Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Delectable Disaster

goodness people, i'm not perfect. not everything i make comes out "golden." it's unlikely that what i picture in my head for a baking project is what actually gets churned out in the kitchen. and that was DEFINITELY the case on monday. i decided to do a little post-exam baking, as per usual, and was still on my "indian flavored high" from the berryhill bakeoff cupcakes. i reaaaally wanted to do something with elaichi (cardamom), which can't be that hard because all of you have to do is add some of the ground spice to your batter. the problem came when i decided to go egg-less. my grandparents are super-strict vegetarians, and don't eat things with eggs, so i've been meaning to find a way to share my goodies with them. this past weekend i made brownies and muffins with an egg-replacer i'd read about that used 1 tbsp vinegar + 1 tsp baking soda to replace one egg. both recipes turned out supremely fluffy, though a little dry. i ran into issues with my elaichi cakes because i attempted to replace 3 eggs ... and they crumbled.

so what to do when your cupcakes crumble? well, you can either pawn them off on your sister, because she'll eat anything, OR you can attempt to make lemonade with lemons. since i've already done the former, i decided the latter was in order. i had already made a superb french vanilla coffee glaze to go with my cupcakes, so i decided to mix them into cupcakes and make "cake balls." bakerella would have approved, cake balls are totally her thing.

if you think that was the end of my misfortune, you're wrong. i had this fabulous idea post-cake balls to dip them in some white chocolate i had - another bakerella trick. however, after melting down some chocolate, i also had the unfortunate idea of mixing it with a little bit of the glaze i had left over. that effectively curdled the chocolate, and made dipping impossible. what to do, what to do... well the curdled chocolate was actually kind of like playdough, so i was able to wrap a few cake balls in them to look like they'd been dipped. but it took forever, and i was afraid i'd run out of chocolate. soooo, i went for a marbled effect instead, and VOILA. elaichi-marbled-cakeball-thingy.

i was truly afraid to serve this to people.  i feel like people are expecting what i give them to be the best thing they've ever put in their mouth. LUCKILY, these turned out well. honestly, they were super well received by everyone that tried them. my sister said it tasted like an indian sweet, which it did. i decided they looked like and had the consistency of donut holes. thus, my new name for them: desi donuts.

the following recipe is the play-by-play of exactly what i did and how it led to my "disaster." if you're not into that, i've also tried to put in the "what i should have done" steps to get you to an end result of elaichi cupcakes with a coffee glaze. enjoy!

"crumbled cupcake" base (adapted from duncan hines)
  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 cup sour creme
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil 
  • 2 1/2 tbsp vinegar + 2 tsp baking soda (if you want real cupcakes, use 3 eggs!)
mix it all together. if you're going with the egg replacement, mix the vinegar and baking soda together in a separate bowl and allow to fizz before adding it to the already-mixed batter (like i said, this worked when i replaced one egg with 1 tbsp vinegar + 1 tsp baking soda for muffins and brownies... here, not so much). bake in mini cupcake pan at 350F for about 12-15 minutes, then cool on a rack (adjust this baking time if you're using a cake pan instead). crumble the cake in a large bowl and set aside. 

french vanilla coffee glaze 
  • 2 oz warm milk
  • 2 tsp instant french vanilla coffee mix (any coffee flavor will work)
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
mix the warm milk and instant coffee and allow to cool. then, mix in thoroughly with powder sugar. add the glaze to the crumbled cake and mix thoroughly, reserving a few teaspoons if you feel like purposefully curdling your chocolate later (you can drizzle the glaze over real cupcakes or a layered cake, or dip the top of cupcakes into the glaze similar to ganache). roll mixture into 1 inch balls (this is necessary if you want to dip them into chocolate - if you're marbling, you can do this now or wait till later).  

last up: chocolate marbling 
  • 2-3 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp glaze (for purposeful curdling - omit this if you want to dip & cover your cake balls)
in a heatproof bowl, melt the chocolate and oil in the microwave in intervals of 15 seconds, stirring vigorously after each interval until melted (if you want to fully cover your cake balls, dip them in the white chocolate mixture and allow them to set on wax paper). otherwise, add the glaze and allow the chocolate to curdle, creating a playdough-like consistency. roll pieces of chocolate into the sides of the preformed balls, or using a ratio of about 2:1 of cake:chocolate, create balls using both mixtures. refrigerator until ready to eat! 

taking pictures of these things was hard, too. i couldn't figure out how i wanted to stage them, what i wanted to use as a background, nothin'! i do like the shot glasses though... 

they really did taste awesome - the elaichi screamed mithai, and the chewiness, almost like an underbaked cookie, made the dense donut that much more enjoyable. 

apologies that this post was all over the place in terms of technique and recipe - i do what i can! this was my attempt to save the lemons, and with pure luck, i think it worked out. here's to hoping luck doesn't run out after the first go-round! 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blogging tips