Sunday, April 05, 2009
Bakerella's Cupcake Bites!
I am addicted to Pioneer Woman's blog, and read about Bakerella's visit to PW's home for a baking demonstration. These little cupcake bites grabbed my attention and I spent the last week preparing and gathering supplies, determined to attempt them despite the fact I have a freelance project due tomorrow.
This is not a recipe that can be completed on a whim for instant gratification. On Friday, I baked the coconut cake, which was half of Ina Garten's coconut cake, poured into a rectangular pan. According to Bakerella, you can use cake mix and canned frosting, but I hate the way cake mix cakes taste. I figured that if my attempt was successful, it better taste good. On Saturday, I tossed chunks of the cake into the food processor in a few batches to get fine crumbs. Then I mixed in cream cheese frosting, also from Ina Garten's coconut cake recipe to get a sticky sort of dough, and rolled it into balls.
I couldn't find a cutter closer to what Bakerella recommended as ideal, although the one on the right is one of the substitutes she suggests. I would push a dough ball through the cutter, enough to form the "cup" part of the cupcake and push it back out. You can see the two different shapes I got in the picture above. The cutter on the right produced a better mound on top of the cup, but it was harder to get a clean release when I pushed the formed cake out. The cutter on the left, which was easier to use, was taller and a bit wider, so there wasn't as much left to form the mound. I will keep my eyes open for a better cutter!
Today, I did the dipping, using Merckens chocolate melting wafers. I had a lot of problems getting the coating right. No problems for the bottoms of the cupcakes, but getting the green coating to overlap with the brown without running down too much was a big issue. In the end, I let the chocolate cool a bit so it was thicker and would harden faster, which made the M&M and sprinkle decorating even faster. I managed by having Josh assist with the decorating.
We each ate one and it was delicious, very sweet though. I have a lot of ideas for future flavor combinations. You can avoid this whole two-color coating dance by leaving the cake balls in round form and dip them in one color, like little truffles. I left the finished cakes in the fridge, but just noticed that the green coating was starting to crack for some, so that's something to worry about. According to Bakerella, you can refrigerate if you like eating them cold, or store in airtight container at room temp.