Monday, March 18, 2013

The luck of the Irish

My first post is not from Betty Crocker but I decided that I didn't care, I needed something to go with the Reuben nachos I was making. Instead I found it on Pinterest and that took me back to these Guinness and Baileys Irish Cream Cupcakes at Baked by Rachel. These cupcakes looked as delicious as they tasted. They were SO good. The Guinness taste wasn't overpowering, I might even say it didn't add a ton to the chocolate cupcakes but they were SUPER moist.

For the actual cake I started out with the chocolate and Guinness mixture getting warmed and mixed on the stove and stupidly decided to try it out, DO NOT do that! It was horrible because it was just beer and unsweetened cocoa powder. Once I got things mixing the batter was really runny but I find that really runny batters make really moist cupcakes. The recipe made 12 really full cupcakes, it would have probably done 13 or 14 but I hate getting out another pan so I just overfilled the 12 a little. I took a few pictures of the batter and me filling liners and then the cupcakes while cooling. While the cupcakes were cooling we took our daughters to the park so my husband could run and while taking pictures of the big one on the swings my phone announced that my storage was full. Needless to say there are no finished pictures of any of the other steps.

The ganache. OMG the ganache. I don't even know what to say about it other than after piping it into the cupcakes I literally piped the rest directly into my mouth. I doubled the recipe and I am so glad I did because I would have been sad if there had been just a little in them. Since it had Baileys in it I didn't give any to the kids but you really couldn't taste it. I used good quality bittersweet baking chips, I think they were 60% cacao. I absolutely love dark chocolate, I could have just eaten the chips and been happy but I am glad I went ahead with the ganache. I used my new cupcake corer to make a nice big hole to fill and it was the right decision.

I did something stupid with the buttercream. I remembered that I doubled the ganache so when adding the Baileys I doubled it there, too. Let me just tell you that 10 tablespoons makes a soup. I had to add an entire bag of powdered sugar, around 6 cups, to get the consistency right but even then it was goopy instead of stiff. It was really good though, you could really taste the Irish cream along with the taste of alcohol. During the frosting stage I remembered that I had a piping bag but couldn't find it so I tried using food storage bags. I highly recommend a good brand if you are going that route, the cheapo ones will just bust the tip out and make a mess everywhere.

My husband and I are the only ones who tried them but they got thumbs up from us both. This weekend I'll be making cupcakes from the book and taking plenty of pictures along the way.

*****My computer is being a butt right now so I will be back later to try to post the pictures.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

And just who is going to eat all of these cupcakes?

I was asked that when I mentioned starting this project to my husband. It's a good question, I mean really I will baking 2 or 3 batches a week, we can't eat 72 cupcakes a week. The kids will obviously help and we will have to at least try each recipe just to see if it's good. I am counting on him taking these bad boys with him to work and watching them disappear and occasionally maybe I can take them to school or send them to someone else we know.

I have watched Julie and Julia (a movie about a book about a blog) so many times that I know all of the words and I have always thought it was such a great idea. Some good friends of mine over at Baby Got Cake decided to start a blog and originally had planned to bake through a book. Luckily for me, they decided to go another way and just bake what they wanted when they wanted so I "stole" the idea for myself! As for the name, a couple of friends (one being Jessica over at the above mentioned Baby Got Cake) who are super evil geniuses and hilarious in every way thought it up. Somehow we got through the obvious dirty jokes and came up with this one followed by more innapropriate unusable names. Frowncake was the basis for all of it when it was all that could be thought of to rhyme with downcake. Frowncake just seemed totally right for what this is sure to be.

The plan: Bake my way through the Betty Crocker Big Book of Cupcakes. Sure, I could have done Martha or any other book but this one had great reviews and even includes recipes using boxed mixes, just in case I am feeling lazy! That is 175 cupcakes in 365 days. Hoe-lee cow.

The objective: To get better and more creative. Currently I can follow a recipe and I bake all of my kids cupcakes for their birthdays, but honestly, they aren't very creative and they look terrible. After baking twice a week for a year I had better damn well improve. This is also an outlet for me, a stay at home mom of 3 kids 2 of whom are 7 months apart and well under the age of 3. Momma needs some alone time, even if it is just 1 room and baby gate away in the kitchen.

The truth: There will be weeks when I royally fuck up and don't bake like I should and I can guarantee you'll know about it. It won't be pretty here, at least not for a while. There will likely be a large amount of profanity coming from these fingertips. Also, pictures will be posted but I am sure that every now and then I will be the annoying mom who has to show off her kids, I promise they will always be covered in frosting though.

I'm giving myself a week to get together all of the crap that I don't have as far as basic supplies and I will start this weekend hopefully!