Monday, April 25, 2011

Who has styrofoam hanging around?

What a fun Easter!  Here's some gratuitous pics of a couple of amazing kids celebrating Easter...



What comes with Easter dinner?  Easter dessert.  Luckily I volunteered for dessert and salad duty at the relations tonight.  Fun for me.  I like to experiment with new techniques I've never tried and sweets make it so easy to try different things.  While perusing the blogiverse I came across carrot patch cupcakes.


 So cute and perfect for Easter day dessert (but also perfect for spring dessert of any kind).  http://frogprincepaperie.com/2011/04/tutorial-carrot-patch-cupcakes.html 

I started with my faux gourmet cupcake recipe.  I used triple chocolate with fudgy chips.  Yum!

My trick to melting the butter, but not leaving it too hot at the end: take it off the heat when there's still a hunk of butter un-melted and let the residual heat take care of the rest.


Remember to only fill your cupcakes 2/3 full.  Very important step.  Nobody wants their cupcakes to not be charmingly domed.  I did not originally have mine filled properly as muffin tin spot #24 was mostly empty, so that required me to fish batter out of the wrappers that looked extra full.  It worked out fine.


Necessities for the carrot tops.  I had never heard of edible grass before.  It's a wacky candy from Germany and while not particularly tasty, it just made the look.  If I hadn't found it I was going to pipe green frosting as the carrot tops.  As always, use adorable cupcake wrappers.  In the tutorial, they recommended sticking the marshmallows on toothpicks and then sticking them in styrofoam for the candy melt and sugar to set.  First of all, who just has styrofoam hanging about?  Not me.  Second, I found this unnecessary anyway.  I didn't use a toothpick, just my fingers and I laid the finished carrots on parchment paper and they set up just fine.









See.  No need for styrofoam.

I did have one issue though with the mini marshmallows...where are all the orange ones?  I found a huge discrepancy in the colors.  Less orange ones.  Tricky when making carrots for cupcakes.

The best part of the cupcake though had to be the milk chocolate frosting.  Yum!!!!  I got this off of America's Test Kitchen and have adapted it to suit my tastes.  I have found that it needs a little more powder sugar to keep it from being too rich and buttery.

     Milk Chocolate Frosting

20tablespoons (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter , softened (60 to 65 degrees)  This is a slightly tricky step as I have discovered.  You don't want the butter to be too soft because the frosting doesn't set up firm enough.  So I have found that it still needs to be quite cool in the middle.  Don't let it come completely to room temp.
1 1/2cup confectioners' sugar 
3/4cup powdered cocoa
Pinch salt
3/4cup light corn syrup 
1teaspoon vanilla  
8ounces milk chocolate , melted using a double broiler and cooled slightly (I used guitard real milk chocolate chips.  You want to make sure you use good chocolate for this and no artificial stuff.  I didn't go out of my way to use really excellent chocolate, but I've found these chocolate chips are the best and they melt great. See my post on oreo truffles to see how I melt chocolate)  http://why-because-i-can.blogspot.com/2011/03/chocolate-dipped-oreo-truffles.html
In mixer, process butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt until smooth, scraping sides of bowl as needed (this takes a bit of patients and a lot of scraping...eventually it will come together)   Add corn syrup and vanilla and process until just combined. Scrape sides of bowl, then add chocolate and mix until smooth and creamy.


After you get the frosting made, make sure to frost your cupcakes as desired.  My sister would only place the smallest whiff of frosting on her cupcakes.  Others might put 2 inches of frosting on theirs.  I prefer a nice layer of frosting, not too thick and not too thin.  Just right.

Now it's time to add the green carrot tops.  Pick them up one at a time, the candy melt and sugar should be hardened by now.  With a toothpick, drill a hole in the top and then break off two pieces of Edible Grass and stick them as you please.  Then place on top of cupcakes in a pleasing manner...and you have carrot patch cupcakes.

So, don't be afraid to try new things.  It's fun and not as hard as you think.  That's the moral of this story.  If you come across something that looks tasty or adorable, just make it.  I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.  And if it's a total failure...you can always bring something store bought.

1 comment:

  1. These were very fun cupcakes! Yummy too :)

    ReplyDelete

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