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Food: The Magic is Butter

January 3, 2011

This is what three sticks of butter cut into 2 inch slices looks like:

a whole mess of butter

Clearly, this qualifies as a whole mess of butter. Before the holidays I would have been all over butter as a main ingredient, but I’m feeling pretty food-hungover lately.  If I had been making anything other than Chocolate Cupcakes with Crispy Magic Frosting – my second attempt from the Flour cookbook – I may have passed altogether. However, I am committed to using this book to make me a better baker, so I pressed on through the ingredient list.

The recipe for these cupcakes was a little more labor intensive than that of the vegan muffins, but not complicated. It was the Crispy “Magic” Icing that really tripped me up, and I believe it was in this step that I lost any magic I may have possibly performed:

The instructions were to mix egg whites and sugar into a slurry and then heat, while whisking, over simmering water. I really, really thought I had performed this task perfectly, but the finished icing was nowhere near as sweet, nor as delightfully crispy as those from the cupcakes I buy and devour at Flour. Sigh.

The cakes did turn out better than my vegan attempt – I adjusted the cooking time, though I still wish I’d taken them out a minute earlier. I was also mystified that the store-bought cupcakes seem to have chocolate bits in them, but these did not. I even re-read the recipe to make sure I hadn’t missed something (stranger things have happened), but nope. Puzzling.

I think I would have been content with these cupcakes if I didn’t know how good they were supposed to be, though as it was I felt annoyed that they ended up being a semi-sweet imitation. But then again, some people like cupcakes that aren’t super sweet.

Next up: Vanilla Cream – Filled Doughnuts.

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