rave reviews. These are a definite make again!

see?? oh so pretty!

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