Laura asked me to make some chocolatey-choco-chocolate cupcakes for her husband Frank's birthday today. Happy birthday Frank! And thankyou Laura for the order!
I think they turned out pretty well, don't you?
I think these were my most perfect batch yet: each cupcake came out pretty much the same size, and rose beautifully. I've had issues with some of them falling flat, while others came out mysteriously slanted. I've now realised that is due to my trusty cupcake tin getting dinged on the move from NY to LA. Damn you UPS!
I've actually never made a chocolate buttercream frosting before, and while I ended up using a simple butter-powdered sugar-melted chocolate recipe from trusty ol' Cooks Illustrated (thanks Kuv! Yup, I'm still using your login!! hahahahahaaaa!), my next adventure in chocolate frosting is probably going to involve some sour cream. Having poured over Chowhound message boards looking for the perfect recipe, and finding posting after posting about the depth of flavour sour cream adds, I'm intrigued. I can't imagine what that tang would do to the old tastebud, especially since it's already freaking out over the insanely-good chocolate I use (Mum & Dad & Crish -- don't worry, I'm totally making these for you when you come).
The LA Times wrote last week about how the cupcake craze is still in full effect here in LA.
Why? Well, because that means the pure joy of turning out cupcakes, that sweet slightly kitschy product of what I imagine as a gingham-apron'ed mum back in the 50s... has become somewhat of a sweat-inducing business. I look at mine, I feel happy, even a swell of pride. Then I see a photo of Sprinkles' smooth beauties -- we drove past the shop on Saturday and there was STILL a line of folks down the block, each of them just waiting to spend THREE DOLLARS for a cupcake. But, even though they look astonishingly like boobs, I can't help but like the look of them better than the look of mine. And then, and then... gasp... today, I brought a batch to the yoga studio where I was running the desk, and a woman looked at them and said, "oh look how homemade those look."
From Cashmere Papers
I shake my frosting-splattered fist at you Sprinkles!
But, as my friend Karen likes to remind me, I need to stop comparing. Just end it. Right. Now.