Sunday, May 17, 2009

Cakes helps people come together

Last weekend, Bryn, one of my oldest friends in the whole world got married. It was a small wedding where everyone contributed something, her mom and aunt made the food, her new mother-in-law bought some flowers, her uncle and cousin provided live music and I volunteered to make a cake!

My dreams of making a large multi-tiered wedding cake were dashed when I realized that the wedding was in New Jersey and that I was going to have to take the subway and a car to get there. My plan B? To make cupcakes and put them in the shape of a wedding cake. Or maybe just eat them.

Bryn asked for "chocolate" so after I perused my cookbooks, I decided on Martha Stewart's chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing and chocolate curls. I am so good at taking direction.

First, I sifted together 2 cups cake flour (all I could find was whole wheat again. But whatever. No one noticed), 1 cup cocoa powder, 1 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt.

Usually, when recipes say sift, I just dump it all in a bowl. But Martha is known for her finicky tendencies, so I decided to humor her. This is a wedding cake after all. Here's my sifted mixture.

Martha recommends I use an electric stand mixer for the next step. But I don't have one of those, so I used a hand mixer instead. It worked just fine. I beat together 3 sticks of butter and 2 cups of sugar until it was "light and fluffy." Then I added 5 eggs (one at a time) and 2 tsp vanilla and beat it some more.

Then I added 1 cup of the flour mixture and mixed. Then 1/2 cup of buttermilk and mixed. Then flour. Then buttermilk. Then flour. And then I had cake batter!

I poured it into cupcake liners and baked for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees (or at least that's what I was supposed to do. My oven doesn't get hotter than 325 degrees anymore, so I had to bake them for a lot longer).

The frosting was super complicated, so I'll get to that tomorrow. But don't touch that dial, I'll be right back.