Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cupcake decorating

So, yes, I've made several cupcakes in the past...several. But this is my first attempt at piping using decorative tips and a piping bag! :)

These are chocolate fudge cupcakes with vanilla cream cheese frosting - which I adapted from Mrs. Pioneer Woman herself, Ree Drummond (love her). What I did diff was add my FAVE vanilla bean paste of all time, so there would be tiny black specs in the frosting, and I added a bit more cream cheese to make the frosting more creamy than stiff. I only did this, well, mostly by accident, but b/c I was piping w/ a #30 tip, which is basically a round hole. So, no real design to worry about, but if you were using a star tip or something more decorative, you'd want to stick to less cream cheese, or add more powdered sugar to make your frosting more stiff. I completed the cupcakes by sprinkling with pearl flakes and adding one silver dragée to each beauty. (Yes, dragées can be a bit expensive, but this one container will last you forever - unless you're doing a wedding cake or something!) ha

Oh, and as for the cake mix...well, I will have to divulge my secret: cake mix from a box! BUT, and a big BUT (or is it now BUTT, since I ate several of those cupcakes!), is that I modify each cake mix I use. The modification makes a much more moist and rich cupcake - they're fabulous, and it's easy:

Most boxes call for: 3 large eggs, 1/2 cup veg. oil, and 1.25 cups of water. Keep the eggs, keep the veg. oil, swap the water for 8oz. of sour cream, add one box of Jell-O Instant Pudding/Pie Filling (match the flavor to your cake mix), and only use about 1/3-1/2 cup of water. Follow all the same directions for mixing and baking. You will notice that your batter is shiney, pulls away from the bowl when being mixed, and is MUCH thicker. Not pourable, more like push it out of the bowl w/ a spat if making a cake, or scoop it out w/ a big spoon for cupcakes. But this is is alright, I promise. :) As the batter cooks, it will rise or puff up quite a bit, but settles when cooling.

Okay, ready? Go cupcakes! (click on the pics to see enlarged pics of the chocolatey goodness!)

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