Well, folks, it’s been a right bugger of a week. The weather is awful. Right now it’s kinda-sorta sputtering rain, but not really. It’s cold. It’s oppressive.
When the weather gets this nasty, I think it has psychic repercussions. Everyone around me is angry or crazy or breaking up or getting together with people they shouldn’t. So when the universe seems to throw this kinda bad mojo my way, there are only two things that can adequately raise my spirits– ukulele and baking.
Softly sung covers of pop songs are generally where my inclinations take me, and tonight’s plinky-plink involved the bluesy warbling of Jessie J’s “Do it Like a Dude“.
Thankfully, we have an event for work tomorrow evening, meaning I am free to bake up a storm. We somehow scheduled the darn thing on Superbowl Sunday (we’re nerds), the process has been a bit fraught, with many last-minute cancellations and bookings.
It was decided that mini-cupcakes are clearly the only way one can properly celebrate a discussion on nanotech, so I did some retail therapy earlier in the day at Sur la Table to get some mini cake pans, paper liners, and purple sugar. Does purple sugar properly convey the essence of nanotech? SHUT UP, STOP ASKING STUPID QUESTIONS.
Anyhow, on to the baking portion of today’s stream-of-conscious-crazy-time. I found a recipe for Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes over at The Cupcake Project, and decided to mess around big-time with the proportions. Why? SHUT UP, THAT’S WHY.
- I combined 1/2 cup-minus-a-third water with 1/2 cup sugar and a 1/2 tsp salt in a small saucepan over medium heat until it was completely dissolved.
- In another bowl entirely, I melted 12 ounces of bittersweet chocolate in the microwave in 30 second segments.
- I couldn’t manage to get Jessie J’s “Like a Dude” out of my head. Before long the lyrics were working their way into the baking process. We melt de chocolate de the man’dem, man’dem . . we melt de sugar like de man’dem, man’dem, sugar-sugar-sugar-sugar . . .
- I beat 12 tablespoons of softened butter into the chocolate, one cube at a time. The recipe calls for you to do this in a fancy electric mixer, but I did it all with the brute strength of my hands.
- I beat in the sugar-salt-water mixture.
- One at a time, I beat in two eggs, then two egg whites.
- Hot damn, my arms were sore by the end. (THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID)
- I put the batter into small cupcake liners into my shiny new Sur la Table mini-cupcake tins. These cupcakes don’t rise, so I was able to fill the liners all the way up with the glossy batter, which has the texture of pudding.
- These pans then have to be put into larger pans, and then those pans filled with hot water to make a water bath. Too much work, son.
- Dang, Jessie J’s even got an acoustic version of this song. Adorable.
- The water-baths baked for about 20 minutes, though they were still fairly wobbly when the came out of the oven. I let them cool for another 20 minutes, and then the cupcake tins can go in the fridge.
- I whipped up some cream cheese frosting using this recipe from the Food Network (4 tbps butter, 4 ounces cream cheese, 1.5 cups sugar, and a dash of vanilla). I didn’t have powdered sugar, so I pulverized some regular sugar in my Magic Bullet.
- Let’s be honest, folks. Is there a single infomercial better than the Magic Bullet? I think not. What other product would cast an elderly woman with half a cigarette hanging from her drooping lips to sell a food-preparation device? Nobody but the Bullet, baby.
- I sorta lobbed the icing into a disposable decorating bag I had bought, and frosted a single cupcake, just to show you lovely people.
- You lucky, lovely people.
Verdict: These are rich. Like, very seriously rich. Almost too rich. And when someone as dysfunctional as me says that there might be too much fat and sugar in a single, adorable bite . . .well . . . let’s just say I’m not exactly complaining, but yowza. However, they are just the most precious things. And I’ll get to see the reaction tomorrow when I give an advance bite to my older sister.
But this fits all my requirements for Domestic Goddessery— it was time-consuming, requiring assembly, and pretty impressive looking once fully put together. The voices are once-again properly calmed, and seeing as it’s coming up on 3am, perhaps I can get myself some sleep.