"He is not easy to describe. There is something wrong with his appearance; something displeasing, something downright detestable."
Happy Halloween! You've got to love a night when it's allowed to come as you aren't, when heavy drinking and bad behavior are highly encouraged. What? You didn't think it was about the candy, did you?
I went back and forth between spooky reads like "It" by Stephen King and Shirley Jackson's "House on Haunted Hill," and finally landed on "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" by Robert Stevenson. This classic about poor virtuous Jekyll who, looking to escape the crushing weight of his moral ways, creates a potion that separates good from evil. His evil side, Mr. Hyde, is free to do treacherous things, such as trample over people in the street, commit fraud and eventually murder, but by taking another swig of this potion, Mr. Hyde disappears and Dr. Jekyll returns, with the continuous respect of his peers and free to walk around with his head held high.
The problem is, these two sides are both contained inside of one body. Jekyll didn't create a whole new person, these desires lived inside of him already, fighting against what my mom would call his "know better" aka his common sense, his moral compass, etc. Dr. Jekyll often wakes and feels disgusted by the actions of Hyde from the night before, whereas Hyde only tolerates changing back into Jekyll for protection from the police. Pure evil and pure good are basically warring for playtime in this body. After a while, he's able to transform to Hyde without the need of a potion. His evil tendencies, given too much play time out in the open, are now stronger than his morals. Soon Jekyll must double up, then triple up on the potion to get rid of Hyde and eventually, he can't find Jekyll at all. Hyde, knowing his face will be recognized on the street and he'll have to suffer the consequences, commits suicide.
It's not your typical scary story with ghosts and such. Instead it questions human nature, the good and evil in us all and what each person is actually capable of doing. In this story, we're what goes bump in the night. [bumbumBUM]
I went all out for these cupcakes. I wanted them to give Dr. Jekyll's potion a run for its money. For the batter, I subbed milk for cake vodka. You can use any cake flavored vodka you like, but I went with Pinnacle. I'm sure vanilla flavored vodka would work too.
I dyed half of the batter green, and baked the two mixtures side by side, using this handy-dandy cupcake separator that I found on Amazon. It was harder to pour batter into such a small space, but I managed to do it with only a little bit of a mess. Next time I'll pour more slowly.
Once they were finished baking, I brush the tops of the cupcakes with more vodka. The frosting is made with powdered sugar, butter and whipped cream vodka, which I dyed black with a hint of a green strip to keep with the spookiness of the evening. And finally, in the middle of each cupcake sits a shot of Dr. Jekyll's secret potion. (Hint: It's just more vodka.)
Basically, these are the booziest cupcakes I've ever made. I plan on testing these two toned vodka cupcakes and shots of "potion" on my group of friends tonight. I hope to see a little of Mr. Hyde in all of us tonight.
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: 5 stars
Cake vodka cupcakes: 5 stars
“I learned to recognise the thorough and primitive duality of man; I saw that, of the two natures that contended in the field of my consciousness, even if I could rightly be said to be either, it was only because I was radically both."
“All human beings, as we meet them, are commingled out of good and evil: and Edward Hyde, alone, in the ranks of mankind, was pure evil.”
“And next moment, with ape like fury, he was trampling his victim under foot, and hailing down a storm of blows, under which the bones were audibly shattered and the body jumped upon the roadway.”
Cake Vodka Cupcakes
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup cake vodka
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with baking cups.
2. In a large bowl, combine butter and eggs. (It will look clumpy and runny.) Stir in vodka and vanilla extract.
3. In a separate bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mixing until just combined.(If you like, this is where you separate the batter in order to dye half of it green!)
4. Fill baking cups 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
Whipped Cream Vodka Buttercream
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp whipped cream vodka
1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add vodka, one tablespoon at a time. (Add more or less depending on your desired consistency.)
Happy baking! -Ariel