Wednesday, March 28, 2012

OMG a Recipe: Beware the Roller-Disco-Cupcake Ides of March

Beware, oh great Caesar... the sequined, frothy beer-topped Ides of March, slathered in buttercream frosting... That's not how Shakespeare's play really went down, nor was it the real story behind Julius Caesar's untimely demise. Heck, it's not even the Ides of March anymore, because we're in the dwindling days of the month. But I do have a truthful warning about March -- beyond the wealth of regrettable decisions and naked table dancing that is St. Patrick's Day, there is an inherent danger in baking cupcakes for a friend's birthday... endless leftovers!

Beware the army of cupcakes, out to put you into a diabetic coma - Photo by Wasabi Prime
Yes, file it under First World Problems -- an excess of cupcakes is never a terrible thing. I just as easily could have packed the Mister off with the little frosted devils the Monday after the birthday, but no, I am a greedy, evil cupcake leprechaun, fit to horde away my sugary treasure. Get away from me pot o' gold, you rotten kids -- and no,  you can't have any of me Lucky Charms, neither! Despite the photo of Epic Infinite Cupcakes, we didn't have quite that many left in our possession, but I will say we've been having dessert every night and loving it.

As annoying as the Cupcake Craze may be, I will say it's a dessert that travels well. You don't need utensils or plates. Everything is individually portioned. Just hand 'em out and people eat. Done. I volunteered baked sweets for a friend's birthday party which happened to fall on St. Patrick's Day, which also happened to fall on a Saturday. They say 2012 is the year the world ends, and if those weren't the foretold signs of an apocalyptic end, I don't know what is. St. Patty's on a Saturday? Nostradamus, how could you not have seen that one coming? The party was thankfully cataclysm-free. There was roller-rink boogie-ing, there was much wine and beer-ing, and somehow we wound up at an all-night karaoke place that lets you rent suites so you can keep your shame all to yourself. Two o'clock in the morning later, we arrived home intact, with a tupperware full of leftover cupcakes. Alive and well, with dessert. Not such a sad state of affairs.

Sure, it's more steps than cake from a box, but the sugar high alone is worth it - Photos by Wasabi Prime
This is a sort-of OMG a Recipe, as I have a recipe available for the cupcakes, but it isn't mine, I did a quick search on my Epicurious iPhone app to find a chocolate cake recipe that sounded good. I went with the Ganache-filled Chocolate Cupcakes with Seven Minute Meringue Frosting, but left out its more showy aspects. No ganache filling. Not even a fluffy meringue topping. It sounds lackluster, but I just wanted a nice, basic dark chocolate cake, so I didn't add the chocolate chips and I replaced the water with a dark beer, specifically Black Butte Porter. I didn't heat it, I poured in a cup's worth cold, into the batter, and it turned out fine. I wanted it to be a beer-chocolate cupcake, and since it was St. Patrick's Day and there was much seasonal buzz about McDonalds' annual Shamrock Shake appearance, I went with a mint-flavored white chocolate buttercream frosting. The buttercream frosting was the only tricky bit; it took a few rounds with the mixer to get it to the right consistency, plus some rest time in the fridge, to help set the consistency a bit more. I went with a recipe similar to this white chocolate frosting, adding some powdered egg whites to stiffen it up a bit and have it set enough to where it was a little dry to the touch, just so the cupcake tops wouldn't fuse together during transit. The minty flower cookies were an add-on for both decoration and for easy grabbing out of the container. I would have gone with Girl Scout Cookies, as the cupcake was somewhat inspired by their Thin Mint cookies, but alas, I was too late to get my addictive dose of Scouted treats.

Disco Roller Night delights Warwick Davis' angry scary Leprechaun - Photos by Wasabi Prime
As for the evening itself, despite the potential for much harm to one's liver, I think the scariest thing was all the 70s/80s super short-shorts all the guys were wearing for the retro-themed rollerskate birthday party. You didn't know if it was St. Patrick's Day or a porn movie about to happen. Luck o' the Irish, indeed.

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