Thursday, May 2, 2013

Science Project #1: The Cupcake Experiment

Alright, so I got my hands on some gluten-free cake mix from the bulk food store. Before I make the wedding cake, I figured it made sense to do a few test runs. The boyfriend and my co-workers agreed to be my test subjects, so today I'm baking chocolate cupcakes.

Normally, cupcakes (and cake in general) are on my list of foods that get a resounding "meh" from me. Don't get me wrong, I like sweets, but anything cake-based just doesn't do it for me. Give me a pie, or a cheesecake, and I'll happily dive in face-first. Cutesy cupcakes, or those nauseatingly sweet cake pops, will never be as satisfying to me as a slice of lemon meringue pie.

ANYWAY. So I decided to bake cupcakes, because despite my opinions on the matter, the rest of the world seems to like the damn things.

I used the recipe here, but with a couple modifications because I can't leave well enough alone. Instead of oil I used melted butter (because I will use ANY excuse to incorporate melted butter), instead of water I used milk, and I reduced the amount of cake mix by about 5 tbsp to incorporate that amount of cocoa.

A quick whiz through the mixer resulted in a smooth batter that was unbelievably sticky. I assume that has to do with the tapioca and xanthan gum. I poured it into a non-stick muffin pan that was greased up with some butter, because I didn't have any frilly cupcake liner things. Getting the batter into the cups was a challenge, and as you can see from the picture it was a bit of a mess. OH WELL, that's the dishwasher's problem, not mine.


Approximately twenty minutes later, I checked on the cupcakes as they were baking. They had pretty much doubled in size and looked like giant chocolatey mushrooms, which was promising. While they were in the oven, I contemplated the frosting over a glass of whiskey.
It's alarming how often liquor is a factor in my decision-making.

I decided that a coffee-flavoured frosting would be great for these cupcakes, since I'd be taking them to a morning meeting full of caffeine fiends. 

The cupcakes came out of the oven after about 35 minutes, and I let them sit for about 5 minutes before popping them out of the pan. After lifting out of the pan without the slightest resistance (a moment I was NOT expecting), I proclaimed myself a culinary sorceress and put them on a rack to cool off. 

These puffed up REAL good, uh huh.

Next, I whipped up a quick batch of frosting (use your favourite recipe- I frequently just make things up as I go along so I can't recall specific measurements), substituting strong coffee for the liquid and adding about a 1/2 cup of melted chocolate. 

That's a cupcake, all right.

I foisted one of these onto my ever-willing partner, and he proclaimed them as tasty. SUCCESS!

Until next time,


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