My two "neighbours" at my secondment job, Aaron and Andrew, decided to test my baking skills by asking me to make Red Bull cupcakes. Given that they both generally drink "V", containing guarana, I was surprised at this shift in brand allegiance. I was also a little worried by this request, as I didn't want to be responsible for people getting a little too excited on all that caffeine. However, never being one to shy away from a challenge, I agreed to take on their request. This is how Red Bull cupcakes were born.
Now I know that Coca Cola and Red Bull are not the same, but I believed that I could use Nigella's recipe for Coca Cola Cupcakes from How to Be a Domestic Goddess as my base cake recipe, and simply substitute Red Bull for Coca Cola. And lo, an idea was born.
Weirdly enough, these actually worked. The cakes smelt horribly like Red Bull (not one of my favourite smells!), and tasted like caramel cakes. My friend Aphrodite, who has never tasted Red Bull in her life before, thought that these were caramel cupcakes. Although I chose not to decorate them in a fancy way (I actually felt very average when I made these, as I was still recovering from my head cold, so I did as little as possible), this was actually a good thing, as these cakes were made for the boys. And the boys loved them!!! It certainly is not something that I would have chosen off my own bat to make, but I am glad that the recipients of the cupcakes were pleased with the results. The boys had wanted me to add a syrup made from guarana powder to the cakes as well, but you can't buy this from an Australian health food shop - you have to buy guarana powder online, and there was no time for that.
To make these cakes, you will need:
200g plain flour
250g white sugar
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
175 ml Red Bull
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
225g icing sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons Red Bull
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a 12 hole muffin tray with cupcake liners.
Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt together into a bowl and set aside.
Beat the egg, buttermilk and vanilla together in a separate bowl.
Place the butter, cocoa and Red Bull into a saucepan, and place the saucepan over a low heat, stirring, to melt the butter. Pour the butter into the dry ingredients and combine, then mix in the egg mixture.
Divide the cupcake batter evenly between the muffin pans, and bake in the preheated oven for around 20 minutes or until the cakes are cooked through. Tip the cooked cakes out of the muffin pan immediately on removing them from the oven, and leave them to cool on a wire rack.
Place the butter, Red Bull and cocoa in a small saucepan, and stir the contents over a low heat until the butter has melted. Take the butter mixture off the stove and stir through the vanilla. Beat in the icing sugar, one spoon at a time, until you have a spreadable but runny icing. Spoon the icing on top of the cupcakes while they are still warm, then leave them to set.
Enjoy with a Red Bull!
I can't go without mentioning that I went to a Crowded House concert on Tuesday night at The Forum in Melbourne, and it was magnificent! The warm-up act, Anika Moa, was very endearing and a great singer. I was already familiar with Anika's music because I accidently bought her album in New Zealand when I was looking for Brooke Fraser's - and what a happy accident it was. The Crowdies themselves played for nearly 3 hours, and had a lot of fun with the audience in a more intimate venue than they would normally perform in. I was very close to the front (I would have been closer, but I had to stop and buy a tour T-shirt on the way in!!), and absolutely loved being so close to my favourite band. If you ever see Pekingese dogs running around with camp lights on their heads, look out for the Crowdies! (You had to be there ...)