Nailed It – Author Home Addition…
To celebrate the new release of my book, The Blood King, I made up my own cupcakes that represent the hero and heroine from the book!
These cupcakes are a toffee bourbon cake with chocolate ganache and a blue cream cheese icing.
Why those combinations, you ask?
Ladon Ormarr is the King of the Blue Clan of dragon shifters, also known as the Blood King because of how he won his crown. Skylar Amon is a phoenix who hates dragon shifters, but also needs to join forces with him to protect her sisters and avenge her family.
The toffee cake is because Ladon is from England, and the bourbon is for his bourbon and smoke scent. We also added cloves to the cake for Skylar’s clove and smoke scent. The dark chocolate ganache is because they both have dark hair (and I love chocolate). And the blue icing is because he is a blue dragon (and because I love cream cheese icing)! And I promises that is blue (not mint green) icing in the picture.
Just so you know, I am not a regular baker and so this was a total “Nailed It” style experiment. I burned my firist batch of cream because it boiled over. And the ganache was all over everything. The blue icing came out light blue (or slightly mint green). And, oddly, one of my eggs (just 1) was frozen solid. As you can see, my cupcake decorating skillz could use some finesse! But despite all that…damn, these taste amazing, even if I do say so myself.
A huge thank you to my Awesome Nerds group on Facebook, and to my daughter and her friend Clara, who all helped come up with the flavor ideas.
This is my recipe. After looking through a gazillion different recipes out there, as well as my mom’s (she’s an awesome baker), I came up with up with my own ingredients and measurements combos. Share as you like!
BOURBON TOFFEE CAKE RECIPE
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- splash of bourbon (or more LOL)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Set cupcake wrappers into a cupcake baking pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
- In separate bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until smooth and creamy.
- Add vanilla extract, maple syrup, and bourbon.
- Then beat in eggs one at a time.
- Stir in flour mixture until batter is combined.
- Pour batter into cupcake wrappers (about 3/4 full).
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
The recipe makes 12 cupcakes, so double if you need 24.
Very easy to overcook the cake so watch that timer and have the toothpick ready.
CHOCOLATE GANACHE RECIPE
- 8oz sweet baking chocolate (German chocolate or dark chocolate are best)
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Break the chocolate into small pieces and put in a bowl.
- Add the vanilla (note you could add other flavors like cinnamon, orange extract, etc. in this step, if desired)
- Heat the cream in heavy sauce pan until it starts to bubble (not boil).
- Pour over chocolate.
- Stir until completely incorporated.
Watch the frickin’ milk while it’s heating up or you run the risk of a milk explosion all over your stovetop. (Yes, I turned my back and this happened.)
The ganache is going to go everywhere. It’s easier to apply at room temperature but drips. Definitely have the cupcakes on something easy to pop into the fridge to help harden the ganache.
CREAM CHEESE ICING RECIPE
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (softened)
- 1 8oz. package cream cheese (softened)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- blue food coloring
Mix butter and cream cheese in the bowl and beat until creamy.
Add vanilla extract.
With mixer on low, gradually add powdered sugar until completely combined.
It helps a ton to have the butter and cream cheese at room temperature before you start.
It took a ton of blue food coloring to get pale blue icing, so be prepared to add a lot.
This makes enough for 24 cupcakes to each have quite a bit of icing. Half the recipe if you don’t double the cake recipe which only makes 12 cupcakes.