The Bee Hive

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Cake Weekend Recap

I'm over the embarrassment of telling S it would be a good idea to remove 50 batteries from their packaging and stick them in the same baggie until we made more throwies the next day. We only ruined 30 batteries and were still able to make ~370 throwies in an afternoon/evening.

At the same time I baked tiny batches of cupcakes and frostings.
Here's what I learned:
1. Smitten Kitchen's Chocolate Cake is the best chocolate cake ever.
2. Smitten Kitchen's Vanilla, How to Eat a Cupcake's Vanilla and some random "best ever" vanilla cupcake recipes while good, were all not good enough (actually the first two were very good, the "best ever" was disgusting). Smitten's & How to's would be great for a layered wedding cake.
3. The Washington Post (hi new newspaper) published a recipe that was almost perfect, but not quite. It used melted butter, which was an interesting concept and created a larger "crumb" more like the fluffiness of a boxed cake mix.
4. Experimenting with different fats resulted in the best vanilla cupcake I've ever made from scratch. 50% shortening and 50% butter = perfect cake.
5. When you have the perfect cake, don't go for a 7th try or you may end up with sunken-center-pucks-of-cake:
8. Adding pudding to baked-from-scratch cupcakes is stupid. Why mess with a good thing?

There are at least 16 cupcakes in the freezer waiting for an official tasting when the turtle arrives this week. But, for now this is how things are shaking down:
Smitten Kitchen's Chocolate Cake
WP's Vanilla made with 1/2 butter and 1/2 shortening (beat sugar & fats tog rather than with flour as suggested)
Vanilla (MS recipe)
Chocolate (How to eat a cupcake recipe)
Peanut Butter (How to Eat a Cupcake recipe)
Mint Chocolate Chip (1t of mint extract per batch)
Mocha made with strong espresso

I also found these little boxes, which I think we may have to use for our guests to take leftovers!
On my run today I was trying to figure out how many cupcakes to make and how many batches of each of the two cakes it would take. I think I came up with 7 batches of each. I love my daily brainstorming sessions, but at the end of each run I can rarely remember what I concluded. On that note, Sunday marked the end of week 2 of my 20 week marathon training plan. The first few weeks are actually fewer than the 25 miles I usually run in a week and three mile days feel like a total treat! Even if I don't actually run a marathon, it's nice to have a schedule and variety; I'm really enjoying the training plan so far. Now if this darn rain/tornado weather would let up!

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