Saturday, January 31, 2009

Golden Layer Cake - Cupcake Variation - HTCE, p. 724 and Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting - Chocolate Variation - HTCE, p. 727-728

Welcome to our blog!

We had our inaugural meeting yesterday afternoon, so I thought it was fitting to bring a treat a la Bittman for our meeting. I baked up a batch of these cupcakes and topped them with chocolate frosting.

I followed the cake recipe that is in the 1998 edition of "How to Cook Everything" exactly but instead of making the batter into a layer cake, I made the cupcake variation. They turned out very well. The 1/4 tsp of almond extract really makes the batter extra fragrant and super delicious.

The one thing that I would say is not exactly accurate about this recipe is regarding the quantity of cupcakes. The recipe says to fill the cupcake compartments almost to the brim. I did this and ended up with only enough batter for 15 cupcakes. Bittman does not specify what size cupcake pan to use, but I am pretty sure that my pan is a standard size with 12 compartments. He also doesn't specify how many cupcakes the recipe makes, but the instructions tell you to "liberally butter two muffin tins", which to me sounds like the recipe makes 24 cupcakes. Also, another indication that the recipe makes 24 cupcakes is that the Butter Cream Frosting recipes says it makes enough frosting for 24 cupcakes. Whatever the case, I only ended up with 15 cupcakes.

As I mentioned before, the Butter Cream Frosting recipe yields enough frosting for 24 cupcakes. I figured I could make a half batch of the frosting stretch across 15 cupcakes rather than end up with a surplus of frosting. Also, I didn't have enough confectioner's sugar for a full batch!

Initially, I followed the Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting -- Chocolate Variation recipe exactly, using the heavy cream instead of milk as Bittman recommends. However, after tasting the chocolate frosting, I decided that it was not chocolatey enough. So I doubled the amount of chocolate and it turned out perfectly. If you are a dark chocolate lover, I highly recommend doubling the amount of chocolate you put into the frosting. There was more than enough frosting to comfortably frost all 15 cupcakes.

The cupcakes were a big hit and our meeting was a success as well.