Thursday, February 3, 2011

Cupcakes, Candles and Cubbies

I made some cupcakes this week for a birthday in my design studies class. I could have used a box and a jar of frosting but I like to bake and try new things. Plus, I stress bake so the timing was PERFECT! I talked to some class members and using their feedback I made the following decision:


I didn't have an actual recipe so I combined a couple of recipes together. I started with vanilla cupcakes, I filled them a little under the usual amount. After I baked them I used a plastic juicer to remove the middle of the cakes. I used about 2 teaspoons of filling per cupcake (a quick note about the filling, make sure it's at room temperature so it will spread easily.) Once all the cupcakes were filled, I lined them up on a baking sheet and topped them with marshmallow cream. This part was tricky, that stuff is hard to spread! I think next time I'll warm it up in hot water or try piping it with a large baggie. The last step is to brown the marshmallow so it looks like meringue. Ideally I would recommend using a small blow torch to burnish the tops but I don't own one so I put it under a broiler. Make sure you watch it so they don't burn.


Magnolia Bakery's Vanilla Cupcakes (The recipe says it yields 24 but I wound up with 36)
  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line 3 (1/2 cup-12 capacity) muffin tins with cupcake papers.

In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about 3/4 full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

Cool the cupcakes in tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

America's Test Kitchen's Lemon Curd Filling

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice from about 6 lemons
1/2 teaspoon gelatin (powdered)
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon table salt

2 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into 1/2-inch cubes and frozen

FOR THE FILLING: Measure 1 tablespoon lemon juice into small bowl;
sprinkle gelatin over top. Heat remaining lemon juice, sugar, and salt in
medium nonreactive saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally,
until sugar dissolves and mixture is hot but not boiling. Whisk eggs and
yolks in large nonreactive bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly pour hot
lemon-sugar mixture into eggs, then return mixture to saucepan. Cook overmedium-low heat, stirring constantly with heatproof spatula, until mixture
registers 170 degrees on instant-read thermometer and is thick enough to
leave trail when spatula is scraped along pan bottom, 4 to 6 minutes.
Immediately remove pan from heat and stir in gelatin mixture until
dissolved. Stir in frozen butter until incorporated. Pour filling through
fine-mesh strainer into nonreactive bowl (you should have 1 1/2 cups). Cover
surface directly with plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm enough to
spread, at least 4 hours.

We had not 1, not 2 but 3 birthdays on Wednesday (hence the cupcakes.) Here are some shots of the birthday girls in the scene shop, blowing out their birthday candles.

Cake in the scene shop, nice.

Cubbies is sort of a funny term. I guess my work station in the grad lab is a cubby but Amanda's office isn't really one, she has an actual desk and a sort of room.
Here is a new batch of renderings for my first project in Design Studies: costume designs for The Dark of the Moon. I used my friend Brandee's Prismacolor markers and they are SO COOL! I've never rendered in marker before so it was a new experience.
I'm really pleased with the results. I should take a picture with my camera so you can actually see the pictures.

And now, the picture that goes along with the reference to Amanda's desk:

We had a mouse in the costume shop. We think it was a girl because she ate part of Amanda's Cadbury egg. Look at the little nibbles. It's cute and gross all at the same time.


Alexis said...

I love really your blog!!! others I enjoy visiting... no comments at all, but yours.... Well I love it so much! great idea on the cupcakes! I've never really thought of filling them with something!

Love the pictures of your work place! Gives me a ref of what your world is like up there!

Scarlet said...

Your cup cakes sound yummy. I may have to try them, but I think I'd use actual merangue and not marshmallow cream. Very cute though. :)

rkeller60 said...

Will you make cupcakes for us? They looked really yummy! Good luck in CA. Let us know how things are going during the week. Be safe.