Cupcake Heaven

February 11, 2010

I’ve been looking for an excuse to make something out of Sarah Magid’s new book Organic and Chic: Cakes, Cookies and other Sweets that Taste as Good as the Look.  I got it off the new book shelf at the library a couple months ago and keep renewing it because I just can’t let it go out of my life.  I’ve never been that much of a desert chef but … her cakes are just so beautiful I want to make them!  This weekend my aunt is going to bring my dear little grandma over to my parent’s house in Madison for a Valentine’s Day treat.  She hasn’t been to our house in nearly two years now because its hard for my grandfather to drive the two hours it takes to visit and also because he’s bah humbug homebody who doesn’t like to travel or really leave the house anymore.  That’s not true of her at all but as he’s her only sourse of wheels she’s pretty isolated these days.  This weekend we’re striking back and making her our collective valentines date for the weekend.  All grandma, all the time.  It should be very fun.

Anyway, she love chocolate cake … LOVES IT … so my sister and I are planning to whip her up one that’s really decadent.  I’m thinking a chocolate layer cake with hot pink buttercream frosting between the layers and a chocolate ganache frosting on the outside.  I wanted to try it out as a sort of dry run before the actual day to make sure I had it all right … and just for kicks.  So I decided to make cupcakes with all the same components.  I followed her assembly techniques for what she calls “ring-a-dings” – basically hostess cakes but made from actual ingredients instead of horrible chemical compounds.  You make a cupcake of the cake batter, fill it with the layer frosting and then frost the top with the outside frosting.  It was certainly labor intensive but the results were extremely satisfying.  The cupcakes look divine and taste better.  The buttercream frosting – which I tinted pink, in honor of V-day, is to die for (the secret is … two sticks of butter, who knew?).   Since I would instantly keel over of a coronary if I kept these in my apartment even for two days I’ve brought them all to work  – I suspect it won’t be the last time.

Here are a few snaps of the relevant recipe pages to give an idea of the construction technique since I was far to immersed in actually constructing my own cupcakes to remember to photograph the process.  I highly recommend the book – which is filled with inspiring images and readable, easy to follow recipes.  In fact, I just placed a order for my own copy which is winging its way to me now.   Check out the author’s website for more pretty pictures and her blog of current cakes and ideas.


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