Posted from kandhcraft.com
Week 7 of my year long baking challenge has passed and I know I promised bagels. However, since it was 4th of July I couldn’t pass up baking something red, white and blue. I did my own version of these Sparkler Cupcakes. I wouldn’t be true to my baking challenge if I bought the cupcakes (like it says in the post) and decorated them. The cupcakes had to be made from scratch. I found a yummy cupcake recipe from Get Sweet Smart that is actually from DC Cupcakes. It’s an amazing recipe and I will be using it in the future to possibly formulate my own flavors. For now it is a great practice recipe, so let’s get into my experience making these crazy cupcakes!
I have really never baked cupcakes before, maybe one or twice. I always get really frustrated with cupcakes as I always seem to make them too dense. Learning about the different flours from the Bread Bakers Apprentice helped me with the cupcake task. After going through the recipe several times it never indicated what type of flour to use. I decided to use cake flour since it’s a little cake.
The cake flour made the cupcake very light, but it also didn’t dome like a normal cupcake looks. The texture and flavor reminded a lot of angel food cake. Obviously the flat top is something your looking for in an actual cake. It’s not what you’re looking for in a cupcake. I decided to do another batch and used regular, plain old organic, unbleached all purpose flour. The all purpose flour gave the cupcake a nice look and a great, denser (not too dense) cake (sifting helps this as well). It also brought the vanilla flavor out more than the cake flour. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the domed top because I also learned that there are different sized cupcake liners or baking cups. It still worked just didn’t look as pretty to me.
On another note, whenever I make cupcake batter I never get the amount of cupcakes from what the recipe states. Anyone know the standard amount of batter you put into each baking cup? I feel if I only fill it half full I will get a very small cupcake. Is that the intention? I like my cupcakes like I like my muffins with a large top. It almost seems like I am not talking about cupcakes anymore, he he! If I don’t fill up the baking cups then I can surely get 24 cupcakes.
The other challenging part about these cupcakes were the white chocolate designs. I had never attempted anything with chocolate before as I heard it was difficult and temperamental. Actually, it wasn’t that bad at all. I had some mishaps, but all in all I think they turned out well. I used a glass mixing bowl over a boiling pot of water as a double boiler. The steam helped the bowl to heat up slowly allowing the chocolate to melt without stiffening up. I made sure to keep the chocolate moving as well. After it was completely melted I immediately took it off the heat, added a couple drops of food coloring and mixed. Then I scooped it into a Ziploc bag and cut a small whole out of one of the corners. It was a great make-shift pastry bag. After squeezing out the design I shook sugar crystals all over the chocolate. Lastly, I put the crazy designs in the freezer (put wax paper down on a cookie sheet to place the white chocolate on). In about 10 minutes they were hard and I was able to stick them in the cupcakes.
I made the cupcakes for a 4th of July party and I heard they were a hit. I had to leave before dessert came out, but I was told they were good. My husband had one. He approved. I had a small bite of the cake and it was very vanilla-y, which was the point. However, my favorite part was the cream cheese frosting. I love cream cheese frosting! Well, again I am supposed to do bagels this weekend, but my husband has to work. So, my little one may hinder these plans. I may have to come up with something quicker and easier.