Monday, August 1, 2011
It's Martha, BIIIICTH! And this week we made a VERY SPECIAL variation of Martha Stewart's Brown Sugar Pound Cakes.
The recipe is very simple--some flour, brown sugar, butter, eggs, baking soda, and buttermilk. Pretty ordinary. However, in dedication to the tragic (though unfortunately, not unexpected) death of one of the most wonderful singers of our time, I dub this week's recipe "Back To Blackcakes."
Inspired by Amy Winehouse's black pile of a beehive and her notorious attitude and demeanor, I added a bit of spiced rum and powdered ginger to this recipe, and to make it extra special, I added a (TINY) kick of chili powder to the chocolate frosting. To top it all off, I made cigarette butts out of gum paste and, in true Amy fashion, stuck them right in the top. I imagine that this is what we would see had a tray of cupcakes been left too near her reach after a night of...um...rehearsing.
These were SO much fun to make. I planned them all week. I was especially excited about making something out of the gum paste again. I rolled it out, let it set up for about 30 minutes or so, and then cut them into the proper lengths. I then squished them a little, as if they had been put out. The fun part was the paint. I achieved the color and coverage by mixing my gel colors with vodka (whoo!) and using it like regular paint. After a little testing, I had the right mix and they came out looking awesome. Toothpicks and a block of foam helped keep them upright for drying (I made them the day before and kept them in the fridge until I was ready to ice.)
I used a "hair" tip this time around, thinking that it would look like her hair, without adding too much frosting volume (I see those folks on Cupcake Wars go home for disproportionate frosting...not me!) and it worked alright. I think in the future, should Amy Winehouse ever die again, I will use a small block of cake or something in the center to build around, to help raise the beehive shape up taller.
Overall I was VERY happy with these, and I really think that the world will miss this great talented woman who, I feel, probably just needed a mic, a good friend, and a shoulder to cry on.