Evil Yumminess in the Land of Giant Cupcakes

July 21, 2010

Tiramisu Cake = Mmmmm!!!

Filed under: Cake,coffee,mascarpone,tiramisu — by queenofevilyumminess @ 3:37 PM
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My mom LOVES tiramisu, but I’ve never made it before because frankly it looks like a pain in the rear. So, when I found a recipe for a tiramisu cake, I was thrilled. It looked way easier than making a real tiramisu. I did still have a couple of obstacles, though, because I don’t drink coffee and I don’t drink alcohol (not much anyway). So, I didn’t have any coffee or coffee flavored alcohol. Luckily, a quick trip to the supermarket fixed both problems. I bought some instant coffee and the only coffee flavored alcohol the store had. I was so excited! I couldn’t wait to make this cake.

The next set back was that I bought an instant coffee that wasn’t in a powdered form. It was more like granules that needed to dissolve, but it actually turned out well in the end. I chose to kind of follow the directions as far as the baking went. I divided out one third of the batter and added the coffee. The directions say to cook the cake in three separate pans. I didn’t have three round pans that were the same size, so I just baked the white cake part in one pan then split it after it was cooled. The only issue with this is that you have to watch the coffee flavored one because it will get done sooner.

I think the cake is better once is has had a chance to sit in the fridge for a day or so. The cake gets more moist and everything  just kind of gets to know each other better. This is one rich, decadent cake. In my opinion, it could have used more of the mascarpone filling. I also opted to leave off the garnish since I appear to be incapable of making chocolate shavings/curls.

The picture just does not do it justice. This cake is totally awesome!!!

Ingredients

CAKE:

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package moist white cake mix
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
  • 1/4 cup coffee
  • 1 tablespoon coffee flavored liqueur
  • FILLING:

  • 1 (8 ounce) container mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coffee flavored liqueur
  • FROSTING:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coffee flavored liqueur
  • GARNISH:
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 (1 ounce) square semisweet chocolate
  • Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour 3 (9 inch) pans.
    2. Prepare the cake mix according to package directions. Divide two thirds of batter between 2 pans. Stir instant coffee into remaining batter; pour into remaining pan.
    3. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. In a measuring cup, combine brewed coffee and 1 tablespoon coffee liqueur; set aside.
    4. To make the filling: In a small bowl, using an electric mixer set on low speed, combine mascarpone, 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar and 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur; beat just until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
    5. To make the frosting: In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, beat the cream, 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar and 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur until stiff. Fold 1/2 cup of cream mixture into filling mixture.
    6. To assemble the cake: Place one plain cake layer on a serving plate. Using a thin skewer, poke holes in cake, about 1 inch apart. Pour one third of reserved coffee mixture over cake, then spread with half of the filling mixture. Top with coffee-flavored cake layer; poke holes in cake. Pour another third of the coffee mixture over the second layer and spread with the remaining filling. Top with remaining cake layer; poke holes in cake. Pour remaining coffee mixture on top. Spread sides and top of cake with frosting. Place cocoa in a sieve and lightly dust top of cake. Garnish with chocolate curls. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.
    7. To make the chocolate curls, use a vegetable peeler and run it down the edge of the chocolate bar.

    Cupcake Massacre

    Filed under: Cake,Cupcake,mascarpone — by queenofevilyumminess @ 3:14 PM
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    I don’t think that I have ever, EVER had a batch of cupcakes turn out this ugly. Don’t get me wrong, they still tasted delicious, but they looked terrible. After making a tiramisu cake a while back, I fell in love with mascarpone. It is so creamy and light. I did a search one afternoon for cupcake/cake recipes that included mascarpone. I found the following recipe at Pickycook.com, and the pictures sold me.

    The recipe was easy and came together easily. However, I chose to follow the recipe exactly and filled the cupcake liners almost to the top. I thought perhaps the cupcakes didn’t bake up as much as a normal on would. WRONG! They baked up like normal and ended up with a significant edge all around the cupcake. This in itself wouldn’t have been a bad thing, but these cupcakes are really heavy and creamy, so they didn’t hold together when I took them out of the pan. The paper liners came off and the cupcakes slumped. The few that I had filled with less batter managed to hold it all together, barely.

    Anyway, this is what I ended up with…a cupcake massacre!

    Keep in mind, though, that these cupcakes had been sitting in my fridge for a couple of days after I had glazed them. The glaze looked much prettier when I first applied it. I still have big, big plans for these little guys, though. Actually, I have plans for modifying the recipe and adding some extra oomph. I’ll make sure to post the changes to the recipe and picture of the end result. Hopefully, the end result of the next batch will look much, much better than these last sorry suckers!

    Maybe if I had baked them longer they wouldn’t have fallen apart, but then they wouldn’t have been so creamy and moist. This recipe apparently originated from the FoodNetwork star Giada De Laurentiis. It just goes to show that the recipe is not always correct, no matter who writes it.

    July 14, 2010

    It’s Raining Cupcakes – Part 2

    Now, for Part 2 of this tale. After I had committed to the bridal shower order discussed in Part 1, I volunteered to make the cake for my cousin’s baby shower. I did NOT have the sense to ask WHEN the shower was being held before I volunteered my services (not that it would have mattered because I probably would have done it anyway, but aaaannyway). Turns out, the bridal shower was on Friday and the baby shower was the following Saturday AND that there were going to be around FIFTY people there! This meant that I had to bake the following all in one week: 2 giant cupcakes, 64 regular cupcakes, 2 star cakes, and 30 + cake pops. I’m proud that I managed to get it all done in four days and without a total breakdown, too. Who needs sleep, right!?!

    I had been wanting to make this particular giant cupcake for quite a while, but had no excuse to do it. Instead of trying to explain exactly what it was that I had in mind, I’ll just show you a picture. Trust me, it is much easier this way!

    The lighting was very dim in the church, so I didn’t get the best picture of the cake. It was a chocolate cake. I used a big basket weave tip to make the bottom part look like a wooden washtub. If I had more time (and more frosting) I would have added a few more accents, like the iron bands, etc. to make it look more realistic. I dirty iced the top of the cupcake with white icing and then slopped on a bunch of the sparkly blue piping gel that Wilton makes. Next, I plopped on a bunch of marshmallows to look like bubbles and then topped it off with a patriotic rubber ducky. I was so excited when I ran across those star marshmallows and I think they worked out really nicely. The little red stars were added at the last minute and were made from cherry slices. I rolled them flat, re-sugared them, and cut them out with a teeny star fondant cutter. I also used the piping gel on the bottom of the cake board and dressed it up with more marshmallows.

    Now, if you hadn’t figured it out yet, the theme for the shower was Red, White, and Blue. I decided to bake a star cake and use pillars to suspend the giant cupcake above the star cake. I also wanted to make the star cake had a tie-dyed effect. The first cake was kind of a flop. I used the Better Crocker gel food colors and the blue really wasn’t all that blue. Also, I had just spooned the different colors into the pan and when it baked, there were huge cracks from where the different colors didn’t fuse together. I’m not sure if it was from air being present or maybe it was because of the spray I used to coat the pan getting between the colors. Who knows, but it wasn’t the best looking cake and I decided that I really had to redo it. Here’s the end result for the first star cake. I hadn’t planned on using it at all, but I had some chocolate frosting left over so I figured, what the heck! You can see some of the non-blueness of the blue part in the picture.

    The second try for this star cake turned out way better than I had hoped. Since I wanted to avoid the cracks again, I used a different method for tie-dying the cake. I mixed up the batter, divided it into even potions, then dyed one blue and one red. I used the Wilton food coloring gel this time and had much better colors. I then dumped everything back into the original bowl and folded it a few time to slightly mix the batter up. Then, I carefully poured it all into the pan. This was how it turned out. VERY tie-dye, I think.

    And here’s what the inside looked like.

    I think this method has way more of a tie-dye look than just spooning it into the pan separately.

    I wanted to try out using the frosting plug technique that SeriousCakes demonstrated recently in one of her many fabulous videos on YouTube. Check that video and many other out here. I am incapable of filling a piping bag with more than one color and having it come out correctly. This frosting plug thing was a dream come true. I was able to use red, white, and blue icing all at once without it blending together. You’ll be able to see it a little better on the regular cupcakes.

    I wanted to keep with the red, white, and blue theme for the cupcakes, too. I opted to make red velvet cupcakes since I was already making some for the bridal shower. I also made blue velvet cupcakes. I used a from-scratch recipe for red velvet and instead of adding red food coloring, I added royal blue food coloring. The cupcakes came out a really awesome color of dark blue. They were all decorated with the left over icing I had from when I did the star cake. Some had more blue, some more red, and some more white, but the design was the same.

    Okay, so after having slaved away at the oven all week and flaring up my carpal tunnel with all the piping, I finally had everything finished. I was so excited to get all this stuff set up at the baby shower. This is how it all turned out…

    Here are a few more pictures…

    It’s Raining Cupcakes – Part 1

    Filed under: Cake,Cupcake,Giant Cupcakes,Red Velvet — by queenofevilyumminess @ 9:49 AM
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    I was asked to make a spread for a bridal shower that was held last weekend. This would be “Part 1.” Then I volunteered to make a bunch of stuff for a cousin’s baby shower that was also held last weekend. That would be “Part 2.” Let’s just say…I was a tad busy last week!

    For the bridal shower, I made a giant cupcake, 12 red velvet cupcakes, and 30 cake pops. I was a little nervous because she asked for the giant cupcake to be yellow cake and I haven’t made yellow cake before. I search far and wide for a recipe that sounded good, but decided to just doctor a cake mix instead. I wanted something that I wouldn’t need to test out in advance and that would be a no brainer but still taste yummy.

    My solution was to take a Golden Yellow cake mix, add a box of pudding (add dry to the cake mix), and about a teaspoon of vanilla extract. The cake came out moist and tasted really good.

    In a compromise between cost and quantity, we decided to go with 12 matching cupcakes and 30 cake pops. I was pretty sure (mostly) that I could get a dozen cupcakes and that many cake pops from one batch of batter. I lucked out, though, and someone else ordered some red velvet cupcakes so I was able to freeze an 8 inch round as an insurance policy for the pops. It worked out really nicely using the frozen cake.

    I wanted to make the matching cupcake pretty and use a design different from anything that I have done in the past. This is the design that I used.

    Since I was planning on making red velvet cupcakes for the baby shower, I decided to just bake all the batter as cupcakes and use the frozen round that I had made previously for the cake pops. As I said, this worked out rather well. The cake was still really moist when I thawed it out. I needed 30 cake pops and I ended up with around 50 from that one cake. I tried thinning the candy melts out with a little Crisco, but I ended up with some grease spots on the pops that I had to soak up with a paper towel. I’m not sure if that stemmed from the Crisco not being incorporated enough or from the fact that I had a teeny bit too much cream cheese icing in with the cake. I also designed a special tag for the cake pops with the couple’s name and the wedding date, which was tied on each cake pop.

    I did not attend the baby shower, but I managed to get a picture of how they set up the cake and everything. I thought it was simple and pretty. I’m dying to get a set of crystal/glass stands like they used for the cupcakes!

    Overall, the planning of when I was going to bake/decorate everything was the hardest thing. It wouldn’t have been so bad if there had only been the one shower, but with two in the same weekend, it was a little hectic. I definitely worked with cake way more than I slept last week. So, on that note…I’m going to take a nap!

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