Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Cupcake Chronicle

I have always loved The Cupcake. Even before they were the Trend.

Especially a homemade cupcake. For about a year now I have tried to make the Perfect Homemade Cupcake. It's been elusive, let me tell you.

I know that boxed cake mixes make fine cupcakes, but there is just something different about a homemade cake.

Nowadays, if you live in a big city, you can find gourmet cupcakes for a pretty penny. I've heard mixed reviews on these cupcakes. There doesn't seem to be any middle ground. People either love 'em or hate 'em.

I will admit that if we had one here, I would probably plunk out my four bucks to taste their cupcake, just to say I had one, but I don't think it would become a habit for me. There is sweet victory in finding a recipe that is yummy and do-able in my own kitchen.

Do you remember back in December when my Mom and Dad went on that unfortunate 14 Day-Tour? My mom did bring home about 10 fresh vanilla beans, and I have tried a few new recipes without success. They tasted good, but it wasn't anything to write home (or on the blog) about.

I did find a recipe for making vanilla sugar. Here's the recipe:
1 fresh Vanilla Bean 2 cups of sugar. Split the bean and scrape the seeds. Place seeds in sugar (and I put the skins in also) in a reusable plastic container, or zip-seal bag, and give it a good long shake. Then let it sit for at least a day before using it in any recipe that calls for sugar.

I used it in my banana bread and it was delicious.

I wanted to make a fun dessert for tomorrow night when meh arrives so I decided to make another attempt at cupcakes. I have not reached my cupcake pinnacle yet. I am still but a young whipper-snapper who makes many mistakes (Including the tendency to overfill your pan, which is a guaranteed train wreck) My cupcake woes have yielded many thrown-out batches. But I am nothing if not persistent.

So I making cupcakes as I type. That way, if they don't turn out, I can run to the store and buy some ice cream and call it a night!

Every once in a while I read a few cupcake blogs, and this week I read a few threads by people who take food seriously (man! there are people out there who really know their cupcakes!). Anyway, I kept hearing great reviews about the Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Cupcake recipe. Today I am following this recipe with one change, I will use the vanilla sugar.

All right the first batch are ready to take out of the oven.

I hope every body is having a great Thursday!


Megan O. said...

Oooo, I wish I was there to help you sample that batch when they come out of the oven. If you'd like to send me one for my professional review, let me know and I'll send you my address. :) I hope you have a great time with your friend this weekend!

Anonymous said...

If you get even close to perfection on the cupcake thing, be sure and send some home with meh... her hubby would love them! You girls have fun...
meh's hubby