Monday, October 11, 2010

Baseball Cupcakes

This past weekend my brother-in-law turned the big 3-0! Man is he getting old! :) When my sister told me she was hosting a party I hopped on the opportunity and offered to bake some cupcakes for the event! Perfect opportunity and excuse to try some new recipes and play around with fondant!

During the summer months softball pretty much consumes my brother-in-law's nights and weekends! This past summer he was forced to cut back, but previous summers he would play three or four nights a week and have tournaments every weekend. Only seemed fitting to make him baseball themed cupcakes! And by coincidence the Twins had a playoff game that night as well. (we won't discuss the outcome of that game though)

Another one of his absolute favorite things is Reese's peanut butter cups! Whenever these are around him consider them gone within moments. So to no surprise, when I asked my sister what flavors to make, her first response was "he loves chocolate cake." This immediately pulled the light bulb string for chocolate cake with peanut butter filling and dipped in ganache! Makes my mouth water just thinking of that combination!! I went on the hunt for "the best" chocolate cake recipe. I searched many blogs and was looking for the words "this is my go-to chocolate cake recipe." One of blogs swore by the Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake. Seemed logical for this to be a good choice being that it was from Hershey's. Well, didn't quit do the trick. First red flag was when the recipe told me to add one cup of boiling water and the batter was already like soup. Not knowing whether I should add it or not, I decided on going in the middle and adding half of the water. Definitely glad I didn't add all of it. The cupcakes were light and airy, but didn't rise to that nice classic cupcake dome. It ended up working out alright since I was cutting out the middle for the filling anyways, but it only means I have to continue the quest for a go-to chocolate cake! Dang, more chocolate batter and cupcakes to eat!

I also tried a new recipe for a yellow cake that I found on Bakerella's blog! Definitely one of my favorite blogs! I think the trick for this recipe was the creaming of the butter and sugar for seven minutes. I couldn't believe it when I read this. I think I usually cream mine for about a minute tops. By the time this seven minutes was up the butter was almost white and had more than doubled in size due to all of the air that was incorporated. I also loved that there were very few ingredients! Less chance to mess up the recipe! These cupcakes baked up very nicely and for now this will be the chosen yellow cake recipe!

As for the decorations I used marshmallow fondant! Starting to get the hang of working with this stuff! I wasn't able to find a home plate or baseball field cookie cutter so I ended up finding images online and making stencils. Worked well but was definitely a little more time consuming having to cut all of them out. In the beginning I wasn't very hopeful about how it would all turn out, but with a few genius ideas from Zach and many, many hours of time, I must say that I am dang proud of these!!

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