Thursday, September 17, 2009

Baking Challenge: Whiteout Cupcakes

Prior to yesterday, I hadn't baked in almost two weeks. I was feeling up to a difficult baking challenge, so I cracked open my Baked cookbook. For whatever reason, Baked has the hardest recipes in them. Almost all of them span multiple pages, have countless (and very expensive) ingredients, and utilize baking techniques I've never even contemplated before, much less used. Out of all the recipes in Baked, I've only tackled two of the recipes - the Sweet & Salty cake (twice, the first time was a disaster that produced a frosting flecked with chunks of butter) and the brownies (delicious, but they contained about $15 worth of quality chocolate).

Cupcake with the Baked cookbook

I picked the whiteout cake because it seemed like something that would appeal to a lot of people. We recently moved to a new office and I now work with more people than I used to. Which just means more people to eat my baked goods, an exciting prospect for me.

The first thing that gave me pause with this recipe was that the liquid in the cake batter was ice water. It's usually milk, cream, buttermilk...something more substantial than water. I went along with this, finished the batter and popped the cupcakes in the oven. While the cupcakes were cooling, I started on the frosting. The first step was to melt white chocolate on a double boiler. Easy enough. Then the next step said to combine white sugar, flour, milk and heavy cream on the stove until it thickened and boiled. Flour?? In a frosting? I guess I got distracted by that thought because somehow I let my first attempt at this burn. The second attempt turned out much better. After that mixture cooled, I gradually added an unspeakable amount of butter, small pieces at a time, and then the melted white chocolate. The result was a lighter, smoother frosting than my typical frostings. I liked it a lot and they were a big hit in the office today.

I'm looking forward to trying more Baked recipes this fall; for whatever reason, I feel they're more cool weather desserts. I'm also going to try to make the trek to Baked in Brooklyn this fall...I've been dying to get there for over a year now.


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