Yesterday I attempted the first cupcake in Martha’s book, the chocolate chip. Seems easy enough, I thought. Several things were brought to my attention throughout the process of making these cupcakes:
It has been a very long time since I have baked a cake/cupcake from scratch. I realized that I had turned into the insta-baker, where all you need is a couple eggs, water, oil, and a box. I quickly humbled myself, stopped complaining about how complicated it was, and began to appreciate making something original. There were no pre-processed boxes, no simple three step directions. There was me, Martha’s book, and all the raw isolated ingredients. I felt much more natural this way and quickly enjoyed the challenge of making something delicious out of the cluster of items on my countertop.
I learned something LIFE CHANGING from Martha in the process of baking. When putting chocolate chips in a cake/cupcake, if you toss them in a bit of flour before adding them to the batter, they will not all sink to the bottom of the pan! This concept was completely new to me! I usually avoided chocolate chips in similar baking projects for this exact reason! I could never keep them spread around the batter well enough. After reading this piece of advice, I stood silently for a moment, not moving, with my jaw slightly dropped. After excitedly telling my boyfriend this marvelous information, he shrugged and said, “Oh yeah, I knew that.”
Initially I was concerned about making frosting from scratch. It was actually very simple. In the book, it called for some fancy-shmancy dutch cocoa, but I couldn’t find it at the store so I just bought Hershey’s instead. I didn’t know it was so simple to make frosting. I made chocolate frosting as was recommended to pair with these cupcakes and it turned out quite nice! The only thing that surprised me was that it didn’t stiffen the way frosting does that you buy at the store. It kept a very nice gloss to it the whole night and even on to today. Also, either I did not frost my cupcakes heavily enough or the recipes just don’t match each other’s size, but I had a lot of frosting leftover.
So, overall the cupcakes turned out really good! I am surprised at how the quality of the cake is so much better than any box mix you could ever buy! It is so light and perfectly sweet! Now to critique myself a bit, I would say that I might have goofed a bit on my measurements and mine were a tad bit too floury, but I’m sure I will get better at it with time. I do have 174 times to try again!