The Thrifted Kitchen :: Blinged-Out Chocolate Pinks
Oh my gosh, you guys. These cupcakes...these...cupcakes. They were definitely one of those learning-curve recipes, or maybe just one that shows what happens when you don't read the directions thoroughly (ha). I think the only thing I didn't make a mistake with was the butter cream icing, but such is my baking life. My husband can attest to how many times I hurry through a recipe and make fairly large "whoopsies!" along the way...but I argue that it makes me a better baker...because I have to figure out how to troubleshoot...right? Yeah...
First, the actual cupcakes. Know from the get-go that these are suppose to be the mini-size ones, which I didn't realize until I'd already made the batter. The recipe said it made two dozen cupcakes, and when the batter came together and barely surpassed the bottom 1/8 of my stand mixer's bowl, my brain started to realize some things weren't adding up. So I scanned the recipe again and found the sentence, "Bake in very small buttered tins..." and that was Whoops #1. So I ended up making a total of 8 normal-size cupcakes, which is fine. But, having now eaten one, I'm curious if this difference was more important than I thought. The batter itself turned out kind of bland, and the cake kind of dry, and I'm thinking it might be because it was meant to be just a small bite balanced by lots of frosting, instead of mine, which are more cake than frosting. Hmmm. However, by the time the batter gets to the last step (adding the stiffly beaten egg white), it's really, really tight. Almost clay-like. Albeit, once you get the white worked it, it loosens up immensely, but I'm still skeptical.
Like I said before, the frosting came out great and piped on beautifully. As for the topping, the original recipe calls for pieces of a Hershey's almond bar to be broken up and placed on top of the cupcakes, but I wanted to update that a bit, and had all that lovely disco dust still left over from those Kringle Cookies, so I sprinkled some of that on top instead. But it still felt like it needed something, and I've been reading over this cake decorating book I thrifted, so I decided I'd try and pipe something for the top and cover it in gold glitter, too!
I used a recipe called Meringue Royal Icing, which the book said was great for toppers because it dries hard. So I proceeded to print out some script writing that said the words love and amor, taped it to a cutting board, and then taped some wax paper over it so I could trace it with my piping kit and the icing. That part went great, and then I covered the words with glitter (which stuck like a champ), and let it all dry overnight. Then, this morning, I went to take them off the paper and only three came off without breaking into pieces (grrr!), and, of course, they were the ones that didn't get covered in glitter. So, yet again, I returned to the recipe, and on the second page (which I apparently didn't read) it talked about "over-piping," which means going over the design two more times once the first layer is dry so that it's thick enough to peel off the paper. Whoops #2.
So, needless to say, if you do make this recipe (which I would recommend because they're pretty, but maybe use your favorite chocolate cupcake recipe instead of this one), do the last part with caution, or just be resigned to having some abstract glittery toppers...like I did. :)
Courtesy of Hershey's 1934 Cookbook
Yields 24 small cupcakes (or 8 regular cupcakes)
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk (save the white)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 cup milk
1 egg white
Pink Butter Cream Frosting
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon milk
red food coloring
Beat butter and sugar; stir in vanilla and milk. Beat until icing is smooth and of spreading consistency. Add one drop of food coloring at a time until you get the shade of pink you want (I used two drops).
Meringue Royal Icing
Courtesy of Discover the Fun of Cake Decorating, 1979
Makes 3 1/2 cups
3 tablespoons meringue powder (I got mine at Jo-Ann's)
1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted
3 1/2 ounces warm water
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Combine ingredients, mixing slowly, then beat at medium speed for 7-10 minutes. Be sure all utensils are completely grease-free or icing will break down and become soupy. Keep covered with a damp cloth as the icing dries quickly. To restore texture, rebeat slowly.
When piping the letters, tape the pattern to a piece of stiff cardboard, glass or plastic (I used our cutting board). Tape wax paper smoothly over it. Trace the pattern with a Number 1 tube. Allow to dry for an hour or so, then over-pipe the design again. Dry another hour, and then over-pipe again. Sprinkle with edible glitter after the last piping, and let dry overnight.
*I still can't promise this will work, since I didn't do it, but there is no way it won't be sturdier!