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A cupcake and a half!

April 14, 2009

Well, the party is finally over, and after dealing with some not too friendly stomach flu, I’m finally able to update a little bit. I’m still a little tender from the flu, so if this one’s heavy on pictures, that’s why.

So after making the fondant on Thursday night (see previous post and picture), on Friday night I took after the baking of the cupcakes.

Cupcake arsenal

Cupcake arsenal

Above please find a picture of the arsenal from which I generated 108 minicupcakes. My favorite items above are the edible glitter (front corner), microcutters (see below), and tiny cupcake pants (aka wrappers/tins). Instead of step-by step instructions, I’m going to include a parade of pictures of my endeavors. Surprisingly, it’s almost impossible to make 108 cupcakes and take pictures of each step yourself, so I apologize for the holes in the footage.

I hope you enjoy the shots!

To give you an idea of the micro-ness of the micro-cutter.

To give you an idea of the micro-ness of the micro-cutter.

Vanilla beans!!!

Vanilla beans!!!

For the vanilla bean cupcakes, I used Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean pods, shown here. I split the pods down the middle, and scraped out the seeds with my knife edge. Be careful when you’re doing this, because I got vanilla bean seeds all under my finger nails (and these suckers are EXPENSIVE – $8.50 or so for 2 pods). To get the most flavor, I put the seeds into the milk ahead of time to let them infuse the milk. Theoretically I could then have used the empty pod to make vanilla sugar (just stick an empty pod in a container of sugar), but I accidentally dropped milk on the pod, so I decided in favor of health to just throw it away.

Sifting

Sifting

A lot of sifting went into these cupcakes: sifted the flour and soda together, then the cocoa separately for the chocolate ones, sifted the flour and self-rising flour together for the vanilla ones, sifted the powdered sugar for the cream cheese icing…whew! Plenty sifting.

Mixing the vanilla bean batter

Mixing the vanilla bean batter

Ye Mountain of Flour

Ye Mountain of Flour

This is my method for ensuring no shells get in the batter

This is my method for ensuring no shells get in the batter

Spooning the batter into my handy piping bag

Spooning the batter into my handy piping bag

Batter in a piping bag (aka Ziploc)

Batter in a piping bag (aka Ziploc)

Piping cupcakes

Piping cupcakes

Fondant, pre-coloring

Fondant, pre-coloring

To work with the fondant, I put it in the microwave first, to get it to a malleable temperature. Then I used my handy-dandy plastic food gloves to color the fondant red (pictured below) and blue (the moon on the cupcakes below). The blue mat is a silicone mat given to me by my family for Christmas a few years ago – it’s fantastic! I was able to massage the  color paste (extremely concentrated food coloring) into the fondant without it sticking to the silicone. For the rolling-out portion, though, in the future I think I’ll use parchment paper. With the silicone it becomes a little too stuck together.

Rolled red fondant

Rolled red fondant

Fondant cutouts

Fondant cutouts

Cupcakes, mid-icing

Cupcakes, mid-icing

Ganache cupcakes

Ganache cupcakes

The ganache is a very simple recipe – just around 6 oz of fine quality semi-sweet chocolate chips mixed with half a cup of heavy cream, melted over a double boiler.

And that pretty much wraps it up. I was horrified to discover that in all the commotion, I didn’t take a single picture of the cupcakes up-front and center (I was icing up until 3 hours before the party), so I’m horrified and embarrassed, but in this tablescape you can just barely see them at the opposite end:

Tablescape

Tablescape

I’m sorry for the lack of detailed pictures, but the day was pretty hectic. If it makes you feel any better, I never even got a chance to eat anything at the party! With that, I’m going to go crawl back into bed and rest.

Tip of the Day: As you can see in the pictures above, the cupcake liners are tiny. Incredibly tiny. Spooning the batter was obviously not an option, so my method for getting cupcake batter into cupcake liners is a simple one. Take a normal Ziploc baggie, flip the top part inside out (to keep the seal area clean), fill with batter (see picture above), reseal the bag, then snip a very small corner off the baggie. Err on the side of too-small at first, if you need a bigger hole, you can cut it bigger. Then squeeze the batter into the cupcake liners, ensuring to stop squeezing and angle upward before moving to the next liner (or you’ll have a massive mess on your hands).

I filled mine particularly full (a little more than 3/4 full) because I wanted good sturdy tops on the cupcakes, which worked well for the chocolates but which failed for the vanillas. Instead of just poofing upwards, the vanillas (which were a little bit fuller than the chocolates) had tops that spread out like sugar cookies, about 1 cm. past the edge of the cupcake. In terms of taste this didn’t matter, but the presentation was then a little difficult (you might be able to see the smallness of the icing in comparison to the tops). That’s pretty much it! Enjoy.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Rob permalink
    April 15, 2009 9:21 am

    Okay, simply awesome. Not just the patience to do it all, but the patience to do it all and then write about it in such detail. After all of that effort, it is completely understandable that there are no pictures of the finished product. Then again, if there were, I’d probably be licking the computer screen, so this is for the best.

    Again, awesome. Simply awesome.

    • lisam permalink
      April 15, 2009 10:13 am

      Haha, thanks, Rob! And yes…licking the computer screen is probably not a great idea, but you never know.

  2. Robert permalink
    April 15, 2009 9:22 am

    That was a lot of work for a bite of cake! Next time make a real cake or better yet, chocolate chip cookies. If anyone complains, tell them to call me!

    • lisam permalink
      April 15, 2009 10:14 am

      Cupcakes are real cakes, Dad! And with fancy parties, it’s all about the aesthetics – mini-cupcakes are just a tad fancier than chocolate chip cookies. But don’t worry, if you’d been at the party, I’d have made you some. 🙂

  3. April 15, 2009 1:48 pm

    Um, not true…you did too eat at the party! Remember Kelli and Colm’s trip to the Arches at some hour in the night? There were plenty of chicken nuggets to go around.

    • lisam permalink
      April 15, 2009 4:47 pm

      That was weeeeell after midnight, woman! And well after the party ended, if I recall correctly.

  4. April 15, 2009 4:51 pm

    Wow. Just. simply. wow. I think you and Faith from the other side of the building seriously need to go into business. Of both cooking and writing about cooking cupcakes. And I will build your website for you. 😉

Trackbacks

  1. What happens when you drop a Wilton #32 icing tip down the garbage disposal? « A Cupcake in Paris

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