Tuesday, June 09, 2009


A cautionary tale.

Mister 6 discovered the Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Cookbook in the pantry a few weeks ago and has been desperate to make cupcakes ever since. Being the long weekend I thought, why not it will give us all something to do. So I looked at the cake recipe and went and stocked up on some more flour and butter and food colouring for the icing, we had enough eggs so we are good to go, or so I thought.

So I put the large bowl onto the mixer and put in the butter (which I had tried to soften by putting it on the stove near a pot that I was cooking pasta in but all it did was melt a little bit all over the stove) and sugar to cream it. But the bowl was to big and the butter just stuck to the sides. So I transferred it all to the little bowl which seemed to work a bit better.

Now usually I'm pretty good at reading and following a recipe. But not this time. Somehow I ended up adding all the flour and then the milk instead of alternating them. Then I read the bit that said "Don't overbeat or mixture will become tough". Bugger. But it was too late so we went ahead anyway. Then Mister 6 and I had a heated discussion about not taking out all the double patty cake papers that I had put into the muffin tins (I like to uses doubles because it helps stop the bottom of the cakes burning). He was difficult to persuade but gave in eventually. Then the cakes went into the oven, came out and rested and cooled for 30 minutes. So far so good.

Then the icing. OMG the icing. When looking at the recipe for the cupcakes, I forgot to look closely at the recipe for the icing. I got enough butter, but didn't look far enough to see that I needed pretty much a bucket load of icing sugar. So when it came to making the icing, I only had about half the icing sugar I needed. Necessity being the mother of invention I threw in the best part of a packet of baking marshmallows that I had been wanting to get rid of for ages and hoped. It's not the best butter cream icing of all time, in fact it's not even really that good, but it's there.

So I decided to make the icing a lovely shade of purple, just like the ones on the cover of the book. I looked at the chart of my food colouring 3 x red to 1 x blue. No worries. In went three drops of red followed by 1 of blue. The result was a dirty looking pink. Ok, a little more blue. Now it was a dirty looking blue. Some more red, oh bugger I picked up the wrong one that's yellow. Well, the only colour I haven't used is green, there is no way we are getting back to purple from here, so lets throw in some green. Right. Lets call it "sea foam". It does look a bit like a pallet of marshmallows were lost overboard (if you are being kind) or a pile of sludge with marshmallows.

Anyway, see for yourself:

This is not the recommended colour

The finished product, which despite appearances do taste pretty good.

Apparently the Crabapple Bakery has closed but the book is still available. It has some lovely recipes, and if you look here you can see how good they can look. This was my inspiration to buy this book in the first place. As you can see my apprenticeship still has some way to go.


DV said...

okay, I think I'm done giggling now...



Mousicles said...

Very amusing. Love the colour debarcle. I've been there myself. I've created purple so dark it was almost black in an attempt to fix a colour.

I think kids prefer weird colours.

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

don't forget Min, that the cupcakes in that book (and many others) end up with almost their whole height again with icing - so with only half the icing sugar, it'd probably turn out just right!

like I said on TOA's post - "the perfect ratio of cake to icing is an individual choice but it's being tipped over by artistic merits rather than eatability." which is the totally wanky way of saying - too much freakin' icing!

I'd still go your cupcakes (ooh errr), colour means nothing when it comes to a fine-tasting cakey morsel :-)

doorbitch: pottendr.
oh yes! I'm the Great Pottendr... groan.

Ann oDyne said...

... and now you have a crab-apple tree of your own. Way to go!

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