The mention of rum instantly makes me think of pirates of old - yo, ho, ho and a bottle of rum and all - which inspired the title of this post. I had been asked to make cupcakes again by the crew at my second job, so I asked what kind of cupcakes they would like. While the vast majority said "any", Aaron, my across-the-cubicle neighbour, suggested rum cupcakes. I was unphased, because I knew that in Gail Wagman's Cupcakes Galore, there was a nice selection of cupcakes containing rum.
I chose to make Gail's Rum and Raisin Cupcakes, because I rather like rum and rasin icecream, so my logic was that a rum and raisin cupcake has also gotta be good.
I wasn't let down - here are the cupcakes pre-frosting:
My cakes don't fill the papers as I stretched the 16 cupcake recipe into 24 cupcakes. The frosting is made with rum straight up - so it is very rummy!!! I was a little concerned that the powers that be may consider this a little inappropriate in a work setting (although obviously you couldn't get very much alcohol from eating one of these), but it was all OK - much to my relief. The frosting in particular was delicious - I think these would be great for a very adult after-dinner treat with coffee.
To make these cupcakes, you will need:
60ml dark rum
185g plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
150g unsalted butter, cubed
150g brown sugar
3 lightly beaten eggs
60g unsalted butter, softened
300g icing sugar
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons rum
raisins for decoration (optional)
Soak the raisins in the rum for about 30 minutes, then drain and set aside, reserving the rum used for soaking to use in the frosting. (I had limited time, so I cheated a little by "nuking" the rum and raisin mixture in the microwave oven for about 20 seconds to increase the rum absorption by the raisins in the time that I had.)
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius, and line 2 x 12 hole muffin pans with cupcake papers (or only 16 holes if you want bigger cakes).
Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl.
Melt the sugar and butter in a saucepan over low heat, stirring all the while, and once the sugar has dissolved, pour the melted sugar and butter into the centre of the flour mixture and combine well.
Add the raisins and eggs and combine well. Fill the cupcake papers with even quantities of mixture, then bake the cupcakes in the preheated oven for around 25 minutes. Remove the cakes from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the frosting, cream the butter, sugar and salt using an electric mixer, then add the rum and continue beating. If the mixture doesn't reach spreading consistency, add more rum if too thick, and more icing sugar if too thin. (I ended up using a lot more rum - and no, that was not on purpose!) Frost the cupcakes and decorate each cake with a raisin, if desired.