Joey Biscuit: Hey, wanna make some cupcakes for me?The conversation was a little more involved than just that, but not by much. The original order was for four dozen cupcakes of varying varieties. We only really needed three dozen. I started on Thursday and ended up with five by Saturday.
me: Sure, why not.
This is the story of those five dozen.
- Dozen The First: Gluten-Free Vanilla
Real men take their cupcakes with sprinkles.
We pretty much have the baking thing down in Cat Spit Kitchen, vegan or otherwise, but the gluten-free chops are still a little embryonic. After a few mishaps involving xanthan gum, it became evident that there is no real magic bullet when it comes to a vegan binder in baking, it's all dependent on the situation. My binder of choice is flax seed, and while these cupcakes were passable taste-wise, they're rock-solid in the structure department.
Okay, poor choice of words. Dense, but not chewy. Firm, but not rubbery. Vanilla with notes of oatmeal.
- Dozen The Second: Gluten-Free Chocolate-Coffee
It's the all-seeing eye of Sauron! No chocolate is beyond his sight!
The idea for this one came partially out of the need for more gluten-free practice, and the want to incorporate instant coffee into a recipe. malibish recently tweeted about using coffee for ice cream, which reminded me how I used to put it in brownies. Two tablespoons of brewed joe went into the batter, an additional teaspoon of granules went into the frosting, along with another teaspoon of coffee extract.
- Dozen The Third: Maple-Walnut Redux
Maple: it's not just for Canadians any more.
An all but bulletproof recipe. with a lot going for it. It's sweetened only with maple syrup which, while still just another form of sugar, at least doesn't carry the stigma of refined white. It uses spelt flour which, while not gluten-free, is smoother than wheat flour, possesses more protein, and is more easily digested by the body. And if you take off the walnut, it's nut-free.
- Dozen The Fourth: Mint Julep Redux
And then, when it came time to transport, it recalled the occasional episode of Ace Of Cakes when you wonder why those dumbfucks don't invest in a proper delivery vehicle instead of just tossing shit in the back of a POS van and then bitching about how their cakes fall apart when they arrive at the wedding/bat mitzvah/quinceañera/Viking coming-of-age ceremony/whatever.
OMG CUPCAKE-TASTROPHE WTF
Oh well. These were the weak links anyway.
- Dozen The Fifth: Mexican Hot Chocolate Style
The bad girl of the cupcake world. You know you want her, but she'll crush you like a bug.
Definitely the clear winner of all the batches. A tender, fudgey crumb made über-moist by the use of coconut milk, tiny little crunchies courtesy of almond meal in the batter, a dynamic nose-tongue connection by way of freshly ground cinnamon, and the secret ingredient: cayenne pepper. The first bite is like any other bite, om nom nom, etc., then blam, ka-blooey, wicka-wicka-wicka; a little blossom of heat in the back of your throat. Just like the Aztecs used to eat before that asshole Cortez came along.
Lessons learned: don't give kids too many choices, it's more acceptable to give kids coffee than alcohol, and everyone looks like a kid when they have a cupcake in their hand and frosting on their face.