Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cupcakes for Carrie

I thought it was about time that I blogged something. Well, the freshest experience that comes to mind happened just this past weekend. I was throwing a baby shower for my sister-in-law. I had decided to attempt to make gourmet cupcakes for the special event. (I've seen all of these new dessert shops pop up with these kinds of cupcakes, was tempted to eat them, but never wanted to pay gourmet prices.) I was up for the challenge...I bought all of the ingredients including 1 lb bitter-sweet chocolate, 1/2 lb white chocolate, limes, buttermilk, and heavy cream. I was ready to go!

Quickly I learned that the cupcake making process is similar for pretty much any cupcake. (Is this true for homemade cake as well? Not sure.) Cream butter and sugar, incorporate eggs, alternate dry and wet ingredients and walla! When the first batch came out I was very hopeful, based on the look of the cupcakes. After taste testing the first cupcake it turned from hope to guaranteed success...mmmm...good. Three hours later. The end result? Strawberry (with real strawberry pieces), coconut lime, and devil's food chocolate. (I picked these three to represent the baby room color scheme: pink, brown, and green.) The first step in the process was complete with no major casualties, whew!

The next day I planned just enough time to make the frostings/toppings. I started with the white chocolate cream for the coconut lime cupcakes. Yummy! Then I pursued the strawberry fluff (don't pay to how much butter). I ended with the chocolate ganache and didn't realize it need so long to cool, so it was more like chocolate "drip."
Once I tallied the votes on likes and dislikes (if there were any), I'd have to say it was an overwhelming success--delicious gourmet cupcakes without the gourmet price. (Thanks, Carrie for giving me a good excuse.) Oh, and I have to tell you. I got a call the next evening from my neighbor (with whom I'd been generous and shared some chocolate cupcakes) who said that it was the best cupcake he had ever eaten. I replied with a giggle and a "yeah right" and a "thanks!" "No really," he said, "I stood in line at a dessert shop in NYC that supposedly had the best desserts in town and I'd have to say this beats all." Well, to say the least, I went to bed feeling content with a job well done. Now, don't get me wrong! I can only pat myself on the back because of the great recipes I used. So a big thanks to Martha Stewart and Nie's Cuisine (or Kate, whoever you are). If I can do it, you can too!