Preface: Your Insomnibaker wrote this post about three weeks ago. Since that time, I’ve baked a great deal more, but have sorely neglected to blog about it. I’ve made flourless chocolate cakes and gluten-free pumpkin pies. In the post below, I refer to a Boy over whom I was distraught. Since writing the post, the Boy and I made up, exchanged words of tenderness, and commenced to have an absolutely apocalyptic fight. We may never speak again. Until the next time we makeup, or breakup, or whatever.
And yet, I still wonder why I’m single. Whatever, let’s bake . . . . . . . .
Oh, my friends, what a couple of weeks it’s been for your Insomnibaker.
This morning I had one of those cathartic cries that leaves your chest heaving and your face ruddy and dripping from the eyes and nose alike. You know the type. Where you’re babbling nonsense that sounds vaguely like a 5 year old trying to get out of going to school and great, honking sobs escape your body in soggy blubs.
What could have brought this on, you may ask?
Oh, any number of things, I may answer. It’s been exhausting. The Insomnibaker’s workplace has been chugging away like a runaway steam engine, and while it’s intellectually stimulating and a ton of fun and kind of amazing and I’m so happy and grateful each and every morning that this is my charmed life, it’s also exhausting, stress inducing, and drains away my life force each and every day.
But while that may be the reason I wake each morning, weeping silently, it was not the reason for this morning’s outburst. No, friends, it was over a boy. An ex. The Ex. Our history is long and tortured. We met 10 years ago, when I was dating his roommate. On September 11th, 2001, I showed up on his doorstep in running eyeliner and a camouflage skirt, asking for a place to watch CNN. We spent an awful, terrifying day choking down Jack Daniels and staring numbly at the television. That night we fell asleep clutching one another. I left the roommate, and we spent three intense weeks together before he dumped me for being a complete psychopath (a.k.a . . . a 21 year-old NYU student). We spent 8 years not speaking, until the magic of Facebook brought us together once again. Then apart. Then together, then apart. This constant state of non-togetherness has once again left your saddened and single Insomnibaker feeling somewhat painfully, alone.
Thus, the weeping.
But weep no more, Insomnibaker! For tomorrow, you shall be heading out into the world for CageFest: Part the First, in which my friends and I celebrate the wonder that is Nicolas Cage. Specifically, the Cage Rage. Don’t know what Cage Rage is? Here you go. And here’s another. And whatever, here’s some more.
I thought long and hard about what to make. My original thoughts were “The Rock: Truffles”, “Bad Lieutenant Beignets”, or “Killing Me Won’t Bring Back Your Precious Honey(cake)”. But I’ve done truffles to death, beignets can’t be made ahead of time, and I fucking hate honeycake. Through a series of dicussions with a friend over tea, we came up with:
“Ghost Rider Flaming Skull S’More Cupcakes”.
Oh yeah, get ready to light some shit on fire.
- I found a recipe for chocolate frosting off of Chowhound and one for Graham Cracker cupcake batter from Bakerella. I’ve futzed with the proportions a fair amount, but it’s all good.
- First, I set 1 cup of heavy cream to boil in a saucepan. In a medium bowl, I put one bag (11.5 ounces) of bittersweet Ghiradelli chocolate chips. Once the cream had boiled, I poured it over the chocolate, and let it sit for three minutes.
- After three minutes, I added 1/4 cup agave syrup (I didn’t have corn) and 1 tablespoon vanilla, and then whisked the whole mess rather firmly.
- I put this into the fridge to cool, making sure to stir the frosting every 15 minutes or so.
- The frosting completed, I preheated the oven to 350 degrees and started on the batter.
- In a large bowl, I mixed together 1 and 1/2 cups flour, 1 and 1/2 cups sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 cup crushed Cinnamon Graham Crackers until it was a lovely, sugary, crumbly mess.
- Into the dry ingredients I added in 1 cup milk, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup oil, and 2 teaspoons vanilla.
- In another bowl, I melted 1/4 cup butter and poured it over 1/4 cup crushed Cinnamon graham cracker crumbs and 1/4 cup brown sugar.
- I filled up 12 cupcake tins halfway with the batter, then spooned the graham cracker topping into each of the cups, then spooning on more batter until the cups were 2/3 full.
- I popped the tins into the oven for about 15 minutes.
- Whilst the cupcakes were baking, I drew little faces on some organic marshmallows. These would then become the flaming skulls that sit atop our hero’s head.
- Once the cupcakes had baked and cooled, I frosted those mothers, pressed a marshmallow into the center, and let them chill overnight so that the ganache would be extra firm (you don’t have to do that, but it’s a personal preference).
THE VERDICT: These were majorly crowd-pleasing and beyond delicious. The batter is gooey and luscious, and the cinnamon from the graham crackers added a nice zing. A dash of nutmeg would not go out of place in this batter. It provided a stable base for the ganache and marshmallows. The ‘mallows themselves were somewhat hard to handle and difficult to light properly, but that’s what I get for not sticking them in place with a toothpick. Overall, I think we can safely say that these are cupcakes worth of a Rage that is Cage.