Monday, May 11, 2009

getting there is half the fun

So I've been on a mission lately. Not only have I gotten it into my head that I need to make a cupcake counterpart to every Happy Jane flavor I create... but I also want to enter the Ice Cream Cupcake challenge this year.

Two things need to happen for me to accomplish my goals. First... I need to get an ice cream maker. I was TOTALLY hoping to get one for Mother's day... but I got a lawnmower instead. I'm not going to talk about that here, though.. because I do try to keep from using profanities on this blog. So whatever. I'm still ice cream maker-less. But I'm not too worried. my husband may MAKE the money, but I control the budget. There shall definitely be a belated mother's day ice cream maker coming my way soon.

So the second thing is that I need to figure out how to make a good graham-cracker cupcake. I don't mean a vanilla cupcake with a graham cracker bottom. I mean.. "holy cow.. this tastes exactly like a graham cracker.. but it's a cupcake!"

I found a recipe online that I used yesterday.... but the problem is that it's in grams. gar! So I made some conversions and did my best to re-create this recipe.

The 'batter' ended up being VERY THICK. like "am I making muffins or scones here?" thick.

Nonetheless... they baked up fine. At least by looks anyway. to taste one out of the oven was not what I had hoped for. They tasted a bit... well... bran muffinish. I mean.. they were OK.... but not roll over and find a glass of milk good or anything.

But I thought... let me forge forward. you never know what they'll taste like after I pipe some buttercream in there and cover them with chocolate. Oh wait.. did I say buttercream? Yeah... I did. Marshmallow buttercream, as a matter of fact. thick, sugary, make-your-teeth-hurt marshmallow buttercream. SURELY that would balance the neutral graham taste of the cake.

But wait... because I was looking to re-create my More than S'mores Happy Janes in Cupcake Formation... I needed to get some chocolate. Thank you, Trader Joe's... this ought to work nicely in a ganache layer on top.

and nicely it did. I spooned a little on each cupcake, and sprinkled with a few graham crackers for garnish.

When all was finally set... I excitedly peeled away the paper to see the treasure that would greet me. Looks good, no?

Of course... there's no point of piping in the buttercream if you can't see it in there... so here's a cross-section for you.

All in all... it was... lackluster.

I know!! so sad!!! I was really bummed it wasn't spot on. I even typed out the recipe with the conversions so I could include it here on my blog... but I don't feel right sharing it.. cause it wasn't good enough.

All in all... I need to tweak the recipe a little. I think... because I used an entire portion of graham flour... it was a little on the dry side. next time I'm going to use a mix of the graham and white all purpose flour. and instead of non-fat milk, I'm totally gonna break out the full-fat moo-juice. that little bit of fat helps to make a moist cake.. so I need not to skimp on that.

Also?? I need to pipe in MORE buttercream. The cake wasn't BAD... but with the grainy/branny/neutralnessof the cake, and the dark dark bitterness of the chocolate ganache... you really need a bit more punch of sweet for balance.

So hooray for the pictures... but fingers crossed that I can get this right. I really do want an authentic graham-cracker tasting CAKE... and when I DO get that magic combo down.. I will re-post with the winning recipe.


let it be known that I am currently doing my best to personally get rid of all these 'bad' cupcakes. They may not be great... but I'd hate to see all that good chocolate go to waste. Besides... I figure, with every one I eat, I'm one bite closer to figuring out how to make it better. I better stop messing things up, though... summer is coming, and my bathing suits will not appreciate all these mistakes I'm eating!


Anonymous said...

Hi, I've had this recipe for s'mores cupcakes on my "to make" list for awhile and just haven't gotten around to them. The graham cupcake looks really good.
I found them on Gigi Cakes


Stef said...

You don't need to make your own ice cream to enter the roundup - feel free to use store bought.

I wonder if you had piped ice cream in the middle of these instead of buttercream if it would have been better.

Anyway - hope you enter, you've got a few more days!

BTW - Your bright blue kid cupcakes are also way cute!