As a kid, I thrived in school. I loved learning (except Calculus); I made good grades (except Calculus); I was always punctual to class; and I wouldn't dream of not turning in a homework assignment on time. I definitely strove to be a model student. But for the first time in my life I feel like the burner kid who ditches class to go smoke behind the bleachers. As a student of Drea's, I am on academic probation and have spent a fair amount of time in detention.
With my penchant for pizza, my consumption of Coca-Cola (not Diet) and bourbon, and the fact that I'd be happy eating charcuterie and cheese for dinner every night, I think it's safe to say I have proven to be a challenge to her.
When I hand her my weekly food journal, she always asks, "Am I going to be happy?" Usually I hang my head low and drop down and start doing burpees (which is the Calculus of the exercise world, if you ask me). Then I wait for her assessment and feedback, which she sends via email after she's had ample time to shake her head in disgust and get over the incredulousness of my entries. Here are a few of her (verbatim) comments:
"WTF! Coke almost every day, bacon, salami, chicken nuggets, breakfast burritos, mucho alcohol..."
"Who knew they made corndog 'lollipops.' Don't eat them."
I mean this was my dinner last night:
When Drea's birthday rolled around last week, I felt like it was only fitting I would make her something totally sinful (because bad students like company too). I figured if she was going to sin, it would have to be something kind of over-the-top ridiculous—like something made with these ingredients:
Yep, I thought these salted-caramel-chocolate-bourbon cupcakes were a damn good option. I'm not a baker—at all. So this was really a labor of love, as well as a labor of morbid curiosity. I wanted to see if she'd actually eat any. She said she did, but I have no proof!
They were indeed sinfully good. I know because I did definitely eat
You see, you have to core the cupcakes to accommodate the salted caramel you pour inside them, which are then topped off with fudge frosting. Through this process, I learned you really can't have too much salted caramel in your life, so I'd recommend doubling the recipe so you can fill the cupcake to the rim.
The icing tasted good, even though it looks like a 9-year old frosted the cupcakes. I got in a fight with the icing bag and definitely did not win. I ended up just using a zip-loc bag with the corner cut off to dispense the icing.
To say I'm a work in progress is a gross understatement—obviously. In my defense, I have actually gotten much better over the past six months. I'm a far cry from being her star pupil, but at this point I'm just grateful she hasn't kicked me out of school!
1 pkg Dark Chocolate or Triple Chocolate cake mix
1 cup water
1/3 cup bourbon
1/2 cup oil
Make cupcakes according to the directions on the box. Cool and then core about halfway through the cupcake. You can use an apple corer if you have one, or just cut them out with a sharp knife like I did.
Salted Caramel Sauce (I suggest you double this)
2 Tbsp whipping cream
1 Tbsp bourbon
24 unwrapped vanilla caramels
1/2 tsp sea salt (like fleur de sel)
In a small double broiler, combine whipping cream and bourbon. Heat over medium-low heat until steaming but not boiling. I didn't have a double broiler so I had to kind of rig one by setting a smaller pot inside a larger one. The goal is not to let the pot touch the water beneath it. Stir in caramels and sea salt. Heat until melted, stirring constantly. Spoon mixture into cupcakes.
6 oz bittersweet chocolate
2 Tbsp butter
3/4 cup sour cream
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
In a large saucepan, cook and stir chocolate and butter over low heat until melted. Cool for 5 minutes. Stir in sour cream. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Ice cupcakes as desired and sprinkle lightly with sea salt.