Monday, October 26, 2009

Baby Cakes!

The reason I called Mar Mar last week, was to ask about cupcakes. Since she is a mom and loves to bake, I figured she would have a go-to recipe. She did! We both love the King Arthur Flour cookbook, and she directed me to their Devils Food Cake recipe (here).

The cupcakes were for Dr Colin and Mandie's house warming/Jack-n-Jill baby shower, which Phineas and I went to on Saturday. I used the same vanilla butter cream icing that I made for Dr. K's shower, but this time remembered to take pictures!

Store bought decorator icing makes dressing up cupcakes so easy!

There are a few secrets to success for the Devil's Food Cake - and for baking, in general - that should not be ignored. First, your butter and eggs must be at room temperature. You can gently warm the eggs in a bowl of tepid water. You can cut the butter into small pieces to speed it along, but please do not use the microwave. If it melts, you've just wasted your butter because melted fat cannot hold air the way solid ("plastic") fat can. Use the melted butter and you risk a flat cake. (Letting it re-solidify doesn't work).

Second, when a recipe says to "cream" butter and sugar, you really need to go at it for a minimum of 5 minutes. Again, this is about incorporating air into the sugar and fat elements. It will make your cake or cookies rise and have a light texture. Extra beating = extra air.

Finally, since the recipe does not advise on making cupcakes, my final directive (from Mar) is to bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes and that you will get 24 -28 cupcakes. When they are fully cooled, ice and enjoy!

Edited on 11/17: Um, how on earth did I forget to add that this is now my go-to recipe for chocolate cupcakes, too? Well, it is. They were that good.

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