As you know, the Hubster and I are currently in England, and boy oh boy, did we get a welcome! We arrived Friday afternoon, on the ferry into Dover. From there, we drove to Oxford, where we spent the weekend.
On Friday evening, we had dinner in Oxford at the Eagle and Child. This pub is famous for being the meeting place of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Every Tuesday, they met up, along with Mr. Lewis’ brother and other authors, Charles Williams and Hugo Dyson. Obviously, we were excited to spend some time there.
When we arrived, it was already quite crowded and getting a bit raucous, but we found a table in one of the back rooms, looked over the menu, and the Hubster headed to the bar to place our order.
That’s when it happened.
One of the more rambunctious groups of pub crawlers had been giving each other challenges, and apparently, I was just in time for the…grande finale.
While hubs was still at the bar, one of the guys walked up in front of our table, dropped trou in front of me (I’m talking the whole shebang here – underwear and all), tucked his man bits between his legs, threw his hands high in the air, and shouted out in a high-pitched voice, “I’M A LADY!”
Welcome to England!
If you know me, you already know I was absolutely mortified. Funny? In hindsight, yes, but at the moment, I. was. mortified. Listen, I’m already freaked out by social situations enough without some random drunk dude baring all and tucking his bits and pieces for a show.
And then offering an encore.
Yup. That’s right. He offered to go again, “in case I missed it the first time.”
Let me assure you, dude, I didn’t miss it, no matter how much I wish I had.
But on the other hand, thank you. I will never ever, in all my days, forget my first night in England!
Just before we left for England, I made some cupcakes for Hubs to take into work. With Christmas right around the corner, I wanted to send something in for his coworkers to enjoy, and to share with their families…something festive and delicious. Enter red velvet eggnog cupcakes.
Festive looking, festive tasting…and totally delicious to look at and chow down on.
These are a pretty traditional red velvet recipe, spiced up with creamy eggnog in place of buttermilk, and a dash of nutmeg. I decided to forego the traditional cream cheese frosting in favor of a fluffy vanilla buttercream, though, because I topped the whole thing off with a rich eggnog glaze. After a little experimentation, I decided the cream cheese frosting and eggnog icing together were just a little too cloying. The eggnog icing with simple vanilla frosting was just right, though, and really showcased the great eggnog flavor in both the icing and the cupcakes.
These are amazing. They’re downright decadent with all the delicious buttercream and sweet and spicy eggnog glaze. The cupcakes are fluffy and ever-so-slightly chocolate-y, while the richness of the eggnog really shines through, giving these a delicious spicy flavor, and a gorgeous texture.
New holiday favorite? Why yes. Yes, they are.
Red Velvet Eggnog Cupcakes
with Vanilla Buttercream and Eggnog Glaze
Makes about 15 to 18 standard cupcakes
FOR THE CUPCAKES
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup un salted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
red food coloring, (optional, but you don’t get to call them red velvet without it )
3/4 cup eggnog
FOR THE FROSTING
1 cup (2 sticks or 226 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 lb. (about 4 cups or 500 grams) confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45 ml) heavy cream
2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla extract
Food coloring (optional)
FOR THE GLAZE
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons eggnog
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
To make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees (180 C). Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners; set aside.
In a medium bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg; set aside.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until combined; stir in the vanilla. If using, stir in red food coloring, until you achieve a vibrant red color.
Sprinkle 1/3 of the flour mixture over the bowl and mix until just combined. Add 1/2 of the eggnog, mixing again until just combined. Repeat with remaining flour mixture and eggnog, ending with flour (flour-eggnog-flour-eggnog-flour). Mix only until flour is just incorporated. Do not over mix.
Place 3 tablespoons of batter in each cupcake liner. Bake for 19 to 21 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs clinging to it. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
To make the frosting: In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter for 3 minutes. Beat in the sugar and salt until combined. Add 2 tablespoons heavy cream and whisk on high for 4 minutes, until light and fluffy. If the frosting is too thick, add more cream, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Stir in the vanilla. Frost cupcakes as desired. Excess frosting can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks.
To make the icing: In a small bowl, whisk the sugar and 2 tablespoons of the eggnog together until the glaze reaches a thick drizzling consistency (adding more eggnog, if needed). Stir in the vanilla extract. Drizzle over the cupcakes.
Recipes by Darla