Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pink Cupcakes

Hello and welcome to the final January edition of Adventures In Baking.  So far in this grand idea of learning how to bake, I've managed to produce 3 types of cookies, a scone, a cheesecake brownie that was neither cheesecake nor brownie and now a cupcake.  A pink cupcake.  A violently pink cupcake.  Seriously, it hurt my eyes to look at the batter.  Neon pink.  I was going for pastel pink.  Missed the boat on that one, but the frosting and sprinkles are pretty. 

Coincidentally, my favorite baking blogger Baked Perfection also posted pink cupcakes she made this weekend and it turns out she used the same recipe I'd used from Love From The Oven. 

The ingredients.  This weeks sweet treat requires two recipes, one for the cupcake and one for the frosting.  Simple math.....2 recipes = even more opportunity for error.  Nothing too unusual for the ingredients.  In my search for pink food coloring I discovered my town has a baking specialty store.   Lots of tools and things I have no idea what they're used for but I plan to go back one day when I have more time and check it out.  The sales lady asked if I wanted pastel pink or hot pink and I said pastel.  The label simply says Pink.  Based on the end result I'd have to say it was definitely hot pink.  I don't think any amount of pastel pink could make that color.  Not to harp on the Pink, but words and photos can not accurately describe this color. 

Let's get started.  In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar.  Add pink food coloring.  Start with a small amount and increase to reach your desired shade.  Yeah.  I know my difficulties with measurements are well documented on here, but I only added the teeny tiniest amount of food coloring.  There's no going back now.  Blend well adding in eggs one at a time.  Add vanilla.

Next step.  Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in separate bowl.  To the batter, alternate adding 1/3 of the dry ingredients and 1/2 of the buttermilk.  Beat well after each addition.  The flour mixture toned down the pink, maybe this won't be so bad.......

Fill paper cups 2/3 full and bake 20 minutes.  It's more of a bubble gum pink now.

Oy.  18 hot pink cupcakes.

Final step.  And here's where the trouble begins.....well, actually it began back in the beginning when I was gathering my cake ingredients but I didn't realize it until I was gathering the frosting ingredients.  Butter, Crisco, powdered sugar, vanilla, salt, sprinkles, whipping cream.  Whipping cream?  Where's the whipping cream?  I know I bought it.  I had to go to a different store this time and I remember looking through the cooler cases forever deciding on which brand to buy.  I know I bought the little purple carton.  Where is it?  Why is the empty container in the trash can?  Wait a minute, I used the whipping cream in the cupcakes.  What the heck?  Oh.  Buttermilk.  Buttermilk is for the cupcakes and whipping cream is for the frosting.  Great.  What's the difference between buttermilk and whipping cream.  They both start with a cow.  Yep, that's all I know.  Well, the cupcakes have to cool before they can be frosted anyway.  Timeout to run to the store.

OK, I'm back.  Little yellow container of whipping cream in hand.  Blend butter, Crisco and vanilla together, adding in powdered sugar and salt.  The mixture will be very dry.  Slowly start adding whipping cream, about one tablespoon at a time, until you reach the desired consistency.  I ended up using the entire carton cause it appeared so thick. 

First time using a piping bag.  The first cupcakes to be frosted are not pretty but I got the hang of it in the end.  Plus, everything looks better with sugar sprinkles.

The clean-up.  I was really hoping the mix-up with buttermilk and whipping cream didn't make too much of a difference because I made these cupcakes for a friends birthday. She was brave and took the taste test with me. Really good but very dense. Maybe they'd be light and fluffy if I'd used buttermilk.  

On the next episode.  I've planned out a rotating schedule of the type of treat to bake each week.  The schedule has four categories:  Bread/Muffin, Candy/Brownies/Bars, Pie/Cake/Cupcakes and, finally, Cookies.  So next week is a bread.  Maybe I can find something that uses that container of Buttermilk sitting in my fridge.

Till next time


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