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Friday, June 17, 2011

Bake Sale for a coworker - cupcakes

Another book that I borrowed from the library was Hummingbird Bakery. From what I read, I think it's a well known bakery located in UK. Sometimes it's hard to know where a place is because numerous locations have similar names. The funniest location mix-up is Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada and Sydney, Australia - people have ended up in small town in Nova Scotia when they wanted to be in Australia.

Anyways, back to baking. The book had very nice pictures and recipes sounded interesting plus Gwyneth Paltrow commented on the book cover (so it must be good).

I tried 2 recipes. One was marshmallow cupcake and Hazelnut chocolate cupcake. I decided to make marshmallow because the picture looked so nice and hazelnut chocolate because I had leftover Nutella that I wanted to use up.

Marshmallow Cupcake:

It was my chance to use my stand mixer which I love very much. So first you mix flour, butter, salt, sugar, and baking powder until the mixture is crumbly.

Then add half the required amount of milk and mix. I didn't read the recipe carefully and added the second half of the milk, which I wasn't suppose to.

I was suppose to whisk the half the milk with 1 egg and vanilla extract. Instead all the milk was already added to the flour mixture. Aw well. I honestly do not think it will affect the outcome.

This recipe called for pink medium marshmallows. Pink marshmallows are hard to find so I thought I would colour my batter pink and use white marshmallows instead. Ingenious, right?

Once the batter is mixed, you can bake.

Once cooled, remove from pan. The cupcakes seem small. I think it might be because my cupcake paper is medium. However, based on the size, it did make 12 cupcakes, as the recipe indicated. So maybe it is suppose to be small.

Next I melted the marshmallow. I realized that I could make the marshmallow pink by adding red food colouring. And that's what I did!!! I think looks pretty good.

I hollowed out the middle and put a dollop of the melted pink marshmallow in the middle.

Dollop my ass!!!! Melted Marshmallow is sticky so it was very very hard and messy to put that dollop. It was such a mess. The last couple became very hard but I thought it was ok.

The recipe didn't ask to put the tops back but I did because it would be such a waste not to use it.

Next I made the icing. Icing sugar, milk, vanilla extract and butter. Mix until fluffy then hand mix miniature marshmallows to incorporate it. It was already 1am and I still had to make the other icing that I forgot to take pictures of all my icing steps. Sorry readers!!!

Then iced on the cakes and voila. It looked very pretty but it was hard to ice since there were too many marshmallow compared to the amount of icing.

Hazelnut Chocolate Cupcake:

The cupcake recipe for this one is pretty much the same as the marshmallow cupcake. So first, mix butter, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

Oh yeah, add cocoa as well. It is chocolate afterall.

This should look crumbly.

Mix milk and 1 egg in another bowl. No need for vanilla in this one.

Slowly add the mixture to the flour mixture. And then batter is ready for baking.

Cupcakes being baked.

Let it cool in pan and remove to further cool.

Remove the top...

And put a dollop of Nutella. This was definitely doable than melted marshmallow.

And ice. The icing is the same as the marshmallow one. It is icing sugar, butter and milk but Nutella is added. I decided to pipe the icing. Unfortunately, I don't know how the tips look the icing doesn't look very appealing. I should of used another tip. It's actually my second tip because the first tip made the icing look like dog poo swirls.

Final Thoughts:
Here's a look of my goodies for the bake sale.

And here is the bake sale. You might be wondering why we are having a bake sale. It's to raise money for a coworker has breast cancer.

When I borrowed this book, I thought the pictures were amazing. Initially I wasn't planning to photocopy so many recipes but the pictures and the ease of the recipe made me change my mind. I thought I would try a couple of recipes and if they turned out well, I would buy the book.

I was a little disappointed with the recipe instructions. First, I HATED the melting of marshmallow and putting a little of marshmallow in the cupcake. It was so difficult. Would have been nice to have instructions on how to do that easily. Also, the latter marshmallow was sticky but the latter ones became hard. I thought it would soften but apparently not. It was rock hard... I hope no one at the bake sale gets a hard one or break their teeth....okok not that hard but still it wasn't marshmallowy.

I also didn't like the need for pink marshmallow. Why not suggest alternative like food colouring with white marshmallow. Pink marshmallows are hard to come by.

Another thing, the marshmallow icing was hard to ice because too many marshmallow and not enough icing.

I tasted both the cupcake topping just to taste. It was very very sweet that I didn't enjoy. So I was quite worried about the taste. It was also a little dry.

Tonight I ate the cupcakes with icing. The marshmallow cupcake turned out pretty good unless you end up getting a rock hard marshmallow. It was a little dry and sweet but the mini marshmallow was fruity and made it taste quite nice.

The hazelnut chocolate one was too sweet. I did not like it at all. It was actually quite gross.

So is this book worth buying?? So far, not really. The cupcakes are dry and too sweet. Yes the book has very nice pictures but to me the food should taste nice too Maybe they use different recipes in their bakery and didn't want to give their trade secrets away. Regardless, it's a no!!

While looking for a picture of the book for this blog, I came across other people's review. Well, most had the same thought as me...which is great pics but results not good.

Btw- the bake sale made over $400. The sad thing is very little people bought my cupcakes, which is the first time where my bake items isn't sold out. The funny thing is that I'm ok. The reason is because it doesn't taste so great so this will reflect on me. :( hehe but if you read my blog and plan to go to the bake sale, haha...ignore my final thoughts. All the cupcakes are amazing!!

Side Note:

Kudos to the volunteers who cleaned up Vancouver this morning after the stupid riot. And extra kudos to the people who tried to prevent the rioters from damaging cars and businesses and helped protect the injured. You are my heroes because you are so brave to face these idiots during such a chaotic period. I watch you stopping the rioters and wonder if I have as much as guts as you to do that. For that, I admire you all!!! And thanks to the police and fire fighters.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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