Monday, June 30, 2008

Cupcakes, take two.

And by "take two," I mean take two and eat them. nom nom nom.

Several things in this post: I have some follow-up photos on the cupcakes from a couple weeks ago, showing you how I stuffed them. I also made marshmallows that night, and people marvel at homemade marshmallows, and usually for two reasons: they are delicious and make you want to never eat a Jet-Puff marshmallow again (although I still like those), and they are easy and incredibly fun to make.

Cupcakes:
We all saw the pretty cupcakey goodness from the last post. Note pink filling: again, this was Martha Stewart's Strawberry meringue buttercream filling, only with cherry instead of strawberry preserves. Also note: I made half the recipe, and ended up using it for nearly 70 cupcakes (two batches of the Wellesley Fudge Cake), with a bit left over (which I promptly devoured).
Ok, we start with baked and cooled cupcakes.
Next, we fill a pastry bag fitted with a medium or large-ish tip (I have a small selection, since my box of cake decorating goodness lives with my parents, so I just used the largest one I had) and fill it up with the filling.Now, insert the tip into the cupcake. You see I stick it fairly far in, so that the tip is almost buried- but not quite.
Squeeze. I'm not sure the volume of filling I inserted, but I went by trial and error. If the bottom of the cupcake bursts and you see filling, you've done too much. If it spills out at the top, simply scrape off the excess before frosting the cupcake.
That's all there is to it. There's another method that involves cutting a cone out of the top, putting a dollop of filling in, and replacing that cone, but I find this way pretty easy.

Ok, marshmallows.
I like Martha's recipe.
Ok, first combine 3 cups of sugar, 1.25cups light corn syrup, 3/4cup water and a dash of salt in a medium saucepan. Turn on the heat to high and stir until the sugar dissolves.
Get out your handy-dandy candy thermometer (this is important, and is the only reason I can make candy- forget the soft ball/hard ball tests in water, just get the thermometer). Now, once the sugar starts boiling, stop stirring, and let it get to 238 F.
While this is boiling (it takes 10-15 minutes or so, keep an eye on the thermometer), put 3/4cup cold water into the bowl of your stand mixer (you need the stand mixer for this) and sprinkle 4 envelops of unflavored gelatin over that, and let it soften for at least 5 minutes.Once the sugar's ready, pour it in a steady stream into the bowl, with the whisk attachment and on low speed. Wear oven mitts or something for this, the sugar's really hot (238 F!). (I couldn't get a picture of this- too hot). Now, mix. Slowly increase the speed to high. Mix for about 12 minutes.
After a minute or two:

After about 6 minutes:
After 12 minutes:
Now add in whatever flavoring and coloring you want (I did 4 drops of lime oil, a teaspoon of vanilla, and some green liquid food coloring), mix until it's combined (less than a minute), and pour into a greased, lined with parchment paper, and greased again 9x13 pan.
This is very gooey, and eating what's stuck to the bowl and whisk is lovely, but incredibly messy. Luckily, warm marshmallow goo is highly water-soluble, so easy to clean up.

Let this set overnight, then dust heavily with powdered sugar, cut into squares (or whatever) with a greased knife, and coat everything in powdered sugar- to prevent the marshmallows from sticking together. Bring to your next party, and wow all your friends.

3 comments:

Bird said...

Hi Catherine- i just found this blog and thought i'd pass it on. i'm trying the lime & coconut cupcakes for my dad's birthday next month.

http://coconutlime.blogspot.com/

Elizabeth said...

I actually have another friend who made these Martha Stewart marshmallows for Easter this year and they are Heavenly...

Can't wait to try them on my own! How did you like the lime/vanilla flavoring?

When am I going to see you?

Elizabeth said...

P.S. Your cupcake filling technique is very LA/Susie Cakes style.