Triple Feature Madness! Green Teacakes, True Blood Bites,and my boyfriend's Balls.
I promise I will explain.
One thing! I hope you all like my new layout. More color, more happiness. I like it. Simple and modern and friendly and whatnot. Thanks for hanging in there with me through the design storm. :-P
So, I mentioned that I had ordered a lot of stuff recently for all my baking learnin' and junk, including a real life Silpat (oooh!), some ball tools (lol) for molding and shaping, some flower punches and lots and lots of shape cutters. So, for this week's cakes I decided to try Martha's white cupcake, sans the pastel peaks she insisted on using for decoration. In fact, it occurs to me that I really just kind of take her recipes and use them as foundations for my own craziness.
For instance, I took this recipe and turned it into something entirely different by adding a couple tablespoons of matcha powder (so pretty!) to the mix. I thought about adding the matcha to the buttercream instead, but that would not look so good with the gumpaste leaves I wanted to make.
For the leaves, I mixed up some awesome chartreusey-matcha green gumpaste and cut out a couple of different sized leaves. On my practice leaves a few weeks back, I made the edges very ripply. They came out pretty realistic looking using one of the ball tools (I find that I prefer the metal to the plastic, with just a tiny touch of Crisco for smoothness.) I went a slightly different route with these guys, and made them more like shapes. I balled the fattest part to give it a little curve, and let them dry on a round object for a slight curve effect. (Gotta get a leaf shaping tray!)
Around the time I started mixing up a buttercream for the frosting, I realized that SUNDAY NIGHT WAS THE TRUE BLOOD SEASON FINALE!! Aaaaugrh!! Trey and I had a couple of folks coming over to watch, so I felt I should do something special for them. True Blood Cakes!
I made another batch of Martha's white cupcakes and put them in bright red papers. You can see them in the background there cooling as I start to ice my Green Teacakes. I made a very white buttercream for this, because I think that this matcha green color and white look so chic together. Once icing was done, I topped them off with their green leaves and Woot! Some lovely green tea flavored cakes!
I must admit that the green tea flavor was on the light side. Florian Bellanger vood not ehv enjeud dese copcauks. HAH!! Maybe I should add more matcha powder? I dunno. Also, I find that Martha's cakes in general seem to lack some sweetness. Even with the proper liquid measurements, they also seem a little on the dense side. Any advice on that? More oil? More milk or something? I dunno. I'm clueless. Even the True Blood cakes were heavier than I expected. They were more like pound cakes than light fluffy cupcakes. Maybe I am mistaken, but it seems that when I buy them from the store, they are like eating air compared to mine, collectively. Remember, I want to be a good bakestress too! So any advice would be much appreciated!
On to the blood...
I wanted something quick for these, and ended up adding all sorts of time to this endeavor. I wanted the appearance of a cupcake that had been bitten by a vamp'r, so my first idea was to use icing and make dots in the top of the icing. When the cakes came out, I noticed they were almost the exact shade of Jessica's fair skin, so I went with bald cupcakes instead. I made a raspberry puree (with a touch of rose water, of course) and OF COURSE it was way too thin. I tried to thicken it up with some arrowroot, but to no avail (always have cornstarch, folks!) My next idea was to reduce it by heating it up on the stove. It thickened up a bit, so that did the trick. Next, I took a chopstick and made holes in the cupcake. I guess I could have just used my fangs, but you know...sanitation and whatnot.
It was True Blood night, okay? And these things were like 12 cents at Walgreens.
I piped (uugh) the raspberry puree into the holes, letting it drip out occasionally to look like well...a vamp attack. It was way too thick or I dunno...it looked cool, but if I really wanted to get it inside the cupcake, I need a better method...like a syringe. (How many of you sang Raspberry Beret just now?)
Meanwhile Trey is also in the kitchen, making a BIG MESS! Naw. We both made a big mess. Three culinary visions crowding one small space makes a sink very very sad. (For real, I just washed dishes yesterday.) Trey had a plan for a while now to make some S'more Cakeballs! Cakeballs, if you are not aware, are these delicious bites of cake from heaven. Basically, you bakes some cake, you crumble it up and mix it with buttercream icing (in this case, chocolate cake mixed with marshmallow/chocolate buttercream and crushed graham crackers) and then you roll it into little 2 inch balls or so. THEN you dip said balls in melted chocolate and let them cool, garnishing the top with whatever evil you can find in the house.
Photo courtesy of Haley Bonner
Trey's recipe made like, 4,600 cake balls. They were sodalicious, but now people hate us for pushing them on everyone. How else can we make the rest of the world as fat as we are?
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned this week for an art blog about the NSU Faculty Art Show, photos of my new work, and my triumph in the Gallery One Ellleven show in Leesville this past weekend! See ya soon!