Sunday, December 20, 2009

Fantastic Mr. Cupcake

I know I just made cupcakes 2 days ago. They were from scratch. I knew I wanted to make Fantastic Mr. Fox cupcakes as soon as I saw the movie directed by Wes Anderson (and I loved reading Roald Dahl's book when I was in 4th grade), but I wasn't sure when I'd have the time! So since it was a snowy day and nothing was going on, I decided to make them today.

These were not from scratch. These were made from a mix. As usual, I got the candy decorations from Fuzziwigs:
I also had 2 bags of marshmallows--one large, one small. I cut a large marshmallow in half, then again to make a flat semi-circle for the snout (inspired by Hello, Cupcake's wolf cupcake):
and some heart-shaped peach gummies cut in half for the ears:
Then I used a zip-lock bag (also a Hello, Cupcake staple) as an icing bag and put white and orange squiggles on it:
Then I added a Jelly Belly jellybean for the nose and 2 green M&M's for the eyes with white icing under them (for the white eye area):
Then I put some chocolate icing for the pupils, mouth and ears:

Then I made Ash, the son who wears a towel or blanket as a cape, so I used a small marshmallow cut in half and dipped in frosting to be the knot around the neck:
Then Possum, who had target-looking eyes when he zoned out and a big pink nose (a cut-up Starburst):
Kind of just looks like a mouse, but.. whatever. I like his eyes :)

Then I made Mrs. Fox, who has purple eyes and eyeliner:

I just had to make the wolf... Throughout the movie, Mr. Fox and Possum talk about wolves and how they're afraid of them (well, Mr. Fox just has a phobia, he's "not afraid") and there's this scene where they see one at the end... and it's one of my favorite scenes:
Then I thought I'd do the writing thing like I did for the Wild Things cupcakes, and wrote on them:

Yay! That was fun! The movie was so great, mostly because of the detailed stop-animation, so go see it! Hope you enjoyed!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Twilight Red Velvet Cupcakes!

It was my co-worker's daughter's 10th birthday celebration yesterday and I know she and her sister love red velvet cupcakes. I was also feeling inspired by Magnolia's Rockette cupcakes, so I decided to make some... from scratch! I used Martha Stewart's Cupcakes book.

I was curious about what was actually in red velvet to make it so red! Turns out it's mostly just red food coloring:
Yuck.. looks like blood. Good thing these are Twilight-themed! This is the sugar, oil, eggs, food coloring and vanilla. The other bowl has the cocoa powder, cake flour and salt.

Then you're supposed to combine the 2 while intermittently adding buttermilk. I didn't add the buttermilk.
Ew. So far, so gross! It looks like bacon in some sludgy form. So, be sure to remember the buttermilk.
There. I added the buttermilk. Now it looks more brown than red, though! So I dashed in a lot more food coloring.

In Martha's book it says it's called red velvet mostly because of the reaction the vinegar has with the cocoa powder. Yes, there is vinegar in red velvet cake. Who comes up with this stuff? I felt like I was making a science fair volcano because I had to mix the vinegar and baking soda in a small bowl before adding it to the mixture. Fizzzzzzz.................

It wasn't much of a volcanic reaction, otherwise I'd've taken a picture or videotaped it and shared. It was actually kind of a let-down. Maybe I should make a volcano anyway, since I have red food coloring and all that.

I have this method of putting the batter in the cupcake tins. I get a big spoon-ful of the mix and pour it in each cup, letting it fly all over the rest of the tin, because this is not a clean way of going about it. It looks like a Jackson Pollock painting. I call it "Batter Splatter":
It also looks violent.. This red food coloring is pretty creepy, actually. They came out of the oven beautifully, though!

I even make 5 mini ones with the leftover batter. How cute! They look like macarons.

Then it was time to make the cream cheese icing. Okay, Martha, whaddaya got?

FOUR cups of sifted confectioners' sugar. This is no easy task when your sifter is on its very last legs. Our sifter's spring is just about to pop out, so to use it you have to pull it back, then stop and push it back in. Each time. This was a labor of love. Four cups of love, to be exact.

Two sticks of unsalted butter, and 12 ounces of cream cheese, room temperature. It's good to read ahead; I did not. Straight from the fridge, butter and cream cheese are preeeeetty difficult to mix together. After waiting for what seemed like long enough and it still wouldn't work, I filled a zip-loc bag full of warm water and let it sit on top of the ingredients in the bowl. After a few minutes it was ready! So that is my tip for you, if you end up not reading ahead, like me.

Then add the sugar...

Yeaaaahhh!! I barely had time to ice all 24 before I ran off to class, and I was a few minutes late! I tried to ice them like Magnolia's... The one on the left looks kind of close! :)

After class I made the decorations. I printed out a bunch of pictures of the characters from Twilight and New Moon, as well as some "Team Jacob" and "Team Edward"...
I bought this big paper-punch that makes the shape of scalloped circles--they're just so pretty, right? I was excited. I'd seen these kinds of things being sold on etsy, but I figured I could make them, too.

The girls just LOVED it, calling, "I'm Team Jacob!!" and "I want Team Edward!!" The little boy there even said, "Team Apple!" because of the Twilight book cover art. Awww. So I got to find out how red velvet is made, AND I made some 10 year olds happy! :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Magnolia for the Holidays

My friends and I went to see the Tim Burton exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art yesterday and, since we were in the area, we saw the tree at Rockefeller Center and got cupcakes from Magnolia. Here's the tree:

and this time I took more pictures of Magnolia Bakery:

above, pretty signage; below, mixers at the window!

Magnolia has more than cupcakes! Apple crisps, lemon cake, pecan and pumpkin pie!

They had some nice hanging decorations for the holidays (above). They usually sell adorable aprons, and they also have a cute holiday apron (below)!
Oh! Time to order cupcakes!
Remember in my first post about Magnolia when I said I thought their red velvet cupcakes were called Rockette Red Velvet Cupcakes? And then they weren't? Well they are again! I guess it's just a holiday thing. Anyway, I bought 2, and they are ADORABLE:
The chocolates are Rockette toy soldiers!!

The inside was just as red as a Coca Cola truck:

Here is a picture of the real Rockettes presenting the cupcakes (thanks Kim)!

The cupcakes were delicious, as usual. We also bought a pumpkin cupcake and a gingerbread cupcake... the pumpkin had great frosting, and the gingerbread was amazing altogether.

I have another cupcake project in the works--bought the candy for it and everything! Now I just need the time! Hopefully it'll be my next post!

Happy Holidays!