Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Cupcakes That Broke My Mixer

It's always a sad sad day when a beloved piece of kitchen equipment goes on to that big kitchen drawer in the sky. Sometimes you cry (when you're in the middle of a recipe), sometimes you curse (when you're in the midst of mixing frosting), and sometimes you accept it's passing peaceably with a wistful smile on your face as you remember all the glorious successes and fails you've concocted in the past.

This happened to me this weekend. My kitchen bid farewell to the stand mixer that has served me faithfully for 5 years. It was a cheap Christmas gift at the time, but turned into one of my favorite appliances as we trudged through bread, cookies and bars 1 cup of flour at a time. Unfortunately, I was engaged in both of the above scenarios when it decided it had had enough of my sugar coma inducing doughs and quit. So, there was crying and cursing as I tried to scrape frosting from the beaters and make the call, "Is the frosting whipped enough? Or do I even try to do this by hand?" In the end, I decided that the frosting was fluffy enough and moved on, thanking the god's above that the double batch of batter had already been done. WHEW

I was feeling delirious toward the end of all the frosting.

Anyhoo, let's take a moment for my fallen comrade and commence with the joy of picking out a new mixer & the spiraling depression following the realization that I don't have any money to replace it. So, you may not see many sweet treats on here for a while. Sad, I know, but probably advantageous to my waist line.

This is the one I've picked out. You know, just in case anyone wants to buy me an early Christmas gift.

These cupcakes were a trial for two friends of mine who have asked me to do the food (including the cake) for their wedding next year. I had found a new red velvet cake recipe that looked utterly delicious, and thanks to the Easter baking sales going on, I decided the stars had aligned in my favor. The couple in question picked out a raspberry filling & a white chocolate frosting. I adapted the recipe from a couple of different sources, and they turned out fantastic. With a little adaptation on the red velvet recipe, I ended up with light airy cupcakes and not the dense texture sometimes associated with red velvet. These were a LOT of work, but well worth the effort.

Window sills. The original cooling mechanism.

Cake recipe adapted from here. 

Red Velvet Cake

1 box Duncan Hines Red Velvet Cake mix

1 3.4 ounce box of instant vanilla pudding

1/2 cup of milk (I used 2%)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup mayonnaise

6 oz. plain greek yogurt (I used Chobani)

4 large eggs

1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line your cupcake pans either with cups, or spray the heck out of them with non stick spray.

I thought these liners were adorable!
1b) Remember that your friend Casey recently sent you a new CD of one of your favorite artists from his Japan trip and pop that sucker in the laptop to jam too while you cook.

Judge me if you want, but Gackt is pretty much a god.

2) Place all ingredients into a bowl and mix until well combined.

Preeeetty color

3) Fill your cupcake liners up about halfway. I used an ice cream scoop, but about 2 TBSP should be about right. Just don't be an idiot like me and leave your scoop in your bowl while you put your first tray in the oven, otherwise THIS will happen.


4) Pop your trays in the oven for 15 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the middle of one to ensure it's done all the way through. Set aside to cool.


5) While your cupcakes are cooling, go here and follow the instructions for the seedless raspberry filling. I can tell you I left the alcohol out and it all tasted wonderful.

Straining raspberry seeds is not a fun activity I'm sorry to report.

6) Once you have your filling, grab a gallon sized zip lock bag and pour your filling inside. Now, grab your closest piping tip, such as this...

...and insert the wide end into your cupcake and twist and lift out. You should now have a nice little chunk of cupcake in the end of your piping tip and a beautifully sized hole in your cupcake. Now, repeat this on ALL cupcakes until you have something like this happening...

LEGIONS of cupcakes waiting to be eaten... I mean filled!

7) Once you have eaten all the little bits of cake that come out of the middle (or share it with people if you HAVE too) grab your filling bag and snip the very tip off the corner of the zip lock and carefully fill those little holes all the way to the brim. The liquid will seep into the cake a little bit, so once you have them filled, expect the filling to creep away from the brim a little bit. This is okay! That just means you'll have a more flavorful cake!

You can see that the filling has gone down a little since I filled them. That's okay!

8) Time to get your frost on! Now go here and follow the instructions to the letter. Unfortunately, this is right around the step when my mixer mixed it's last, so I have absolutely NO pictures of this step. I'm sorry! Use your imagination.

9) Scoop your frosting into your piping bag, or if you're poor like me, put it into a gallon zip lock bag and throw it in the fridge for a few minutes to firm up. This will make piping pretty shapes easier. While it's cooling, grab your filling bag and top off your raspberry middles.


I'm not ashamed to say I ate two in about 5 minutes.

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