Caramel Apple & Irish Whiskey Clafoutis

March 8, 2014

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Have mercy! Is it the weekend yet? I’ve got just the perfect weekend lazing around and drinking early brunch dish for you. A Caramel Apple & Irish Whiskey Clafoutis! Wowzers right?!! A clafoutis is a french dessert that consists of baked fruit (usually cherries) in a flan like batter. I found this wonderful whiskey splashed Irish twist on that classic French dish over at Edible Ireland  (love that site! – great recipes, beautiful photography – what more could you want)and just couldn’t wait to make it. (as if the weekend could mosey on up any slower…)

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Now I know of few of you folks out there are probably smirking and thinking “Yeah, so much for her lazy weekend if she was making some sort of French thing, which you just know has to be time-consuming, complicated and annoying!” Oh I am so happy to say that you would be wrong. This dish, impressive – yet rustic – as it looks was quite easy to make and delicious to boot!

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But if you’re still being a doubter, perhaps you would perk up a bit knowing that you can make the apple caramel mixture up the night before. That way when the weekend arrives, you won’t have to spend one more extra precious moment than necessary “slaving away” in the kitchen. You just heat the apples up, mix up the batter, add the apples in and pop it into the oven . Easy peasy. Then you can just sit around sipping your mimosa (or Buck’s Fizz). Before you know it that decadent brunch treat will be ready and your weekend will be off to a fantastic whiskey-caramel-apple-y start!

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Caramel Apple & Irish Whiskey Clafoutis

recipe from: Edible Ireland

Ingredients:

for the batter:

  • 80 g (2/3 cup) flour
  • 75 g (1/3 cup) sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder (optional – but it will keep the clafoutis from sinking as quickly when removed from the oven)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 100 g (6 tablespoons) butter, melted
  • 250 ml (1 cup) milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

for the apples:

  • 30 g (2 tablespoons) butter
  • 4 crisp eating apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 60 g (1/3 cup) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons Irish whiskey*

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Butter a 25 cm (10 inch) pie plate or cast iron skillet or large individual ramekins.

To make the caramel apples, melt a knob of butter in a large pan over a medium-high heat. When it’s sizzling, reduce the heat to medium and tip in the apples, sugar and cinnamon, stirring to coat the apples in the butter and sugar. Cook the apples for about 5 minutes, until they have softened and the sugar has turned syrupy. Keep warm.

Whisk the flour, sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, melted butter, milk and vanilla. Pour half of the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, whisking until it looks like a paste, then add in the rest of the liquid, whisking until the batter is smooth and well blended. (Alternatively, you could just place all the batter ingredients in a blender and whizz until smooth.)

Place the pie plate or skillet on a baking sheet to catch any drips when the clafoutis is cooking in the oven. Pour in the batter, then using a slotted spoon, transfer the apples to the plate or skillet, leaving as much of the caramel sauce in the pan as you can and making sure the apples are evenly distributed. Bake the clafoutis in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the clafoutis is puffed up and golden brown and the centre is set.

About 5 minutes before the clafoutis is done, reheat the caramel in the pan to loosen it again, then stir in the whiskey and allow to cook for 1 or 2 minutes to burn off the alcohol. Serve the clafoutis warm with the caramel whiskey sauce drizzled over.

*If you’ve had a “whiskey incident” and know you couldn’t smell, much less taste whiskey first thing in the morning, switch it out for some brandy or calvados.

** This is also a great dessert recipe. Just imagine serving it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream drizzled with that caramel whiskey sauce. Yum!

Enjoy!

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Chocolate Whiskey Dipped Irish Cupcakes

March 17, 2013

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Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daiobh! (Happy St. Patrick’s Day!) Woohoo! It’s finally here! Everyone is Irish today! I’m sticking with my blogging tradition and featuring a tasty Irish-y cupcake on St. Patrick’s Day. Two years ago it was Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes, last year brought you Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with a Swiss Vanilla Baileys Buttercream Frosting and today…(drumroll please….) we have these deliciously decadent Chocolate Whiskey Dipped Irish Cupcakes. And just like all of my previous St. Patrick’s Day cupcakes, these little devils are a bit boozy. In fact, they have a perfect trifecta of Irish Booze. The cake portion of this treat is a rich chocolate Guinness creation, which is then topped with a velvety Baileys Cream Cheese Frosting. That sounds great all on its own right? I could’ve stopped there, but oh no….I then dipped the whole thing into a Irish Whiskey spiked Chocolate Ganache! Be still my heart!

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I was inspired to make these when I saw Arctic Garden Studio’s Irish Coffee Cupcakes. I loved the idea of piling on all of that creamy Baileys frosting and then dipping the cupcake into the whiskey chocolate. It reminded me of those dipped soft serve ice cream cones. You know like the ones at Dairy Queen, or from a Mr. Whippy truck or a 99 Flake ice cream for all of you in Britain and Ireland.

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For those of you unfamiliar with a “99” it is a soft serve vanilla ice cream cone which has a piece of a Cadbury chocolate bar which is called a “Flake” stuck into it.

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You can find them at all the shops etc. in Ireland. I even managed to find a Flake candy bar in good old Virginia, no small feat, and stuck it in one of my lovely cupcakes as a bit of an homage to the “99”.

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Even without the added Flake, these cupcakes are so reminiscent of dipped soft serve ice cream, albeit rather boozy – perhaps there is an adult ice cream truck – that my husband has christened them “Whiskey Whippy Cakes” which I like, but thought it might leave a lot of folks confused, so I went with Chocolate Whiskey Dipped Irish Cupcakes officially, but around here it’s another story! I don’t know what it is about us and ice cream cones recently. Perhaps we’re just ready for Spring, but since we don’t have those Spring temperatures yet, I guess we will just have to make do with these little boozy cupcake imposters.

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Ha! Everyone who knows me, knows I LOVE cupcakes so I’m not making much of a sacrifice here! These Whiskey Whippy Cakes will definitely make our St. Patrick’s Day all the more festive.

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Which reminds me, I think it’s time for a little celebratory drinky. I have managed to blog about an Irish-y dish everyday from March 1st up through today. Phew! I’m probably going to have to take a few days off after today’s publication, but don’t worry, I’m already planning out some great tempting future treats. In the meantime, check out some of my favourite blogs which come to you from Ireland to see what they’re cooking up, like: The Green Apron, I married an Irish farmer, Edible Ireland, Warm&Snug&Fat and The Daily Spud. And when you’ve finished browsing, get busy baking some of these mouth-watering Chocolate Whiskey Dipped Irish Cupcakes with their Guinness and Baileys and Whiskey (Oh My!) Just the ticket for a Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I hope everyone has a great time!

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Chocolate Whiskey Dipped Irish Cupcakes

recipe adapted from: Runcible Eats (the cake part of the cupcake) and Arctic Garden Studio

yield: 30 cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the Chocolate Stout Cupcakes:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup (  3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature and cubed
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cup Guinness, poured and settled before you measure it out
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream

For the Baileys Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • Two – 8 ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons Irish cream liqueur, such as Bailey’s Irish Cream

For the Chocolate Whiskey Glaze:

  • 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
  • 4 tablespoons whiskey

Directions:

for the cupcakes:

First, bake your cupcakes. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with muffin liners and spray lightly with non-stick spray. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt your butter and set aside to cool slightly, then add in the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the stout, then set aside to cool completely for another 10 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and sour cream, then whisk in the cooled chocolate and butter mixture. Whisk in the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt, combining until just moistened. Fill each muffin cup with 1/4 cup of batter, so that the cups are 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the cupcakes are set and a toothpick comes out clean (mine took about 24 minutes). Allow to cool completely before frosting.

for the frosting:

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat together the cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar until smooth. Beat in the Irish cream liqueur.
Pipe frosting on top of cupcakes using a pastry bag or spread on with a spatula. You want a nice thick layer. Place cupcakes in the refrigerator while making the glaze. This will make them easier to dip.

For the glaze:

Melt the chocolate with the cream and corn syrup in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the whiskey.
Dip the tops of the frosted cupcakes in the glaze right to the edge of the cupcake paper, let excess glaze drip off before turning upright. Let cool, right side up, until the glaze is firm. Store cupcakes in the refrigerator, remove and bring to room temperature (about 30 minutes) before serving. This recipe makes more glaze than you need, but makes it easier to dunk the tops of the cupcakes. Store remaining glaze in the refrigerator, it will form a whiskey ganache that can be used later as a hot fudge ice cream topping by slowly heating or added to hot milk for a whiskey hot chocolate.

Enjoy!


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