Monday, March 30, 2009

Testing, testing...1...2...3...

This weekend I did some cupcake trials. I bought a couple of mini cupcake tins, some liners, and a few boxes of cake mix (because I am lazy and don't want to make everything from scratch).

First I made a batch of lemon cupcakes - I added lemon zest to the plain yellow cake mix, threw in some lemon juice in place of some of the water, and then made a simple glaze of lemon juice and powdered sugar. The mini cupcakes turned out great - they cook in 13 minutes at 350, and cool in about 5-10 minutes, so they're ready to frost quickly. Unfortunately the frosting didn't hold up very well; it kind of melted into the cupcakes by the second day, so they looked all patchy and odd. I think I may have to switch to a buttercream frosting (ugh), but if I do that I'm hoping to find some passionfruit puree to use as flavoring. Mr Wonderful & I went to a catering/wedding fair event a while back that had a lemon/passionfruit cake sample we both loved, and I'd like to be able to reproduce it. It would require a bit more work though, as I'd have to pipe the frosting on the cupcakes.

I also tried making chocolate mini cupcakes. I used a Devil's Food flavor of cake mix and when I made the "plain" chocolate cupcakes, they tasted like nothing much. Even the kids didn't like them. However, I did also spice up some of the batter towards the end of the batch, with cinnamon, orange liqueur, and a bit of chili powder. The cinnamon flavor came through, but the orange and chili powder were completely lost. I think I may need to use cayenne instead of chili powder and only use the orange liqueur in the ganache. The ganache was a whole other story - my first try (with half the chocolate chips) turned out grainy & gross; I used Barefoot Contessa's method of melting the chocolate & cream in a double boiler. The second try turned out perfectly; in this instance, I heated the cream just until it boiled, then poured that over the chocolate chips and let it sit for a couple of minutes before whisking together. The cupcakes were super easy to frost with the ganache, too - you just dip them in and swirl a bit, then pull them out and the frosting is beautiful and glossy and smooth. Even better - they still look beautiful the next day. :)

A couple other updates: I found the perfect shoes on sale at Kohl's, ordered my bouquet & Mr Wonderful's boutonniere from a local florist (yay, white tulips!), and we figured out the music situation. Tomboy has a boombox that is battery-operated, has detachable speakers, and has an auxiliary input that accommodates an iPod. We tested it out last night, with batteries & everything, and it worked beautifully.

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