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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Abstract Expressionist Cupcakes?

You may ask yourself... what do Jackson Pollock & Cupcakes with Strawberry Jam frosting have in common? They're both splattery, a messy process, and ultimately end in disaster.

This weekend, me and Daniel created a work of art for our dining room. We used a little bit of left over paint from our house, and Dan's sister's, and got a few other shades to create our own Jackson Pollock-esque painting.
Since my brain was in an abstract expressionist mode, my cupcakes wound up with the same treatment.

But let me start over and tell the story of these cupcakes...if you want to call them that...

Tonight is a little get together at my professor's house with all the girls going on the Italy study abroad trip. I wanted to make something special, so I decided to make little cupcakes, which I normally don't do... because I figured, its all girls, and small cupcakes are easier and less messy to eat. Also, I wanted to do something a little different with the frosting.
I realized that I don't have a mini-cupcake pan. I foolishly decided to try anyway, and just laid out the mini-liners on a baking sheet and filled them up...

Overall, not a good decision. Some of them came out OK enough to use, but some others... well...
Precisely. A little leaky leakage.

So I took the bad ones, like the one above, and kept them for another project I intend to try soon.

Then, I began on the frosting. I found this Strawberry Meringue Frosting recipe on Martha Stewart's website, and couldn't resist. I food processed the strawberry jam, I whisked egg whites and sugar over simmering water.. but something was wrong. I'm really not sure what went awry, but it looked NOTHING like the picture Martha has on her website of this frosting. While hers looked fluffy, mine was liquidy, gooey, and... I learned through attempting it... NOT able to be piped in the LEAST bit. I tried adding meringue powder to thicken it up, put it in the frig, but nothing worked. I was going to throw it out, but I decided to just spoon it on top like a thick glaze.


My Action-Painting brain thought these looked a little Blah, so I took some dark chocolate ganache and splattered it over the tops of the cupcakes.



Me and Daniel sampled, of course, and it tasted... interesting. VERY Strawberry Jam-y. And not really like a cupcake. Since the frosting is so wet, it throws the taste off a little bit and tastes kinda like you're eating pudding. Though the girls at the party really all did enjoy them. Oh well. I spose I'll stick with my original recipes, or continue searching for a better strawberry recipe.

With a dollop of vanilla buttercream to pretty it up a little.


Tempered Woman said...

your issues with martha's recipe are VERY interesting to me. I noticed that her Brown Sugar Swiss Meringue Butercream called for TWICE as much butter as the recipe I had called for. Looking at that strawberry recipe I see no salt or cream of tartar (to help stiffen and hold egg whites) a LOT of butter again and quite a bit of preserves. I'm thinking add the salt and cream of tartar you usually would for a swiss meringue and 1/2 the butter and preserves. Might work much better!

Stephanie said...

I will definitely have to give that a try, thank you!! This sloppy mess tasted quite good, so I imagine if it came out fluffy like it was supposed to, it would be a perfect cupcake topping.


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