Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ice Cream Cupcakes

I love making desserts and I love having reasons to make desserts. Since we were throwing a housewarming party, I wanted to have different kinds of cupcakes. Along with the cupcake bites I made, I decided to make ice cream cupcakes. Contrary to the name, they do not contain any ice cream, they just look like ice cream cones.

The day that I baked all of the cupcakes my oven decided to go on the fritz. I think the temperature sensor is broken so my first batch of cupcakes burned to a crisp, setting off three smoke alarms in my house. Thinking it was a fluke, I put another batch in the oven. After about 10 minutes I checked on them and noticed that they were burning also. Again, not doubting my brand-new oven, I put another batch in, a different kind of cupcake this time. After six minutes I peeked in and observed the batter bursting out of the top of the cupcake (notice picture below). The oven temp was so high that it was baking the cupcakes in less than 5 minutes and then exploding out of the top when done. I was able to finish baking the cupcakes with intent observation.
The burnt bottoms actually worked to my advantage because the cupcake would have been too big to fit into the ice cream cone. So I cut of the bottoms, squeezed them in the cones, and frosted the tops.
The looked so pretty sitting on the counter for my party. Unfortunately, ice cream cones are not very stable so they got knocked over a few times. It became less of a problem as the frosting hardened.
I can tell someone liked them!

Cupcake Bites

My first cupcake experiment! I saw this recipe for Cupcake Bites on a blog that I recently found. The recipe said it was very easy and they looked so yummy. I decided to give it a try and if successful I would serve at our housewarming party. I had to buy quite a few things that I didn't have--candy mold, candy melts, and cream cheese frosting (didn't know you could buy that in a can). I was so excited to give it a try!
After baking a cake, crumbling it, mixing it with frosting, and rolling into balls, I was ready to start the fun part.
I had to melt chocolate chips (microwave on low power or defrost, mixing every 30 seconds), put the cake balls in melted chocolate in candy molds, freeze them, melt candy melts, then dip cake balls in melted candy, then cover with sprinkles.
They turned out so pretty! I bought three different colors of candy melts but only ended up using two colors.
Result? Success! I have never tasted anything like them before!
My housewarming party guests couldn't keep their hands off of them, unless to pop one in their mouths. I noticed that the boys would eat in one bite, while the girls savored theirs in two or three bites.Special thanks to my friend Jill for helping me make them. They took a lot longer to make than I expected, but were well worth it. I will definitely make them again when the right occasion comes up!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Road Trip to Twenty Five Main

My husband and I took a little road trip up to southern Utah for a triathlon. I researched which cupcake stores we would be passing by so that I could begin critiquing on my new blog. I found two that I was interested in. Unfortunately, due to timing, we were only able to visit one.

My reward for completing a triathlon is cupcakes. So 20 minutes after leaving the race venue we arrived at Twenty Five Main in St. George, Utah. The cakes and cupcakes displayed in the window looked so tasty. I was super excited to see what I would find inside.
Twenty Five Main is also a cafe. When we first walk in, you can go left to order normal food or right to the cupcake counter.
When I approached the counter, I was surprised by how few cupcakes were actually displayed. The case was almost empty. I was told that people come in and buy dozens of cupcakes so it is hard to keep up with the demand (hmmm...). The three flavors to choose from were Original Chocolate, Vanilla Chocolate, and Vanilla Strawberry. I took one of each (only $5.63 for all three!). Their website lists that nine flavors are available on Saturday. I was looking forward to the peanutbutter cup.
My first taste was the Original Chocolate. The frosting was very yummy. Not too dense or heavy and just the right amount of frosting. When I began peeling the wrapper off, it was stuck to the top edge of the cupcake. The edge was very hard. Cupcakes should not crunch when you eat them but it did. My second choice was the Vanilla Strawberry. Again, the frosting was the best part and was made with fresh strawberries. It was very tasty. The top edge was not as much as a problem on this one. But the third one, the Vanilla Chocolate, had the same problem as the first. The top edge was hard and crunchy.
The frosting quantity and quality was the best part of these cupcakes. But otherwise nothing out of the ordinary. The interior design of the store was probably the best part about it. It had a mid-century modern flare to it complemented by very trendy blues, browns, and prints similar to designs profiled on websites such as Design Sponge. If only the cupcakes tasted as nice as the store appeared.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Great Cupcake Swindle

My first cupcake story. Unfortunately, this is not a story that I am a part of, although I have shared some similar experiences, which include: 1) waiting in a long line in front of Sprinkles before closing time, wondering if my favorite cupcake will be available, 2) riding my bike to a cupcake store, which goes along with eating smooshed cupcakes that I tried to carry home in bag tied around my bike, 3) reminding my husband of a cupcake mission. Thanks to Dave for the story.

The Great Cupcake Swindle

May 4, 2008

It was said that the Sprinkles cupcake shop would have a limited edition Choco Loco Cupcake in honor of Cinco de Mayo. My wife being of Latin decent and a lover of cupcakes was hell bent on getting one of these cupcakes. Any excuse to get a cupcake is a good excuse. We found ourselves with out-of-town friends (one being a huge cupcake enthusiast) down on the Balboa peninsula on Sunday afternoon. I had totally forgotten about the cupcake mission. I of course was enjoying a lovely day of bikes and "fun sodas" (pre-partying for the said Cinco de Mayo celebration). Anyway, all of a sudden Tanya brought it to our attention, her need for cupcakes. Once we called and verified that Sprinkles was only open until 6 pm, we made the decision to go for it! We boarded the Balboa Ferry at 5:20 pm.

Tracy and Nicole (out-of-town friends / cupcake lover)

Tanya (of course she is smiling, we are in route for cupcakes!)

Alright, for those of you who know our route, there is a sweet hill climb up Jamboree in front of us. I guess we are going to earn these cupcakes as they say, since we are all on beach cruisers.

We make it up the hill and down PCH to Sprinkles with 10 minutes to spare! To find a huge line out the door! Now the question is, “Will they still have the Choco Loco Cupcakes?”

We send Tall Todd in for a closer look to ensure that said cupcakes will be available.

As we make our way into Sprinkles, I notice that there is only one coconut chocolate cupcake left (my favorite). We finally get the opportunity to place our order which happens simultaneously with another patron. Wouldn’t you know it, she takes my coconut cupcake and I’m forced to make another selection! Damn. Anyway, we get the choco loco cupcakes and a few others to round out a nice little six pack of dreams and decide to ride home and bbq. Those cupcakes are going to be delicious for dessert!

Tracy, our out-of-town friend has the only bike equipped with a basket. He is now faced with the challenge of making it to our house with the precious cargo. We hit a few bumps and hills on the way but nothing too major. All in all a smooth ride home. Once we find ourselves in the safety of our own home, Nicole (so anxious for her first Sprinkles cupcake) has to take a peek at the little treats. This is what she finds…

Dango! They all flipped upside down!

However, for those of you in the know, you will notice that the Sprinkles staff slipped in the last coconut chocolate cupcake in our box! Ha ha Success!! Nicole and Tanya did an excellent job removing the cupcakes from the box to the plates and we all got to enjoy our own cupcakes. Smooth.


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