Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Cupcake-tastrophy

Last week, I had the brilliant idea of making a filled cupcake. A strawberry preserves-filled strawberry cupcake, topped with chocolate cream cheese frosting.

Sounds good, don't it? Yeah, which is exactly why I wanted to make it. It wasn't meant to be I guess. Here's how they turned out:

To really understand the cupcake-tastropy that ensued here, we'll need to start at the beginning of this journey.
I was leaving work and the air was thick. The humidity had been tortuous all week, the sky so very eager to open up and release its watery wrath on the city down below. I hopped on the bus and decided to pick up a few last items for my recipe at Trader Joe's because it's nicer than the much more conveniently located, yet much less prestigious Safeway near my apartment. Mistake number 1.

As I gathered my two very heavy bags (oh, and my cupcake case, as I was bringing it home from work with the assumption I'd need it to bring my goodies back in the next day), the sky could hold it no longer and Mother Nature let out a torrentual piss on those down below. I fumbled with my purse, the two grocery bags, my cupcake case, and my tiny travel umbrella. Once I figured out I could hold my cupcake case in the same hand I was holding my umbrella in, I got on my way.

Unfortunately, my bus was nowhere in sight. I had no cash in my pocket and moreover, wasn't interested in hailing a cab for the 8 blocks or so to get to my apartment. So, I foolishly decided to walk home. Mistake number 2.
Just one block into my journey home, my grocery bag had become so wet, the handle broke. I shoved my umbrella back in my bag and, frizzing hair and all, I continued my walk home.
Did I mention I was sweating, too? Oh, yeah, sweating something fierce. It was hot out, okay!? Besides, when I'm frustrated and holding a soaking wet bag of groceries and a cupcake case through Dupont Circle, I sweat. It's just how I'm wired I guess.

I continued on like that until I got into my building. Of course there were lots of strange looks along the way, but none of them were accompanied by an offer of help. We're not in Texas anymore, Toto. So I dropped my groceries and cupcake case down and took a shower. I had never felt so clean in my life.

With that out of the way, I set out to make the cupcakes. I pureed the strawberries:
I mixed the batter:
And I filled the cupcake liners:
Then, I took them out of the oven (sorry, I didn't photodocument the moment. I was too upset, okay??!). They were flat, part of my continuing saga over finding the perfect recipe for a domed cupcake, and looked crumbly. But I ventured on, determined to make this work.
I cut out a cone shape in the middle of the cupcake to fill it with preserves:

(See how it looks crumbly? This is humiliating, but you have to learn from my mistakes, you hear me?!)

And topped them with the cream cheese frosting:

They don't look so bad here, but when I bit into it:

Dear Gaga, what a mess!! Everyone knows how superficial I am, and I realize that food doesn't always have to look pretty, but regardless, they did not taste good. I used a Martha Stewart recipe, which really doesn't do her justice, as I've had plenty of success using her recipes before, but they weren't sweet!

Maybe it was because I didn't use fresh strawberries (I used frozen, which created a lot of liquid), maybe it needed more sugar (even though I used the amount specified in the recipe), but I would not be bringing these in and subjecting my coworkers and myself to this cupcake-tastrophy. You're welcome.

So what's the lesson here? Well, I don't really know. Does there have to be one?? WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?!

Maybe that was an overreaction, but you know, I'm just so close to my cupcakes.

I suppose the lesson here is don't try new things.* Ever. Especially if it's raining. Even more especially if you're bringing your cupcake case home. The end.

*Editor's Note: While you actually should try new things, you should be prepared for them to not turn out as expected, no matter if it's baking filled cupcakes or going on a date with a one-eyed bartender named Lucky...who knows, he could be the love of your life.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Aw you poor thing! That whole event sounds dreadful. And it WAS such a good idea! I totally would eat that cupcake if you deemed it respectable. Sounded delicious. Keep on trying, you can do it Heraldo!!!

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