Saturday, September 11, 2010

Cupcakes: Test Drive- Martha Stewart vs Wendy Paul vs Cakes to Celebrate Love and Life

So remember how I had bought a bunch of cupcake books and did a first look review thing? Well I've actually made a few now and can start reviewing for real!

Martha Stewart - I tried the Triple Citrus cupcake

     I think the fact that I only made half the recipe vs the whole thing (if it tastes bad I don't waste so much) caused half of my problems. The cupcake was disgusting. It was indeed a heavier cupcake as others have said due to all the eggs, but that wasn't the problem. The problem is that the cupcake is bitter and too sweet at the same time. The bitter I take full responsibility for. I put in the amount of citrus zest to be for the whole recipe. So I thinking cooking all that amount made it bitter. The sugar though...was wayyyy too much. It was sickening. Maybe mixing the zest with the sugar first would have changed something. like candying the peels or something. I dunno. It was so disgusting I didn't even bother making the icing. No sense in wasting more things since I didn't have a cupcake to put it onto. And it was just so bad that I'm not gonna bother putting a picture up. I still really want to try the ginger and molasses, but now I'm scared. I think I might just find a different recipe online.

Wendy Paul: 101 Gourmet Cupcakes in 10 minutes: Pink Lemonade

     The pink lemonade cupcakes just sounded so cute that I had to make it. Overall the cupcakes were really adorable. Some notes on the cupcake first. The cupcake itself turned out a bit dry. This could be due to a few things. I think we might have left them in the oven for a couple minutes too long. The bottoms were a bit more browned than they should have been, but from the top, when we poked it, it almost appeared undercooked. I think it being a white cake might have added to it's dryness or rather made it more susceptible to being dry. I used the Pillsbury White Cake Mix. Maybe I should've stuck with Duncan Hines, neither was on sale, so I just grabbed one.

The couple drops of food coloring suggested made the most perfect light pink ever. I was considering making them pinker, but I love how it's not so pink that you don't want to eat it for fear of too much food coloring. I'll be keeping the same amount of food coloring for that.

They don't look that pink in the picture, but that's my camera's fault.

Then came the icing. I urge you all to follow the recipe. I caved in to a friend's whining and put in less powdered sugar (less than half as much) and ended up with an icing that tasted like butter. I don't mean with a slight butter flavor, but it legitly tasted like butter. Gross. But she liked it and whined when I tried to put in more. Another problem with doing that is that when you mix it together, it will start to separate. So we had a tray that looked like they had doo doo on it. For the second batch of icing (when you put in less sugar, you also don't have enough to go around), I just dumped in the remaining sugar. I can't say how much that was. At least the same ratio as the first, if not more. We beat it on high, so at least this time, it didn't separate. If I had to do it again, I would put just a little more lemon juice than the recipe calls for to get that little kick. But this time, I added way too much and the icing ended up tangy on the way too sour side. 

But people seemed to like them and think they were ok (I was too embarrassed to take them in to the function by myself because I think these were a disaster taste wise but I'd already promised cupcakes and there wasn't time to make another batch)

I put edible silver hearts on them. I was looking for the silver balls, but I think these work better anyways. Our piper needs more practice -___-;;

Cakes to Celebrate Love and Life: Chocolate Cupcake

I used an online converter to calculate how much butter I would need since it was in grams. The batter was indeed very watery looking, such that I was skeptical if it would even be able to produce a cupcake. When I did it the first time, I looked at the dry ingredients and thought that it didn't look dark enough- I love dark chocolate and wanted it to be darker. So I added more cocoa powder. Big mistake. Once you add in the wet ingredients, it turns pitch black. Thus...I ended up with a very dark cupcake which leaves your mouth dry on account of the excess cocoa powder. I also somehow ended up with enough batter for 24 cupcakes even though I halved the recipe..but being the dumb butt I am, I decided to just fill each of the 12 higher..and ended up with the below. I tried it a second time following the correct cocoa powder ratio but then it was really runny and looked like chocolate milk. So I added a bit of flour..which totally didn't mix in and just floated to the top in small chunks. I hid it with icing. It tasted much better though. I used Hershey's special dark powder because I couldn't find dutch process cocoa powder at my grocery store and this said its a blend of normal cocoa and dutch process.

I really liked this recipe. It wasn't too sweet or anything. I think I'll make it again. I never got to try the icing though, so I can't say how that went.

Overall, hate martha stewart's, want to try the pink lemonade ones right again, and love the taste of the chocolate ones most- because they aren't too sweet at all.

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