We've done three open house/art openings for our clinic and I've tried several different ways to present the cakes...the first time I made a ton of cakelettes that were baked up in this cake pan that make six little flower-shaped cakes. The challenge with those was making cakes that were interesting enough not to need frosting. But then we cut each cakelette into quarters to strech out the servings which ruined the pretty little flower designs. So the next time (see The Week of Too Many Cakes) I made a bunch of 8x8 squares and we cut them up before serving them. That worked out better, but it was labor intensive. This last time I made cupcakes and I think I have found the winner.
I didn't make the red velvet cupcakes for the art opening after all...but I did make them a week or two later for our Feng Shui Consult. That's already been posted--look for Why Would I Use Beets When I Could Use Chemicals in the October archives.
By the way, I love you for reading my blog. Whoever you are.
October 1, 2005
MHC’s 3rd Art Opening and One Year Anniversary
Choc fudge cakes with egg white choc bc
[Red velvet cakes with cream cheese frosting]
Vanilla-orange cakes with orange blossom frosting
Gingerbread with chestnut mousse cream
(9/26) oh shit I only have 5 days to bake a thousand and one cupcakes. Hey—that would be fun—to have a thousand and one cupcake party. File that away.
I am thinking that I will make a little chart that will decipher which cupcakes are what flavors. The frostings can be the tell-all. Like the white frosted cupcakes can be the cream cheese frosted red velvet cupcakes. And the blue frosted cupcakes can be the yellow cupcakes with vanilla frosting. Etc.
(9/27) okay. I have a game plan. I will go shopping at trader joe’s for all the eggs and butter. And maybe the cream cheese. And the milk. And the whipping cream and buttermilk. Then, to zupan’s to get the flour, sugar, chestnuts, molasses, muscovado sugar, etc. I will not cry. I will not stay up way too late. This will be a fun experience. Somewhere I need to get the foil cupcake cups. And another cupcake baking pan would be a good idea.
The gingerbread cake is supposed to be baked in a 8 by 8 square pan so I don’t think I’m going to get many cupcakes out of one batch…I may be okay with that but I may not be. Perhaps I will bake that batch up first so that if by the time I come around to the end and I feel I need more, I can go back and make more. Does that make sense? I’m not sure it does.
(9/28) The world is a crazy place. I can’t get over it sometimes.
Anyway…I bought chestnut puree, so I don’t have to cook the chestnuts in milk and puree them. So there goes tonight’s plan. So I thought I could prep for the vanilla-orange cupcakes by getting the zest into the yolk mixture and letting it sit together overnight. Makes it more orangey. Last time I used 4 tbsp for a 10 in cake, so I thought I’d just use 3 tbsp this time. Then I can measure up the rest of the dry ingredients like I did last time, making it easier to bake up tomorrow. I would bake tonight, but I forgot to buy foil cupcake liners and now I don’t want to go to the store.
Also, couldn’t find orange blossom water and tang at the freakin Zupan’s, so I decided to do what I did last time and use some orange juice and a little zest. Maybe a little food coloring to make it more orange? Hmm.
(9/29) OF COURSE, the day I set aside to bake like a mad fool in my kitchen is the day that the maintenance people decide to tear up my kitchen to replace the fuses. FUUUUCK!! So I hauled most of my baking crap down to MHC to bake the night away. I forgot my measuring cup and my strainer so I went to Fred’s and bought them, and luckily I got one of them free! They were having a buy one get one on kitchen gadgets and tools. Yay for me. And just now I realize I forgot the corn syrup. Can’t make frosting. DAMMIT! So, should I make another round of cupcakes or go home and finish up there? Sigh.
The orange cupcakes taste great and are ready to be frosted. I decided to frost them with plain ol vanilla buttercream. The choc ones are baking away. I found out that foil cupcake cups rock because you don’t need a cupcake pan to bake them in! I just put a bunch on a cookie sheet and off they went. SO nice.
Wow, those 2 batches of cupcakes yielded 30 cupcakes per…I don’t think I need to do four batches. Crazy. I think I’ll do the gingerbread one, mainly because it’s a smaller recipe and I’ve already opened up the chestnut puree so I can’t return it. The stuff for the red velvet cake, I bought on the company card, so I have to either make it for the team or return all the stuff.
Did I mention I have solved the egg yolk conspiracy?? Extra large eggs—the yolks are comparable to what she thinks a large egg should have. However, waaaay too much egg white. The egg white collection in my freezer continues to grow, despite my efforts.
(10/1) I made the gingerbread cupcakes this morning and they are tasty! The batter was really runny so I was worried that they wouldn’t rise very well but they did. The cupcakes on the cookie sheet actually overflowed. They were on the bottom rack in the oven—maybe that was why? I filled each cup about 2/3 to ¾ full and the ones in the cupcake tin on the top shelf didn’t overflow, they just rose to a point like a normal cupcake! The batter made almost 2 dozen cupcakes, so I decided not to make the red velvet cupcakes. I already have 80 cupcakes…and I am running out of time. Oh well!
(10/2) well, things went well. I don’t know why I decided to frost the freaking gingerbread cupcakes right before leaving to go to the clinic—there was no time to refrigerate them so the frosting would get hard—much of it stuck to the saran wrap. And they were harder to transport b/c I had to worry about all that frosting. Also, whipped cream frosting doesn’t look good after a couple of hours. Maybe it would have looked better if I had used the powdered sugar…or gelatinized it…or maybe that’s just the problem with chestnut puree, it makes whipped cream look funky after a few hours at room temp. I think my favorite were the gingerbread-chestnut. And frosting with the back of a spoon looked better than piping it on, since I don’t really know how to pipe. One of these days.
Hey!! After all those setbacks and craziness, I didn’t cry!! Yay!!!