2.13.2010

A Lesson in Cupcakes: failure strikes again

I recently heard that Thomas Edison was perturbed that no one asked him about the 1,000 light bulbs that didn't work. I understand what he was saying, at least as far as baking goes. I think I feel more productive with kitchen failures because I learn more from what doesn't work than what does.

About a year ago I posted a picture of my embarrassing cheesecake flop. I learned a valuable lesson from that cheesecake: it's worth the extra trip to the store for the exact ingredients, because baking is all about chemistry, and I didn't do so well in high school chemistry, so I don't know what I'm doing when it comes to substituting fat free cream cheese and/or greek yogurt for regular full fat cream cheese (which I may or may not have done...)

A couple of weeks ago I learned two valuable lessons about Seven-Minute Frosting: one, that it'll be Twenty-Minute Frosting if you don't use an electric mixer and decide to handwhip the egg whites over the simmering water; and two, that Seven Minute Frosting is not the best option for a red velvet two layer cake (note the dam-like effect of the glass cake cover):



Today I learned a valuable lesson about cupcakes. If you don't have enough tins, wait until the first comes out instead of putting paper baking cups on a regular baking sheet and expecting them to come out looking like cupcakes. Instead expect a melty deformed (albeit strangely visually appealing) result:



The good news is that the cupcakes in the tins worked out, which means that Jonathan and I get to enjoy scrumptious yellow buttermilk cupcakes after our Valentine's dinner tonight :) I'll just add some frosting and sprinkles and they'll be ready to go!

4 comments:

brooke O'Neill said...

amy,
how was the red velvet cake? :)

Amy said...

not bad. a little dry, but it improved with age. the recipe said to make three cakes, but i think it would have been a lot better as two thicker ones. (It was a Food Network recipe.)

Jen Mc. said...

That is hilarious!!! I love, love, love that first pic. :) Our V-Day dessert, a chocolate sour cream cake, was a taste success with two unfortunate downfalls: 1. sprayed but did not flour the 9" rounds (thus, largely without their tops), & 2. accidentally closed the recipe window online (thus, a fabulous dessert that we'll probably never find again...).
Wish you lived closer so we could swap goodies! :)
j.

Amy Kopecky said...

Would love to swap goodies! But the next best thing is to share recipes :) Maybe you could email me your chocolate sour cream cake recipe and I could email you the cupcake recipe?