Besties, Alie Ward and Georgia Hardstark would grab cocktails after work while Alie was a staff writer for the LA Times (she covered nightlife and events), and Georgia was a part-time blogger and full-time (not-so-happy) receptionist. One day, they concocted a fictitious cocktail called a McNuggetini, and made a how-to video for it. The McNuggetini went viral and their adventure began.
The girls created two seasons of Drinks with Alie & Georgia with the Food Network. There were a total of 24 episodes of oddly creative cocktails, 12-year-old-boy humor and at times, there was fire.
They’re now on the Cooking Channel’s Unique Sweets, have appeared in several TV specials, and launched their new online Web series called Classy Ladies with Alie & Georgia. We asked the girls for a great fall recipe and boy, did they deliver; it’s got coffee & booze & chocolate!
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for buttering
1/4 cup prepared NESCAFÃ Dolce Gusto espresso, and 2 tablespoons set aside
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg, at room temperature
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for garnish
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1/2 cup prepared hot fudge sauce
1-1/2 cups cold heavy cream
1/4 cup coffee liqueur
18 chocolate-covered espresso beans, for garnish
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Lightly butter 18 oven-safe espresso cups and put them on a baking sheet.
2. Put 1/4 cup of prepared NESCAFÃ Dolce Gusto espresso in a large mixing bowl. Reserve. In another large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to beat together the butter and sugar at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and egg and beat until well combined.
3. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. In the bowl that has the espresso, whisk in the buttermilk and 1/4 cup of the prepared hot fudge sauce. At low speed, add the flour mixture to the creamed butter mixture in three additions, alternating with the espresso mixture. Begin and end with the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
4. Spoon the batter into the prepared espresso cups, filling each about halfway full (about 2 tablespoons per espresso cup). Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Set the baking sheet onto a cooling rack and cool completely. Meanwhile, place the heavy cream and coffee liqueur in a large mixing bowl and use a hand mixer to whip until it holds soft peaks. Refrigerate until ready to use.
5. Place the remaining 2 tablespoons of prepared espresso in a small mixing bowl. Whisk in the remaining 1/4 cup hot fudge sauce. Spread evenly onto the cooled cupcakes, about 1 teaspoon per cupcake. Cover the top of each cupcake with the spiked whipped cream and a light dusting of cocoa powder, and garnish with a whole chocolate-covered espresso bean.