As some of you know, my cupcake obsession recently bled over into my coursework. As an English lit grad student, that is a pretty sweet accomplishment. (No pun intended, but now that it's there... I like it.)
For my Education Literacy course on the writing process in schools, I am putting together a multigenre project on the cupcake.
I've written some fun things and I'm working on a baking soundtrack too. Perhaps I'll blog more of the project over the next couple of weeks.
I decided that just baking a recipe that I found online would be boring and... well... what I do all the time.
So, this weekend I tried out my first cupcake baking mashup. Since I tried Bakerella's cake truffles last weekend, I've been dying to make them again with a new cake flavor.
I debated the merits of both Paula Deen's Arnold Palmer cupcakes and Simply Recipe's Carrot Cake.
I made the Paula Deen cupcakes before and, in all honesty, I didn't really care for them. But... since I made them in August of 08, I've considered them the cupcakes that got away. They somehow got the best of me. By the way, an Arnold Palmer is a drink made of equal parts tea and lemonade. The cupcake is made much the same way.
The Carrot Cake just looks fantastic, but I haven't tried the recipe. Or anything from the Simply Recipes site, actually.
I was still trying to make up my mind on Friday when I pulled this card from my mom out of the mailbox.
Please note two things:
1. My eye color. Nice, right? I'm going to wear hot pink and purple from now on.
2. The writing on the card: "Wanna let's do it?!"
For those of you who don't know Paula Deen like I do, Paula asked her guest "You wanna let's do it?!" in reference to a giant slice of lasagna sandwiched between pieces of garlic bread. It was an epic sandwich that required both Paula and her guest to unhinge their respective jaws.
That is my "You wanna let's do it?!" face, of course.
Understandably, that envelope sealed the deal for me. It was almost like seeing Jesus in my toast or something.
My first mashup had to be Paula Deen's Arnold Palmer cake & icing made into Bakerella's cake truffles.
Here's how it went down.
On Friday, I baked the cupcakes according to Paula's recipe. I halved the recipe since I'm not feeding an army. And I used blackcurrant black tea since it was the only black tea I had in the house.
I then walked away from the adorable cupcakes and didn't think about them again until Saturday morning.
As I decided what to do with my day, I absentmindedly crumbled cake. I highly recommend this practice. It's quite soothing.
Then I walked away from the crumbled cake. I had to (had to) grade 9 student papers before I allowed myself to truffle the cake.
Around 8:30pm, with Hitch on in the background, I whipped up Paula's Arnold Palmer frosting.
Now this was the exact moment at which I remembered why these cupcakes sucked and would most likely suck this time too.
EVERYTHING PAULA MAKES TASTES LIKE BUTTER!!!!
This might not be true, but this Arnold Palmer icing does taste like butter. Ugh. Oh well. I added some extra powdered sugar and a dash of vanilla for good measure. That helped a little.
If you'll remember, my last cake truffles were a touch strong with the icing. This time I was much more careful and I only added the icing to the cake until the mixture was sticky enough to hold together.
Next, I hand rolled the balls. Right, truffles. I'm trying not to call them "balls" for all the obvious reasons.
Can you spot the knot?
After I chilled the cake and icing mixture in the freezer for about an hour, I then dipped them in Candy Melts.
Since this was my first time working with Candy Melts, there was some trial and error for sure.
What works? you might ask. I'll tell you: a hot water bath.
It took a while to dip and roll all those truffles, but the hot water bath kept the melts from solidifying and making me want to use my words.
Here are the troops all lined up.
I didn't plan it, but I like the way the orchid melts complement the blackcurrant undertones in the cake truffle. The orchid melts are vanilla, but color has a lot to do with taste. Or maybe I just made that up.
Finally rolled, set and ready to go, here is the money shot.
That is one fine looking BlackCurrant Arnold Palmer Cake Truffle.
Even though my ideal truffle is covered in semi-sweet chocolate, I think I can call the Paulerella mashup a success. The blackcurrant tea and lemon are unexpected cake flavors that I believe are improved by the sweetness of the candy coating.
Also... while we're on the topic, I'm planning to take three mini cupcakes to my classmates as one of my genre projects. I am planning to make a bacon cupcake (I know... I've been avoiding these hardcore) and a blueberry ricotta cupcake. I'm thinking that my third needs to be overtly dessert-like. So far that means chocolate to me, but what do you think? What would go well with these two?