I was estatic when I learned the theme for IMBB #11 - My Little Cupcake!, hosted by just a really hungry blogger, maki, and I thank her for her excellent choice.
Why excellent, one may wonder? Well, it's mainly because after a long thought process, I eventually decided to focus on cupcakes to kick-start my food business. This event and theme came timely to mark the virgin trip or "Take 1" of my what-would-be-likely-to-be-tedious journey of choosing and experimenting with recipes to determine which ones would make the mark.
I had plans for a few staples, one of which would be a plain but good vanilla cupcake, concealing a jam filling, and frosted simply with icing and topped with colorful sprinkles. My first attempt seems to have met all the above.
I relied on the internet for my recipe. I came up with a few but decided to honor Martha Stewart by testing hers first. Both the vanilla cupcake and icing recipes were adapted with a few minor changes.
Basically, I chose the recipe because the ingredients were not extensive nor were they alien. The directions were standard and simple. So I came back from work that day, after awaiting the entire day, all excited to start my baking. I used weight measurements to ensure repeatablilty in future, should the recipe deem itself worth and prepared all the ingredients beforehand.
First, I made the cake batter, which I carefully spooned into each liner. Not surprising, it was the first time I really could make 12 portions, as suggested. I popped the cupcakes in the oven for 20 minutes, until the cake sprung back when lightly touched, per Martha's instructions. Then I took them out of their molds and cooled them with help from a tabletop fan.
While the cupcakes were in the oven, I made the frosting and jam filling (blackberry and apricot). The jam was too thick to work with so I warmed it for a while in the microwave so they were less viscous and left it to cool.
After what seemed to be a long wait, I finally could assemble the cupcakes! I used a pipe to hollow the middle of each cupcake for the jam filling. But I was disappointed to see that the middle parts were very dense, and to put it simply, mushy like uncooked dough. I wanted to confirm my thoughts so I tasted those bits. Weird and strange, they tasted fine, good even. Oh well. I don't know what went wrong. Was it because the recipe called for one too many eggs, maybe I should handle the batter a little less next time, or should I bake it a tad longer? Perhaps I should just pass on this recipe and move onto my next to-try. What would you suggest?
Anyways, I piped in the jam and frosted each cupcake with glee and joy like a kid with a new toy. The final touch to each cupcake was a light sprinkle of colorful sugar sprinkles.
Now for the taste test. I may be jumping the gun, but seriously, I think my frosting kicked ass! J loved it and even my dieting sister who openly declared she would not touch that white evil stuff on top, ate it up quietly.
For me, I like eating my cupcake vertically so each bite contains frosting and cake. So in that sense, the
doughy slightly-too-moist center did not stick out too much. I had cut back on the amount of sugar called for in the cupcake, considering my addition of the jam filling and the frosting. The end result was good so each bite was not overly sweet. Well, close friends will tell you my sugar tolerance is not very high at all so it was frankly still too sweet for me. But hey, what's a cupcake if it's not sweet? There you have it - My Little Vanilla Gem (in case you still don't get it, it's a play on the word "jam"), the entry for IMBB#13.
(Update: I miscalculated the amount of flour so I should have added an additional 20 grams. That could be the answer to my problem.)