Sunday, October 26, 2008

in which my new career plans fall flat

Well, I know that I'll probably never be a baker. I made cupcakes from scratch today for the first time ever, and they are possibly the worst cupcakes you could possibly imagine. 

They are rubbery, strongly egg-y in their flavor and let's just say the frosting puts the "butter" in buttercream.

I'm bummed about the texture, and I can't figure out what I did wrong. Probably overmixed the batter, even though I used cake flour. (However, the instructions weren't very helpful..."mix until batter has a curdled appearance". Well, maybe that is helpful except I didn't know what it meant. Curdled milk?)

But the flavor was the real disappointment. I followed the yellow cake recipe from "The Best Recipe" by America's Test Kitchen, which has a LOT of butter in it. So much that the cupcakes are actually a bit greasy. And you can really taste the eggs. 

And the frosting? I've had "real" buttercream frosting before and it definitely had a better texture than what I made. Perhaps I didn't beat it long enough because it's not very fluffy and it's not even very sweet. It really does taste just like butter with some sugar and lime (I didn't have any lemon) mixed in. If there is a difference between handheld mixers and stand mixers in the amount of time needed to achieve the results, I wish a recipe would note that. The cake recipe did, but the frosting recipe (from the same book) didn't.



CarpeDyem said...

Keep on trying with the cakes!! the best recipe I use is quite easy to remember - four ingredients all weighing 4 oz each - two eggs, 4oz butter, 4 oz self raising flour and 4oz sugar. mix sugar and butter together until light and fluffy, then add the eggs (already whisked prior to adding) the add the fkour by folding it in. the key is introducing air. You can do another method where you put everything all in the bowl together and mix. Cook on gas 4 for for about 12-15 mins? until firm. It's a good basic recipe and the quantities can be increased etc or can be used to make a sponge cake etc. Hope this helps!

Rachael said...

I grew up in a bakery and have come to learn that the frosting is hard to get right, even for someone who has been doing it for a number of years...just keep trying and don't be afraid to try other recipies too (I highly reccomend using Cake shortening rather than regular shortening - have to look for it though- not a regular grocery store item).

Christophernicus said...

Suck it up! You can make a great blueberry cobbler, remember?