Sunday, July 27, 2008

Cupcakes? No, Cupcake Cake!

We went over our neighbors' house for a little barbecue and I decided to make Gâteau À L'Orange (orange spongecake) Cupcakes with Crème Pâtissière (custard filling) and Crème Au Beurre (butter cream) flavored with Eau De Rose (rosewater). If the French didn't tip you off, I got all the recipes from Julia Child's book 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking' (40th Anniversary Edition).

On a side note: if you do not have this book, you should buy it. It's excellent. There are tips and directions for everything from buying the right produce to how to use a knife effectively to how to perform seemingly hard culinary feats with ease (such as Soufflé and Roux). It is a teaching book, meaning sometimes it sounds like a textbook, but the directions are so explicit that you can't help but cook a delicious meal.

Back to our regularly scheduled blog...

So Julia's spongecake is supposed to be just that, cake. I decided to try it as cupcakes. Everything went very well, except that I left them in the oven too long, waiting for the tops to be golden brown while the bottoms burned. I thought 'oh no. what do I do? make a new batch? not bring cupcakes?!' Then I was hit with a very clever plan. I would make a cupcake cake!

Since only the very bottoms were burned I was able, with the help of Chris and Danny, to slice off the burnt part and have left the very delicious and nicely cooked tops of the cupcakes. I inverted 9 of them and placed them in a pyrex square dish, spooned over my custard, topped with right-side-up cupcake tops and then iced each cupcake with the Rosewater Butter Cream.

The verdict?

Cake? delicious!
Custard? delicious!
Buttercream? tastes like soap! ew.

It may not have come out very beautiful, but it sure was yummy (once you scraped off that icky pink stuff, what was I thinking with that color?).

So, they weren't the beautiful masterpieces that I envisioned when I started.... so what? This is the lesson of 'you can't always be perfect and sometimes that's ok'.

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