Saturday, March 31, 2012

Cupcake's from Scratch

This is the whole shebang set up at Hubby's work.  I cannot complain about the "back ground" as my pictures usually have worse at home.

You all know me right?  I mean those of you that have read my blog before know I am not the queen of fancy stuff.  I like simple, I love boxed cake mix, I love to make things the easy way.  So when Hubby asked me to make some cupcakes for his work I was all over it.  

See I am all ready to bake.  By the time I was done it was no longer light out.  Darn Canada!
Then I may have made the mistake of asking what he wanted.  And the mention of a box mix may have come up, then an awkward silence may have happened.  And I may have said, "fine I won't use a mix"  Then I may have bought a new cook book to try out, because none of the other ones I had in my home had a good cupcake recipe in them.  I didn't look, but I am fairly sure that out of the 50 books I have (give or take) there was nothing worth while.
See how dark it is out now?  But look at all those yummy cupcakes!

  So I decided that I would use my blog as a platform to spend money, and try out a new recipe and get a new cook book that I have been dreaming of.  It all worked out, but a box mix would have been easier, and cheaper, you know, just for your information Hubby.

So I finally got the new Sugarliscious book I have been trying to win on all the cool blogs.  Even though all the cool blogs don't do give aways in Canada, I still wanted to win. I don't hate them, it just means I need to win the lottery and buy a second home in the states.  Preferably Florida so I can go to Disney all the time. Anyway I gave up, bought the book then spent a while feeling like a dolt because there is a lot of cute in that book, and I bet I will never make any of it.  But I have it, so that counts.

 I planned to make mini cupcakes, half vanilla and half chocolate.  I planned to make an extra batch of vanilla because the people at my part time job say they like vanilla.  I sort of don't know how I can even look at them when they say things like that.  Chocolate is the clear winner people, but you know I aim to please.  So I went to work.

  When I bake in bulk I usually measure everything out for each batch and you know do that mes en plase thing.  (have everything ready before you start mixing)  I don't do that when I am doing one batch of something I have made before and know I have everything.  So I did that then got to work.  My plan was to make one batch of each for Hubby to take to work.  The recipe said it made 48 minis, which was perfect.  but then I started to scoop, and scoop and scoop.  About 50 minis in I gave up and made the rest into large cupcakes, and I got about 7.  So 50 minis and 7 large and I still had a little batter left.  But I ate it, don't judge, I wasn't about to toss it or make another cupcake.  And I had to do quality control.

And just so you know, Pork Chop heard me say "don't judge me."  And asked me what it meant.  So I told him "it means, don't think badly of me."

Now he will say it all the time.  He toots and I look at him to say "excuse me"  And he comes out with "don't judge me."  Drops a book or whatever, "don't judge me!"  I know, stupid kids, thinking they know everything.  How can you get mad at them for not saying excuse me when they say that?  You cannot, because you are trying really hard not to laugh. Darn parenting is hard!

  Anyway, back to cupcakes.

So seeing as I was stupid and did all that measuring, I was stuck having to make 3 batches.  Which, as my mom said, I could have just put the dry stuff in a bag and saved it, but you know, I was baking anyway.  So all said I had like 1 million mini cupcakes and 2 dozen large ones.  For work I just used the left over cream cheese icing I had, because I could keep them in the fridge at work.  Then for Hubby I made vanilla and chocolate butter cream.  I used a larger star tip, but not large large, just like a regular Wilton large star.  I know that made no sense, just pretend you get me.

My Cream Cheese Icing
(which may totally be a legit icing recipe somewhere, but I just put stuff in a bowl and mixed)

-1 block cream cheese
-1/2 cup butter
-1 TBSP Vanilla bean paste ( or just vanilla)
-milk and icing sugar to your liking

So just beat the cream cheese and butter with the vanilla and then add some milk and icing sugar, add icing sugar and milk, alternating between the two until you have it as thick as you like, and as much as you need.

You cannot really see the disco dust, it is night time after all.  I should have put on  a sixlet or something to make it cuter

Vanilla cupcakes
From Sugarlicious by Meaghan Mountford

-2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
-2 1/2 TSP baking powder
-1/4 TSP salt
-1 cup unsalted butter
-2 cups sugar
-4 eggs
-1 1/2 TSP vanilla
-1 cup milk

Cream the butter and sugar, add one egg at a time and mix, then add the vanilla.  Sift all the dry ingredients together and add some to mixture, then some milk, then alternate between the milk and dry ingredients until they are all mixed. Bake at 350 until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

For some reason the chocolate cupcakes did not rise as much as the vanilla ones.  Maybe  I screwed up, but they were still amazing.

Chocolate cupcakes
From Sugarlicious by Meaghan Mountford

-2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
-1 cup unsweetened cocoa
-2 TSP baking powder
-1/2 TSP salt
-1 cup butter
-2 cups sugar
-3 eggs
-1 TSP vanilla
-1 1/2 cups milk

Follow the same directions as for the vanilla cupcakes.

This is how I pack large amounts of mini cupcakes, as long as there are enough they won't slide around.  And I think this box with the cake board was $7 at the warehouse.  I am cheap and clean it and use it again.  

I don't know why I felt you needed to see this picture, but I am not used to bright in focus pictures so  I am using it.
So for work I piped on the cream cheese icing, and sprinkled on some disco dust with my super cute pixie dust shaker.  Then for the minis I did the same thing with the butter cream and packed them all up.  I even let Hubby use my cupcake stand that I made.
Not sure if you remember but I got this cake stand in a kit at the scrapbook store. It was just particle board or something.  I painted it all and then put it together, should have put it together first, it was a pain to try to put together with the blobs of paint in the seams.
 The cupcakes went over very well at my work, although they keep saying I am trying to make them all fat.  They should have figured that out months ago, I mean I could work out or something, or I could feed them and that would be way easier.

  I knew you would understand.
Can you see the cupcake wrappers?  They were not too much, I think $2.50 for 75, and they are grease proof, so they held their colour. Totally worth the splurge!
Hubby said the cupcakes went well at work, but he brought home a lot.  He said there were no where near as many people as he thought there would be.  So I ate like 100  minis over the next few days and finally had to toss out the left overs.  I felt sort of sad.  I mean I never have left overs.  I felt like a failure.
It looks like it's leaning to the right, oh well, I blame Hubby for that.
So to rate the recipe, it was really simple, and you got way more than the recipe quoted, which was great because more is always better with cupcakes.  The cake was nice and dense but not heavy, and the chocolate ones were so good, I would make them again in a heart beat.  The vanilla was really good too, if you like that sort of thing.  I mean I would not turn it down, but chocolate will always have my heart.
I love how they look!
I now want to try making cake balls with this recipe, but sort of worry I will really like it.  Then where would I be?  I mean I am sort of attached to my cake mix, so you know, don't expect me to change any time soon
Looking down, because Hubby had strict instructions to make sure he took pictures.

Oh and just so you know, I am totally going to use this trick again, because not only did I get to get a new cook book, I also got to buy fancy cupcake wrappers that did not lose their colour when baked.  It was like a total reason to splurge.  I may have to offer up my services to Hubby more often.

  My baking services that is, the other, that wouldn't get me a new cook book.  Unless.........well I may have to try that tactic.  I'll let you know how that pans out.

Ha get it?  Pan's?

I know, I'm lame.

And this is the artsy back light shot, better than anything I have done.


Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust said...

They are beautiful! I would have taken 50 off your hands. You did such a great job!

Susan-The Weekly Sweet Experiment said...

Love reading your posts. You are so funny. Wished I lived closer, I would have helped you with the leftovers!!

Cooking on a Dime said...

My fingers are crossed for you on winning that lottery! The cupcakes look great, I love that cupcake stand.

Paula said...

That's a lot of cupcakes and a lot of frosting! They look great and I'm glad you went with a homemade batter! Enjoy your new cookbook :)