My editor, whose Twitter handle is CupCate, of course made much of the fact that it's National Cup Cake Week (at least in the UK) and asked us all to do what we could in that theme. Of course, I got a bit silly as I'm not much of a chef (okay, it's true I can actually bake, but I am incredibly lazy, too). So I wrote my "recipe" for Brandy Alexander cup cakes:
For a complicated recipe like this, it is always best to start with the essentials. Of course for these cupcakes, brandy is absolutely required – and not just any brandy, either.
I would recommend the Paulet Lallique or Pierre Ferrand Memoire Vintage Edition, (although the Pierre Ferrand Grande Champagne 1972 Vintage will do in a pinch). While tastes vary greatly, of course, it is advisable to secure the very best brandy in order to achieve the fine results this recipe ought to have.
Taste tests are the best way to determine this. Line up several snifters of various brands, so that the light catches the light of the globes. Candlelight is best, so light a candle and position it so that the light both warms the glass and illuminates the colour of the liqueur.
Here is where Alexander comes in handy. Your Alexander, like your brandy, will probably vary according to individual tastes, but for this recipe it is best if he is reasonably strong and particularly good at tasks like lighting small candles and pouring brandy...
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