When Gin Baker, Liam Beauchamp, and our Gin of the Month come together in the kitchen, magic tends to happen. To Liam, the flavours of September's exclusive edition of Elephant Gin instantly struck him with a single idea: Negronis. His ginspiration comes to life in celebration of National Cupcake Week this week, in the form of some beautiful bite-sized Negroni bakes! Read the Gin Baker's take on Elephant Gin and his Negroni Cupcake recipe below.
There are some gins that just lend themselves to a recipe perfectly, whether that is in a cocktail or in a bake. When it came to Elephant Gin, there was no doubt upon first tasting that to be truly appreciated this gin should be enjoyed in a classic Negroni. With its peppery dryness and the dominance of wormwood in the gin, the gin really compliments the bitter flavours from the Campari and the vermouth (which of course also contains wormwood).
Undisputedly the cocktail of the moment, the Negroni even has a whole week dedicated to it. And it would appear that there is now a week dedicated to almost everything because this week is Cupcake Week! In honour of the classic Negroni and to celebrate Cupcake Week, why not combine the two to make these bright and deliciously boozy Negroni cupcakes?
With a Campari and vermouth infused sponge, a gin and vermouth syrup glaze and a Campari, vermouth and gin buttercream garnished with a twist of candied orange, these definitely aren't cupcakes for kids!
Pair with an actual Negroni for total perfection!
For the Cupcakes (makes 12):
125g of unsalted butter at room temperature
125g of caster sugar
125g of self-raising flour
2 tbsp of milk
25ml of Campari
25ml of vermouth
For the glaze:
The zest and juice of one orange
150ml of water
225g of light brown sugar
30ml of Elephant Gin
30ml of vermouth
For the Buttercream Icing:
140g of unsalted butter at room temperature
300g of icing sugar
15ml of Elephant Gin
15ml of vermouth
15ml of Campari
For the candied orange peel:
55ml of water
170g of sugar
Tips: I have included instructions for making candied orange peel to decorate your Negroni cupcakes but this can take up to 5 hours so I recommend doing it in advance. If you don’t have 5 hours to spare though, just add the zest of 1 orange to your buttercream to give it a zesty kick.
1) Start by making your candied orange peel by cutting the top and bottom off an orange and then score the skin into quarters. Peel the skin and remove the pith (the white part) and then cut the skin into small strips about ¼” wide. Place the strips in a large saucepan and cover with water and bring to the boil. Drain the water from the peels and repeat this process twice.
2) In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and the water before pouring into a clean saucepan and bring to a simmer. Let the mixture cook at a constant simmer for about 8-10 minutes before adding the orange peel. Allow this to simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour – adjusting the temperature to ensure a constant simmer. Avoid stirring as this will cause crystallisation but you can swirl the pan to ensure all of the peel is covered.
3) Drain any remaining syrup and then spread the peel out on some parchment paper on a drying rack. Leave to dry for about 4-5 hours.
4) When you are ready to make your cupcakes, preheat your oven to 180ºC.
5) To make your cupcakes, cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl. Add the eggs one at a time and combine well. Add your sifted flour and milk and mix until you have a smooth cake mix. Add your Campari and vermouth and stir until well incorporated.
6) Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cupcake cases and spoon the mixture evenly into the cases. You can use an ice cream scoop for this to get an even amount in each case. Then place your cakes in the centre of the oven for between 18-20 minutes.
7) Remove your cupcakes from the oven once they are golden brown on top and a skewer can be placed through the centre and come out clean. Leave your cupcakes to rest for 15 minutes and make your glaze.
8) To make your glaze, add all of your glaze ingredients to a medium-sized pan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a medium-low and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes until the glaze begins to thicken. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
9) Brush or spoon your glaze over each cupcake. This is best done whilst the cupcakes are still warm and your glaze is hot. Once glazed, leave the cupcakes to cool completely before icing.
10) To make your buttercream icing, cream your butter and sugar together until smooth. Slowly add your vermouth and gin in equal measures to the butter icing ensuring it is well combined. If it is starting to look like your buttercream is curdling, stop adding the vermouth and gin. If you buttercream icing is too runny, add some extra icing sugar to thicken the mixture.
11) Pipe or spoon the icing onto your cupcakes (depending on how neat you want to be) and then decorate with you candied orange peel.