Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Cupcake Day

Happy day after Valentine's!

I celebrated my Sunday by shopping the clearance V-Day rack at Target (I bought a pair of cupcake pj pants for $3.49!) and buying some of the new Orla Kiely collection. (Including that table cloth.)

Sunday is family day around these parts. It was our turn to host, so we had some of Matt's family/people-who-are-essentially-family over for brunch today. I've figured out that the best time to bake something is when company is coming over. Then, I can send all the leftovers home with other people and avoid eating them myself at 11:00 at night when I'm bored and watching the DVR, thus slowing down the amount of time its going to take for my ass to inevitably get fat from baked goods.

Today I baked what is known as a tasty cake. Real "Tasty Kakes" are these gross little packaged cupcakes that Matt used to eat as a kid when he lived in Delaware. I've tried one and they're bad. Really bad. The idea is good - a piece of cake covered in peanut butter and chocolate - but the execution fails terribly. Over the last few years I've created my own tasty cakes. They started out as a boxed cake mix slathered with peanut butter and dropped into chocolate bark.

I've upped the ante since then.

Here's the most recent incarnation:

The cake is from Bakerella's yellow cake recipe. I piped in a peanut butter cream filling made of:

1 cup peanut butter
3 tbsp unsalted butter
2/3 cup powdered sugar

(Mix together peanut butter and room temperature butter. Sift in powdered sugar and mix until creamy.)

And topped it with a chocolate icing made with 1 cup of heavy cream and 8 oz. of chopped up Ghirardelli's semi-sweet chocolate.

(Bring cream to a simmer. Remove from heat and drop in chocolate. Let sit for 5 minutes then stir with a whisk until blended. You can let it sit for a few minutes if you want it to thicken up.)

I only bought the Ghirardelli's because the store was sold out of the cheap stuff. It ended up being delicious though.

I'm still not great at making my baked goods look pretty. I put too much batter into each cupcake liner, so they sort of exploded all over the place when they baked. All the tops broke off when I took them out of the pan. Plus, I'm doing something wrong when I make Bakerella's yellow cake. Mine always ends up sunken in instead of puffed out.

And then the chocolate was a complete mess.

Guess I shouldn't have stopped taking those pastry classes.

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