Friday, April 07, 2006

A Picture Post For You

I have to say that lately the Fred Meyer has been sucking in the baking ingredients department. My new favorite grocery store, aside from the New Seasons, is the QFC. I almost like them a little more, only because they are open 24 hours. I love a 24 hour grocery store; it can save my baking reputation when I am baking in the middle of the night (which happens often). The QFC saves my butt and even better, they have exactly what I need when I run out of bittersweet chocolate, organic sour cream, cake flour, or cane sugar. Hooray!

cupcakes batches 1 and 2

April 6, 2006
Occasion: schmoozin with the doulas
Name of (cup)cake: chocolate cupcakes with frozen frostings
Constituents: chocolate butter cupcakes with defrosted vanilla buttercream, or chai chocolate buttercream, or chestnut cloud cream

Told in picture book form for the illiterate.

always date your baking powder
first off, a public service announcement. you gotta date your baking powder. not only will he pay for all the fancy dinners, but he rises to any occasion, if you know what i mean. but careful, he expires pretty quickly.

time to get my bake on
time to get my bake on. wow. i did some shameless product placement in this photo.

experimenting with sugar
i'm trying to find an alternative to white sugar. RLB uses milled cane sugar; this is pretty close enough, i think.

whirl, my friend
however, the grains are GIGANTIC. gotta process them down into a very fine grained sugar. better for baking. using the food processor.

raw sugar: before and after
the food processor sucked ass. i found my roommate's coffee grinder and it worked almost TOO well--the white bowl is the ground sugar and it is almost powdered. hoo-wee!

defrosting the butter
defrosting the butter. i always keep about 2 boxes of butter handy in the freezer. butter freezes beautifully, unlike some things...

just cocoa powder and water
this is just water and cocoa powder, but it looks yummmy, doesn't it?

(blah, blah, blah, you do some mixing, blah, blah, blah, you put the batter in the pan, you bake it, you take them out...)

chocolate cupcakes, batch 1
then you let the little suckers cool. do you see the little speckles? is that because not all the sugar was dissolved in the batter before baking? Should i have cake anxiety? of course.

chocolate cupcakes, batch 2
batch 2: made four hours later with cold, stiff, refrigerated batter. no speckles this time! what does this mean??

chocolate cupcake, batch one
the little stubby cupcake was ready for his vanilla frosting

frosted cupcakes
little stubby was joined by five of his friends...and an outsider: mr chai chocolate buttercream cupcake. mr chai chocolate buttercream cupcake was quickly rejected by stubby and his posse, mainly because mr chai chocolate buttercream cupcake's chai chocolate buttercream hat was badly put on. probably because the buttercream that made up his hat defrosted all thick and sticky and no one had an electric beater to whip it back into submission. mr chai chocolate buttercream cupcake disappeared shortly after this photo was taken.

curdled!  part one
so the chestnut whipped cream ("cloud cream") once defrosted, had curdled. note to self: whipping cream doesn't freeze beautifully.

i decided to gently reheat the chestnut cream and let the solids melt back into the liquids, which it did, really nicely. i stuck the whole thing in the refrigerator to cool the cream down and thicken it up, hopefully enough to still use to frost the cupcakes. so when i checked back later, the cream was thick but still runny. so i decided to try and whip it with a fork. and guess what happened?

curdled! again!
curdled again!>

reheated, again.

and scene
so i decided EVERYBODY is getting frosted in vanilla buttercream

the little stubby cupcakes were dense, moist, and tender. the buttercream kicked ass: creamy, bourbon, vanilla goodness.

nice contrast
the doulas loved them, i loved them--hooray for stubbycakes!

are your teeth hurting from all the sugar? then here, look at this:

and now for some color
VEGETABLES! you can stop going into insulin shock now.


  1. by the by, the recipe for these cupcakes is the photo on the previous post...

  2. You're amazing! I'm scared of you but your are amazing. Fascinating post.

  3. sherbear, thanks for the niceties. but why are you scared of the ecl? i'm mostly nice...

  4. Now that... that is some nice broccoli! Much more my speed.

  5. I'm sure you're real sweet. I'm scared at the amount of energy you have to create cupcakes and to attempt several types of "buttercreams" to top them off, even if you only went with the vanilla in the end. I never knew a chai chocolate buttercream existed but the thought of it makes my taste-buds hopeful, THEN to exhibit this process in a marvelously laid out post. BRAVO ECL, BRAVO!!

  6. oh, okay.
    well: the buttercreams were all made in 2005 for several different clinic parties. buttercreams freeze nicely usually. i have a stocked arsenal of frozen buttercreams and ganaches in my freezer leftover from many other baking escapades. some of them defrost well, some of them don't.
    the chai choc buttercream is my FAVORITE, and i came up with that idea after eating one of dagoba's chai milk chocolate bars. there is a chocolate buttercream recipe that is basically melted chocolate and butter--you use half milk chocolate and half dark chocolate and i substituted the same amount of chai choc for the milk chocolate and the buttercream is divine. it just didn't thaw so well. really thick and hard to spread--i wonder if i would need to add liquid to the buttercream or just need to rebeat it in the mixer?
    anyway, get your hands on one of those chai milk chocolate bars from dagoba. it is THE BEST way to eat chocolate.

    and thanks for liking my post!

  7. are your teeth hurting and then look at these vegetables....heh! you're a riot, ecl.