Monday, 25 April 2011

Cupcake Challenge Week 5 of 52


So, my challenge this week was to work on design. Pick something that would be a 'challenge' and try to make it work. I re-did the chocolate cupcake recipe I used earlier because I know it works. (not too rich, moist enough, clear chocolate taste) I used a basic confectioners sugar icing recipe. Followed it exact. Except I always use Almond milk because that is all we ever have.
Cupcakes I made in regular time. I decided to work on the icing while the kids and my husband were in the living room (which is attached to our kitchen). I don't usually do this unless I want to frustrate myself or I am in a mad rush). Lucky for me, backyardagans were entrancing both the kids and my husband.
Making the icing, not a problem. I again, followed the recipe exactly. Then came time to tint the icing to the colour of grass. (you'll see in the pictures). I separated the icing into three bowls. Tinted the first bowl darker green, the second one light, and then made the third one into chocolate icing (by melting on square of semi-sweet choc and a tablespoon of butter, then adding it to the icing). I used my new injector thingy tool with a funny looking half moon-jagged tip on it to create the grass. I borrowed the directions on how to make icing fur (as in fur on dogs) to then simulate into grass:)
It took me 20mins to decorate the first cupcake. I was ready to throw in the towel because that was exhausting. BUT of course I challenged through.
TO make the bunnies popping down the hole, i covered the cupcake in chocolate icing, then covered it with oreo cookie crumbs. I cut out the feet from white chocolate wafers (this alone took over 5 mins/set of feet), then coloured the chocolate icing even darker to pipe on the paw prints, with the other injector tool i have, then stuck a mini-marshmallow on it.
So see what you think for yourselves. The first two are my cupcakes and the last one is the picture I copied it from.
I can't even think about next week yet, I am cupcaked out today!

Cupcake Challenge Week 4 of 52

So I made the cupcakes on thurs this week (a day ahead of schedule, I was very impressed). I made them on Thurs because I was going to a party Thurs night and wanted to bring something with me as a thank you. Sooooo little did I know, when you go to a Pampered Chef party, they cook a big meal and all kinds of snacks! You don't need to bring food to this kind of party. I am a huge loser for doing this, and clearly should of read the invitation more accurately. I also showed up to the wrong house at first. Big sigh, it was a long week. BUT, good news is I made the cupcakes and I was totally happy with the recipe.
I will be using this recipe for our daughters first birthday.
So, my Mom bought me another icing tool. A large tube, injector like thing with large plastic tips. At first I thought, I don't think anything is going to help me with my decorating issues. I filled it anyways and gave it a whirl (litterally:) It worked brilliantly. The swooping, glorious swirling cupcakes I was looking for happened. Ok, so they weren't perfect and that glorious, but I felt so excited that they (the swooping, glorious, swirling cupcakes) were on there way to happening. PROGRESS.
My husband wasn't so big on the cupcake this time. He doesn't like pinapple/any fruit chunks in cupcakes. Everyone else though seemed to enjoy them. They didn't have the moisture problem like the last carrot ones. They weren't too spicy. The icing tasted just right and I started to run out of icing sugar, so my measurements didn't even happen. I just guessed at the icing. (not so great of an idea when you are trying to document and stick to recipes for later use:)
So i am obviously obsessed with :) faces, and that just means I was happy with this weeks challenge.
Not so happy at my pampered chef silliness.
PS I must have been so excited about the icing and swoopingness that I didn't take a photo of the end result. Seriously, i suck i know.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Cupcake Challenge Week 3 of 52

At first I thought I would continue with the carrot theme and perfect it. So I gathered all the ingredients to make SUGAR FREE CARROT MUFFINS. orrrrr so I thought. I forgot the bloody carrots. Seriously, where is my head. Oh right with a two children under two and five billion other things going on:) So slightly disappointing because we were expecting friends over in 2hrs and I already had the cream cheese thawing to room temp for the icing. So a quickly looked for a backup recipe that I did have the ingredients for. CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES. Plain chocolate, nothing fancy.

They were easy to make, and the cream cheese icing went great with them. They were moist and yummy. I think they may be a keeper to try again, with another icing.
No pictures for this week as I was in a huge hurry. The icing however, was easier to push through the stupidly small hole of the tip. I have a book that shows how to ice with a zip lock bag, maybe I will try this next time and try the sugar free carrot. (i want to have something for my daughters first birthday in May)
I am quite possibly getting a little sick of eating the cupcakes (i know my waist line isn't) but i am not sick of making them. I am looking forward to each week.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Cupcake Challenge Week 2 of 52

Icing is still a problem! I decided to make CARROT CUPCAKES with a WHITE CHOCOLATE CREAM CHEESE ICING. Sounds delicious I know.
The one thing I don't like about making carrot cupcakes/muffins is grating the carrots. Just seems like an extra step in baking, but.... 2 cups of carrots really doesn't take very long.
These cupcakes had pineapple in them as well. Really added to the moisture of the cupcakes but you didn't have to taste the pineapple.
The cupcakes were really moist. Kinda of oily. If I made this recipe again, I would cutback on the oil and sub in applesauce, but that might make them mushy. hmmmmm
My tasters this week (aka my family again) loved the cupcakes, loved the taste, but also thought they were too moist/oily if they were for someone. I.E if they were to be displayed for a birthday/wedding.  Just touching the paper liners, your fingers were oily.
Soooooo ICING. Geez, why does it have to be so frustrating. I've decided it's not my icing recipes/consistencies, it's my technique. How much icing to put in the pastry bag, what temperature should it be, how to squeeze the icing out perfectly on the cupcakes.
I had just as much issues this week as last with the icing. I switched the icing bag twice (alternating with a Ziploc bag). It would only come out in tiny spaghetti like lines. Not the big swooping swirls I was looking for.
I am kinda of getting carpal tunnel from squeezing the bag so hard.
Note to self: Solicit outside help for decorating. Join a cake decorating course, talk to my aunt (baker), google cake decorating.
Pictures to follow.
Feeling slightly discouraged and it's only week 2, but then remembering I have
50 more tries to make it right:))
PS white chocolate in the icing wasn't worth it. You couldn't taste it and it was a lot of hassle and silly to get the heavy cream and white chocolate only to use a few table spoons.