Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I was going to see my friend Katherine to watch a movie, and I thought, it would be nice to bring something, like cupcakes. But there would only be two of us and sooo many cupcakes! So I decided to make a smaller batch. Cupcakes for two!

I had the perfect book for it--Small Batch Baking. I bought it at my bookstore, all excited to have grabbed the last copy, as the book was listed as out of print!! This was my first time using this book, so I'm going to give it one more try before it hits the recycling bin! That said...

This is the small bowl I used :)

And another tiny bowl.

This is the book. I followed the directions, I swear! All except the "put them in cans" thing. The batter filled five muffin tins.

The PROBLEM was, the directions included adding ingredients that weren't listed! My first bowl of water, egg yolk and vanilla was never called for again. Also, after I prepared everything else, I was told to add "the buttermilk mixture," which wasn't listed as an ingredient! I flipped to the next recipe that included buttermilk to see how much I should put in. Just a few tablespoons! I even made my OWN buttermilk by putting cream of tartar into a glass of milk for 10 minutes.

I didn't know what to do with the egg yolk, water, vanilla thing, so I dumped it in with the rest, and scooped them into the muffin tin.

The batter tasted like normal chocolate cake batter... It even looked normal coming out of the oven.

But this is what happened:
Oh noooo! They didn't come out of the tins! I buttered the edges and bottoms, and everything. Needless to say, I was pretty frustrated. It didn't help that I tried to make the icing with butter, vanilla, and granulated sugar. I couldn't find our confectioners sugar, plus I was so distracted by the Great Cupcake Debacle that I wasn't thinking straight! I figured, why not see if it works? Well, it tasted like butter. Crunchy, sugary butter. So, the whole thing was a failure.

I blame it on the recipe.

That's why I'm not going ahead and telling you the author. It's bad enough her book is out of print! Now I know to read through the whole recipe before I begin!!

I'm posting this for those of you who have had a disaster recipe like this before. It happens alllll the time with baking and cooking! You're not alone. And it's nice to think I'm not, either :)

I did have great success a few days ago with another recipe :) But that's for later in the week!

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry you had trouble with the recipe. I believe you used the Chocolate Birthday Cake recipe to make cupcakes. The Really Fudgy Cupcakes are great as written in the book. But there was an editing mistake in the cake recipe, and I am going to paste the corrected recipe here. Good luck, and feel free to write me with other questions at debby@smallbatchbaking.com.
    PS: The additional cream of tartar that you used to make buttermilk probably made the cupcakes more tender than they would have been and therefore harder to come out of the muffin cups. But in this revised recipe, water is used instead of buttermilk. Wherever you see buttermilk in the body of the recipe, substitute the word water.

    Chocolate Birthday Cake 2nd printing
    Unsalted butter, at room temperature, for greasing the cans
    1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring the cans
    1/4 cup water
    Yolk of 1 large egg
    1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
    2 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup sugar

    1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees f.
    2. Grease the insides of 2 (14- or 14.5-ounce) cans and lightly dust them with flour, tapping out excess. Or spray with cooking spray and line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper. Place cans on baking sheet for easier handling, and set aside.
    3. Combine water, egg yolk, and vanilla in a small bowl, and whisk to mix. Gradually pour the melted butter into the water mixture, whisking constantly.
    4. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium-size mixing bowl, and then whisk to blend well. Add sugar and whisk to combine. Add water mixture and whisk until dry ingredients are incorporated.
    5. Spoon batter into prepared cans, dividing it evenly between them. Bake cakes until a toothpick inserted in center of one comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.
    6. Remove baking sheet from oven and transfer cans to a wire rack to cool 15 minutes. Then run a thin, sharp knife around edge of each can and invert them to release the cakes. Turn cakes upright and cool on wire rack.
    7. Split cakes in half horizontally, and frost cakes.