My Instagram Feed

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Cupcakes! At Last...

Those of you who know me, must have noticed my obsession with cupcakes by now. It was always in the back ground of my life, in my subconscious, but it became a fully conscious obsession about 3 years ago, when I worked on a house for one of the owners of Cupcakes. She used to bring them in for us all the time, and I fell under the spell. How was this icing even possible? How could this huge and amazing taste even exist? I needed to find answers. I then went on a quest, and I am still on that mission, though a few mysteries have been solved. I will share them as I learn them...

I solved the mystery of the perfect buttercream. I finally did this last week. After YEARS of ignorance. Except one of my downfalls is the documentation of my journeys. I never take exact measurements, and never take any notes. Good thing buttercream isn't an exact science. Being someone of at least moderate intelligence, you'd think I would have come to perfecting this recipe years ago. I used the Bakerella recipe, but I don't know how much icing sugar I used, since we don't measure in pounds, and my icing bags were long ago emptied into a storage container, thus rendering converting kg into lbs not an option. I think I used about 3 cups worth to 1c. butter. Make it to taste.

BUT, the secret (or not so secret, depending on your icing making experiences) is to beat the butter like mad, then add icing sugar in like 1/3 c. increments, and beat it like mad after each addition. Add milk, IF you need it. In this land, of heat and humidity, I do not need milk. Though I wish I did - I feel like I am missing out on the 1tbsp of milky flavour. Then add the colour and flavour. AND do not refrigerate, unless you are keeping it in a bowl. The icing will most likely sweat after you take it out of the fridge, but you can mix it up one last time if you've kept it in a bowl. Ice the cake, or whatever, just before you eat it, and don't store the finished product in the fridge. I also learned this tip from the Cupcakes owner.

Since I am just starting out with learning to decorate, I only have those cheap-o food dyes (in RGBY) from the grocery store. Same with the flavourings. And same with the piping bag and tips, but...I have found a nice little store, which I plan on spending some dough at sometime soon, so we'll see how this icing decorating thing progresses.

So, since I am still on one leg, and baking using a wheelchair isn't all that fun or simple, I only have baked when desperate, (ie. after 6 weeks of eating nothing but store bought sweets, I was desperate!) but so far I've only been using store-bought mixes.

Here's what I did last week:

I used the White Wings Golden Buttercake mix, and the Bakerella icing instructions (with my own twist), and made some mini cupcakes.

They were heaven to my store-bought tainted mouth! So, I can't unbiasedly recommend the cake mix, but it seemed to do the trick. Better than my attempts at a white or yellow cake to date (they always seem too eggy). I'm sure I'll use it again. Plus cake is nothing without icing, so it's all in the icing. I realized last week that I would not like cake, if not for the icing. Who wants a piece of plain cake? No one. No one normal.

Blue Lagoon Mini's - Coconut flavour, with a blue tint, and flattened into dessicated (I need a better word than that, I think) coconut.

Strawberry Mini's - Strawberry flavour with cheap-o crap-o sprinkles, since Adam ate all the good ones, because they actually tasted good all by themselves.

Lemonade Mini's - Lemon flavoured buttercream, all by its lonesome, since I have nothing else cool to put on them.

Can't wait to try some new flavours. I think I will go with chocolate cake next time, with orange flavoured icing, among others. Mmmm.