Evil Yumminess in the Land of Giant Cupcakes

February 18, 2010

Attack of the Four Giant Cupcakes

Filed under: Giant Cupcakes — by queenofevilyumminess @ 10:47 AM
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So, last week I had happily planned out my baking schedule and was thinking that it wouldn’t be too terrible even though I had a lot to do…and then, I received a message from someone requesting a Giant Cupcake. That put my total of Giant Cupcakes for this week up to four. And then I was given two tickets to a Christmas symphony concert, too. A busy week turned into a hectic week! I managed to make it through, though.

Cake #1 was for my niece last Sunday. The cake was pretty, white and turquoise with white candy pearls. I should have planned more with this cake or perhaps stuck with the original design I had envisioned. I actually got if iced in record time, but then I spent like 45 minutes adding the little candy pearls because I felt that it needed more. I wasn’t sure what kind of more, but it definitely needed something. I doubt I will ever use those pearls in the same way again unless forced to at gun point. It was very tedious as they kept running away from me.

Cake #2 was for my coworker’s birthday. Her birthday was Monday, but thankfully she decided to take the day off! So, I had an extra day to get the cake done. It was a Triple Fudge Chocolate Cake with a hint of hazelnut coffee and was decorated with chocolate and white chocolate buttercream. A friend of mine had given me this really involved recipe for an awesome chocolate cake…but I’m too lazy to spend that much time making a cake, so I decided to doctor up a cake mix and see how it turned out. I used a strongly brewed hazelnut coffee instead of the plain water that the cake mix directions call for and added in some extra vanilla. The cake was really moist and yummy with just the slightest hint of the hazelnut coffee coming through. It turned out to be my favorite Giant Cupcake that I have decorated so far. It just looked so pretty.

Now, before I continue, I should add that brewing the coffee was an experience in itself. I don’t drink coffee and have no coffee supplies at all. I had meant to snag a coffee filter from someone else but just flat forgot about it. I got the coffee made, but the process probably would have made any coffee aficionado cringe. My first thought was that I would just boil some water and then put the coffee grounds in a paper towel, which I would then submerge in the water to make the coffee.  Well, that didn’t work, or rather was taking much too long to work. I got mad and just dumped the grounds into the hot water. Now I had a new problem. I didn’t want to just dump the grounds of coffee into the cake; I just wasn’t sure how that would turn out. So, I grabbed a little colander that I had stuffed in the back of a cabinet and lined it with yet some more paper towels. Then I poured the coffee through the paper towels to strain it. Hey, it worked and I ended up with some very strong coffee.

Cake #3 was for the coworker’s mother’s birthday on Wednesday. I had grand designs for this one, but it ended up looking nothing like I had planned. It was supposed to have had a tie-dyed cake (forgot to do it and didn’t even realize it until much, much later when it was too late to rebake it). It was supposed to have white chocolate curls all over the top (I curse chocolate curls! Curse them I say!).

As you can tell from the picture, the chocolate curls just didn’t happen. I couldn’t get them to work no matter how I tried to do it. All that careful planning and designing and then at the last minute I had to come up with an entirely new design! Good thing I’m creative. All was not lost, and I’m told the cake was delicious.

Cake #4 was requested for delivery on Friday, but due to the concert on Thursday night, I decided to get it done a day early. Thank goodness I had the foresight to see the complication, otherwise Thursday would have been a very, very long night for me. Doing this cake prompted me to declare that drop strings are no longer allowed on my Giant Cupcakes. I was concerned about how they would hold up during delivery. They did really well until they got attacked by the box when the lid was taken off. The box popped a flap open and cut some of the drop strings off. I could, and may, do a whole rant about trying to find a good box for these cakes, but for not I’ll save you the drama. Suffice it to say that I will NOT be using this type of box again if I can help it. When we went to fix the damage, more strings fell off. Luckily, the woman I made the cake for is very nice and assured me that this would not be a problem. I felt horrible and this incident made me realize how happy I am that I don’t bake for a living. I would be a nervous wreck!

My “Note to Self” for this week is the following: Do not add that one last detail…When you are looking at something and wonder if it could take just ONE more detail to make it perfect…DON’T DO IT! On cake #3 I added a little flower at the top of the cake and regretted it. It didn’t look bad, but it definitely looked better before the flower. On cake #4 I added what ended up looking like a large swirly pile of green and orange alien poo on top, which I promptly removed. No one wants alien poo on their cake. On that note, I’ll wrap up this post.

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February 1, 2010

Baking Overload (These things are killing me)…

Filed under: Giant Cupcakes — by queenofevilyumminess @ 10:42 AM
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Notes to Self…

1. Remember to double check the pantry. It is very annoying to not have an ingredient, especially when you have just gotten back from the grocery store.

2. Apparently cats like cake. Don’t leave a cake out to cool on the counter without direct supervision. This may lead to the baking of another cake.

3. Don’t forget the vanilla in the frosting. I was told that the frosting was very good (it was chocolate), but it still bothered me that I forgot it. As an aside on this note, always realize that you left an ingredient out BEFORE you have the cake half iced. At that point there is no going back, especially if you have already had to bake the cake a second time.

4. Don’t expect to be able to get your 18 month old daughter to behave when you are trying to carry two containers of cupcakes, a giant cupcake, and your purse. It just won’t happen.

Here is a picture of the Giant Cupcake that I made for my nephew’s birthday. He requested white cake with chocolate icing. I added Oreo crumbles.

I also made some darn awesome cupcakes. The cake part was a triple chocolate fudge cake mix with a dollop of cheesecake and a mini Oreo in the center and buttercream mixed with pulverized Oreos. It was an experimental recipe and it got rave reviews. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture taken of the cupcakes and I highly doubt that there are any left over from last night’s party.

I came to the realization a couple of weeks ago that I had dug a very, very deep dark hole for myself and wouldn’t be able to get back out until January. I was talking to my co-workers about what things I needed to bake and when I had to do it. At that point I almost had a coronary! I had totally overbooked myself, which is usually what I do. I hyperventilated for a few minutes and then got myself back together. I decided to make up planner sheet for each thing I needed to make. One side of the planner had a section for scheduling out when I would do each step for an individual cake (or event, such as Thanksgiving). The other side had space for the design of the cake as well as ingredients and anything else that I might need to write down. It took me about an hour to plan everything out and then I put it all in a binder.

The first cake on the list went okay, but prompted the list of “Notes to Self” at the beginning of this post. This week is going to be very busy and if I don’t keep to my schedule, there is no way that I’ll get everything done. I baked a chocolate cake last night. Actually it will be two small two-tier chocolate cakes. I also have a batch of cranberry-orange cupcakes with orange buttercream, angel food cupcakes with strawberry jam, strawberry cupcakes with cotton candy buttercream, and deviled eggs to make…all before Thanksgiving on Thursday. Not to mention the fact that I work full time and have an 18-month daughter with a really bad cold. Still, if I do everything they way I have it mapped out, I should be okay. The bad thing is that I’m not really known for keeping a schedule.

And it always seems that everything goes perfect when I’m just baking for the fun of it; however, if I’m baking for someone else…everything goes wrong (see Notes to Self for a few examples). One would think that I would learn important lessons every time I bake, but alas, that is not necessarily the case. I seem to be rather hard headed in this matter and it doesn’t appear to be getting any better. Perhaps it is a side effect from all the Evil Yumminess…

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