beef and beer (and cupcakes).

Today, I made 4 dozen cupcakes for a beef and beer. I love being able to use my talents to help others, so I was happy to do it. Plus, in this scenario, particular flavors are not usually specified, as the recipients are usually just happy to take whatever you can give. This for me is the best part, as it allows me to get creative and have a little fun. Which is exactly what I did today.

Fun flavor #1:  Strawberry.

pretty in pink.

I LOVE strawberry cake. It’s not a very popular request though. I think most people actually forget it’s an option, or think its going to taste like that fake strawberry junk they use to make Strawberry Quick. Sure, I admit, part of me loves strawberry cake because it’s pink. But not all strawberry cakes are created equal. For mine, I chopped up some fresh strawberries, and mixed them into the batter, to make them authentic. Although the icing was pink as well, it was not strawberry flavored. Too much of a good thing is not always a good thing. I thought vanilla buttercream, colored pink would enhance the strawberry goodness, rather than overwhelm it.  Dust with a little light pink sanding sugar, and serve.

Fun flavor#2: Chocolate chocolate chip.

a lot o' chocolate.

I really didn’t want to get too crazy with the flavors – you have to give the people what they want, which is usually chocolate or vanilla.  I opted for chocolate, since, you really can’t go wrong with a chocolate cupcake. But I wanted to make it a little more fun, so I threw in some chocolate chips. The icing, is kind of  an interesting story. I will probably never be able to recreate this particular icing again. It started off as a chocolate whipped cream icing. But something went wrong – I’m still not sure what, but my guess is mis-measured ingredients. Anyway, it just wasn’t whipping. So I decided to add some confectioners sugar. This helped. However I didn’t want it to taste like pure sugar and cause unsuspecting cupcake eaters to lose their teeth on contact. So, I added some butter. This helped even more. The icing was slowly gaining in richness and thickness, and before I knew it, I had created some sort of chocolate whipped cream / buttercream icing hybrid.  It was damn good stuff. And it will probably never happen again. Good thing there’s a bunch left. I shall use it wisely.

Anyway, I love baking under normal circumstances, and it’s something that, whilst engaged in, I am truly happy. But doing it for a good cause – well that just about takes the cake.

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