Monday, July 8, 2013

Pinterest in Real Life: Patriotic Cupcakes

About six hundred years ago or some shit, I saw these awesome looking camo cupcakes on Pinterest. I definitely wanted to make them at some point and the tutorial seemed simple enough. Well, I decided that I'd give them a shot for Husband's and FIL's birthday party this past weekend and went with a red, white, and blue theme instead of the camo.

They turned out pretty well, surprisingly. I used a red velvet cake mix and a white cake mix, half of which I dyed blue.

The colors didn't blend together, which was my primary concern, so I was pretty pleased. However, this was not a process without its setbacks. There were abundant, "Oh, shit!"s and "I mean, F$%&!"s. Abundant.

I used disposable piping bags for the batter, but I should have listened to my gut and bought some batter tips at Michael's the other day. Instead I used small decorative tips and couplers, just to get the batter out in small blobs. Poor life decision. My kitchen legit looked like a crime scene. If a friendly neighborhood cop had been patrolling my fenced-in back yard during this time, I imagine he would have drawn his gun and called for backup. That red velvet batter is the real deal, kids.

So the cupcakes turned out pretty cute, and all was good. But I had also seen a cool tutorial on—wait for it—Pinterest for inserting a white chocolate truffle into the center of a cupcake. Lindor White Chocolate Truffles are one of Husband's favorite candies, so I thought, Why not? I snipped a little 'X' into each hot cupcake and popped a truffle down in there. It worked great, easy peasy, no issues.

Anyway. I had pre-made my frosting a few days before to save myself some day-of work, but I didn't let it thaw long enough and kept testing it out only to find it was still too hard and my lovely roses looked more like tangled yarn. Even once the frosting reached the desired temperature, the presence of the truffles created a bit of a sinkhole, which is NOT ideal for roses, as they begin in the center. So I ended up doing some regular swirls and popping some cupcake gems on them. Not my best work.

Speaking of the frosting—I was going for red and blue, but man, no matter how much red dye I dripped in there, I could not get past pink. My base frosting did have a slight yellow cast from the butter (and I cannot use lard. Ew.), which I tried to counter with a single drop of purple, but I couldn't get a true white base. I've heard you can use European butter for a true white, but I don't think I care that much. I'll keep experimenting, I guess. My neighbors love when I try to figure out how to do shit because they end up with the possibly-ugly-but-always-tasty end product.

Final thoughts? These were...okay. But:
  • I should have use white frosting with the red and blue, or not done multi-colored frosting at all. It would have looked better. 
  • I should have baked these day-of instead of the night before, because the truffles hardened back up in the fridge and did not work at ALL. 
  • I should have let my frosting thaw MUCH longer than I did. 
  • I should have used batter tips or just spooned in the batter. 
  • And I should have done swirls instead of "roses". 
It wasn't a total bust, but if I do these again I'll leave out the truffles and go with just white frosting and maybe some red and blue sanding sugar. I think the effect would be much less busy. Or I'll stick with a traditional filling.

On another note, a quick tip for freezing frosting ahead of time: wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze it like that in a baggie. You can take it straight from the bag to your piping bag, no scooping, spooning, or cleanup necessary. Every once in awhile my brain works in a logical way.

Frozen in the plastic wrap and tucked in a bag. MUCH tidier.

No comments:

Post a Comment