Thursday, January 7, 2010

Chocolate Covered Strawberry

It's not quite 7 am here in Minnesota and the ground is once again covered in a light blanket of snow. And these beautiful cuppies are on their way to work with Mr. Kate's BakeShop for some taste-testing by my favorite engineers and designers.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry: My very first cupcake in this year-long challenge, er, journey, er, madness I've undertaken.

Yummy, yes?

Here's what's going on beneath the surface: (Hey, Kate, maybe take the tag off the bottom of your cupcake pedestal before you take pictures of it.)

I used the coning method to carve out a little sphere of the cupcake. Then I cut off the bottom half of the sphere, leaving only a disc to replace back on top of the cupcake once it's filled. The leftovers are like a donut hole. And if you were someone who wasn't on a self-imposed dessert ban, like me, you could take those fluffy pieces of discarded cakey goodness, dip them in some frosting and have yourself an "I'm baking, I deserve a treat" snack. If you're that kind of person. And I hope you are!

Swirled inside the chocolate fudge cake is home made strawberry butter cream. I'm still not perfectly convinced it was the way to go. I'm hoping it's as yummy as it looks, but I was looking for a really strong strawberry flavor. What I ended up with was more of a hint of strawberry. Ok, it's more than a hint, but the strawberry doesn't exactly smack you in the face. And I need my strawberries to be aggressive! Next time I might make them with more of a strawberry filling (think bismark doughnuts!). Do you like how I've used both spellings of the word 'donut' in this post? I'm sneaky that way.

So there you have it. First week success. One week down, fifty one weeks to go!

Oh, and in case you're thinking that I've got it all together and just whipped these up with nary a tear or blood shed...let me just shatter that dream for you.

Here are a few of the lessons I learned this week:

1. Butter set atop the stove in the mixing bowl to soften WILL melt if left unattended while you go and check your facebook. And then you will have to shove it in the fridge and check it every few minutes so that you don't go from melted butter to rock hard butter, thus starting the whole cycle over again.

2. If you're not satisfied with the strawberry-ness of your butter cream and decide to add another WHOLE batch of strained strawberries to your filling, make sure to also add more sugar or you'll end up with something that resembles pink cottage cheese. It wasn't pretty, but I was brave and perservered!

Ummm, yeah, I think those are the things I picked up. Hopefully I've averted a kitchen crisis for you with my wisdom. And by wisdom of course I mean trial and error.

Check out the poll on the top of the page and vote for which cupcake flavor you'd like to see me make next week. I'll announce the winning flavor on Tuesday and the pics will be up next Thursday! Don't worry the runner's up will be made in the future. There are no losers...except maybe the elastic in our waistbands. Ah...the sweet sound of victory!

Start your squats and sit ups now. Or don't and just buy sweatpants.

Happy baking!


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