Sunday, March 31, 2013

Birds in nest cupcakes, technicolor chicks and a Happy Easter

Seriously the stuff out there puts me to shame. A year ago I saw my feeble shape and mold attempts step me up into a new arena of the Aww and Cute (!), where countless bunny bottoms and candy carrots were being pinned onto screens, even to be obsessively praised 365 later. Really? How? Your guess as good as mine.

With Sunday being tomorrow (by the time I finish typing it rolls into today) and my Easter update  crawling its way at being polished and fluffed, only now and furiously so, you'd wonder why it took so long? I mean I did have the pound cakes done and ready, carved into technicolor chicks a week prior, and a few after, these cupcakes topped with open mouthed chicks. Leave it to memory lapses and accountability issues. Hopefully you'll look beyond that after you see the not-one-but-two I have lined up for you today in our Easter/Spring reel.

A dense, yet pillowy pound cake, tinted bright became my canvas for cookie cutter forms. About a dozen chicks were produced from it, no scraps left behind, since those disappeared much before chick 12 made it out. Being that it was an I-dare-you-to-find-a-better-one sort of recipe, I must say one bit for the factors of color and cute. They did add tremendous value to the ones that emerged. Such is the potency level of those two C's.

Check him out- all geared up and rainbow pretty!
And then since I could not get a carrot cake I saw somewhere, anywhere out of my mind, I planned on shredding some carrots for the quintessential Easter cupcake. When I looked around I noticed I wasn't the only one to fancy grated vegetable in a classic themed dessert.

Convinced I was on seeing those 60 reviews, that Epicurious had the answer to moistest carrot cupcakes. Heeding to some priceless commenter reports, I reassessed and tweaked, a little here, a bit there. Nixing some of the oil in the recipe and replacing it with finely grated apple pumped the moistness to stupendous heights. The minicakes were soft with well textured crumb. Finally cream cheese frosting supplying you with the need-not-look-any-further quotient.

Mission accomplished, times two.

I got a little obsessed with cupcake design, which probably is why this conversation became so late. A few years ago when Martha Stewart deemed it hip to have birds nest on top cupcakes, I fervently pined to make the open beaked delights. But serious cakeartistry-and-ornamentation-phobia  kept me from all or any attempts of auditioning my skill. Until now. Audience get ready, cakechef-gone-wrong has just begun.

Happy Easter, my friends!

Carrot Cupcakes~
( Adapted from Epicurious carrot cupcake recipe, heeding to supporting advice from reviewer number one)
Recipe:
  • 1 ½ c all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
  • 2 c grated carrots
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 medium apple grated finely, about ¼c 
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Line muffin cups with paper liners.
  • Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Add grated carrots to the dry mixture and combine.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or with electric beater, whisk together eggs, oil, brown sugar, and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture until just combined.
  • Divide batter among muffin cups( app. 18) and bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and let cool completely on rack.
Chirp chirp...beaks of all shapes and sizes, many deformed, still hopelessly cute.

Cream Cheese Frosting~
(Adapted from my orange cheese frosting, on this page)
Ingredients:
  • 1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened 
  • ½ c butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 4-5 c confectioner's sugar 
Directions:
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla and zest on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  • Reduce to low speed and add confectioner's sugar, gradually, one cup at a time, beating well with each addition.
  • Increase speed to medium high and beat until smooth, adding more sugar if needed to get a slightly thick consistency to pipe onto cupcakes.
  • Pipe and color and frost. Or just do as Martha says.
Technicolor chicks~
Recipe:
  • 1 basic pound cake recipe. I liked what I saw here
  • Food colors in spring colors
  • Chick cookie cutter
Directions:
  • Prepare the pound cake according to the recipe or use a boxed mix.
  • Divide the batter into different colors. I used four- pink, yellow, green and blue.
  • Spoon batter into the 9x5 loaf pan, layering colors evenly beside one another, next to each other  so you get the right mix when you cut into the loaf with the cookie cutter.
  • Bake for amount of time suggested ion recipe. This particular took 40 approximately minutes.
  • Allow to cool completely.
  • Once cooled, slice cake loaf horizontally into two layers of 1/2" depth. That way you have a larger canvas to work with.
  • Cut out with the baby chick cutter (or any spring shape you fancy/have on hand).You should be able to cut 10-12 with a medium sized cutter.

Want to check out previous Easter's saga? Here goes~ last year, this time.

******
The blood that saved you and me is not that of a defeated man. It flows instead from a triumphal King, a Risen and Resurrected Christ in whose glory comes our hope, freedom and strength. Oh happy day- Sunday is here!

6 comments:

  1. this looks so beautiful tisa... n u call it normal? geesh... :)

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  2. These cupcakes are SO cute ! Happy Easter !

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  3. My friend your cupcakes are utterly gorgeous :)

    Happy Easter!
    Choc Chip Uru

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  4. cute cupcakes,Yummy clicks...hope u had a great Easter:)

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  5. They look delicious and so cute!!

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  6. hi Tisa, first tiem here. the cakes luks soo lovely and the chicks are soo cute. you have a nice collection of recipes and great clicks as well. happily following ur space. do drop by my space as well.

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!