Monday, May 9, 2011

Delicious Imperfection: Mother's Day Cupcakes

Mom loves yellow cake with chocolate frosting so I tried making a small batch of cupcakes for Mother's Day. Things did not go as planned but the results were still pretty delicious. To demonstrate how my cooking and baking are a work in progress and as part of my ongoing effort to embrace imperfection, I thought I'd tell you about the cupcakes anyway.

Initially I couldn't find a yellow cake recipe in my bookmarks, then I realized yellow cake is the same as any basic cake. Its name just refers to the whole eggs being used. Once that was resolved, I printed Cupcake Project's 3 Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Sea Salt with the intention of halving the recipe and using one vanilla. I set out the egg and 3/4 cup of butter to come to room temperature and started dinner. If only I also had taken the time to note the halved portions on the recipe...

Because guess who added the full portion of vanilla sugar to the halved butter? This shouldn't have been a problem as I'm not one to cry over double the cupcakes but it turns out I was short an egg and lacked the quantity of milk needed to make even the halved portion. I improvised and made up the difference with a flax egg and buttermilk. Somehow, God only knows, the batter still was lovely, light and delicious going into the oven.

Unfortunately after baking my cupcakes had concave midsections. Oops! Since the cake was still moist, buttery, vanilla goodness I need another solution. Cue filling their bellies with glossy chocolate ganache. The end product looked decent, tasted good and could be eaten with a spoon. Mom was happy and I was placated. Where there is a will there is a way... But next time I bake I'll try to remember the notes below.

1. Check ingredients prior to starting a project
2. If you plan to halve a recipe, take the time to write out the reduced proportions.
3. Pay full attention when baking (and cooking) for best results.
4. Baking is a science! Improvised baked goods are best left to professionals (or at least left for occasions where there isn't time-sensitivity.)

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  1. This make me want cake. Now. :)

  2. Melanie - I wish I could give you some!

  3. I think we've all had similar problems when halving a recipe. Great idea to use the ganache.

  4. I'm glad you could relate, Barbara, and thank you.