Sunday, August 15, 2010


Conventional wisdom dictates that one should never "test out" a new recipe when company is coming over.  I'm not one to follow conventional wisdom, so I've decided to try out a few cupcake/frosting recipes for a co-worker's bridal shower tomorrow.

Chocolate Beet Cupcake with
Chocolate Buttercream
The first batch I made was based on the beet cake recipe I made yesterday, only this time I omitted the ginger and chocolate chunks.  They turned out pretty well, actually, especially since I took them out of the oven a little before they were done.  To these cupcakes, I added Chocolate Buttercream Frosting from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything.  I've never made frosting from scratch before, so this was a fun experiment.  I'm not so sure the flavors (cupcake + frosting) go together, but dang it if the whole works wasn't moist and lovely as can be.  I think next time I'd do something a little heartier for the frosting, like a dark chocolate ganache.

Coconut Cupcake with
Coconut Cream
The second batch I made was... less successful.  Coconut Cake with Coconut Cream Frosting, both from Bittman again.  (By the way, if you don't have his cookbooks, you should - he uses few ingredients and talks very accessibly to readers.  Plus his flavor combinations are yummy and often unexpected.)  First, I didn't exactly follow the directions when fluffing the eggs for the cupcake, so it never reached the point where the egg whites "form[ed] soft peaks".  Second, I left them in the oven too long, so instead of being all-around fluffy and moist, my cupcakes have crispy exoskeletons that are a little on the dry side. Finally, I must have messed something up with the frosting recipe, because the consistency resembles a combination of marshmallow creme and taffy.  Also, it's overwhelmingly sweet (but that might be because I tried substituting honey for the corn syrup.  Just the thought of corn syrup makes me gag a little.)  So.  Point being this: maybe it's best to start by following the recipe carefully the first time you make something high-maintenance.  Then next time you can take some artistic license and mess around with substitutions.

Now all I need to do is come up with some cheesy bridal shower games.  Anyone got ideas?  (Also, if you have a use for four cups of marshmallow creme, see me.)


  1. I heart buttercream frosting. It's the only frosting (besides cream cheese frosting) that I've been able to successfully execute. Also, I'm opposed to Karo corn syrup too, but did buy some a few months ago in order to make "scotcheroos" (also known as "Special K bars") which are quite exotic in Seattle, and, the corn syrup was so worth it.

  2. YUMmmmm. Also, hopefully you can incorporate the marshmallow creme into a bridal shower game.

  3. It makes me ridiculously happy that you said "exoskeleton."