Page 87: Chocolate Cupcakes and Page 93: Chocolate Frosting

Oh, cupcake… why do you torment me so?

I gave the cupcake another chance, and it once again got the best of me.

I incorporated all my lessons learned this time.  I didn’t fill the cups too full and baked them for a significantly shorter time. When they were still warm out of the oven I sampled and was so excited because they seemed much lighter and fluffier than all prior versions. “I MADE CUPCAKES!” I declared! “Not muffins, not tea cake, CUPCAKES”! Even hubby thought they were more cupcake-like and commented how much lighter they felt just by weight.

See how they even look more cupcake-like? It was wonderful. And I strutted around the house the rest of the day thinking I finally mastered the gluten free/dairy free BabyCakes masterpiece.  But by the time they all cooled and I frosted them, not so fluffy anymore. And… once frosted I keep them in the fridge because the frosting is so fragile and by the next day they were pretty much as dry and dense as all previous attempts. Maybe not refrigerating them would help, but then my frosting would just be a disaster. Perhaps the trick is to make and frost them immediately before serving (oh sure, that’s not inconvenient at all…).

Sigh. There are two more cupcake recipes in the book, so I’ll keep trying with Red Velvet and Meyer Lemon and Bing Cherry versions eventually. But if I fail there too it may all be over. There are just too many better things going on in that book to keep making disappointing cupcakes!

In related news, I continue to learn and master the intricacies of frosting making. I had to make a couple adjustments to this batch…. I had almond milk instead of soy milk, which won’t hold up as well in the frosting, so I substituted canned coconut milk – which made it very creamy. I also ran out of agave nectar (I have been burning through that stuff like crazy… thank goodness they sell it at Costco) about 1/8 of a cup shy of what was required, so I substituted maple syrup for the remaining amount which seemed to work out just fine.

The texture was pretty good after chilled, but I wanted it a bit thicker so tried the food processor trick and added a little coconut oil to the chilled frosting. DISASTROUS! It all clumped up like curdled milk and I nearly cried. But I let it warm up to room temperature again and put it through the blender a second time in small batches.  This seemed to do the trick and got it back to the original texture, and after it chilled all was right with the world again.

Looks better than it tasted. Oh well.

So here is what I think: I love BabyCakes, but either I do not care for, or cannot adequately replicate her cupcakes. So, I’ll continue to adore and remake many other BabyCakes recipes, but perhaps research a way to make a better gluten free/dairy free cupcake. I heard the woman who started Sticky Fingers Bakery in D.C. uses soda water to make them lighter, so maybe I’ll start to experiment with other tricks like that. But for now, onward with other BabyCakes recipes!

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