Both these treats were what I was working on over the last two weeks that either caused me to post late and/or not post at all. Blame my wonderful nephews.
First up, is the Chocolate Malt Cake. It just so happens that my nephews go to my grade school alma mater. As it is a private school, along with tuition, fundraisers are a big part of the whole process. So every year, in October, they have a big one called Family Fun Day. In my day it was a weekend festival, which some former students think is better but I have to say with the exception of confetti eggs, this one is better. I love the bingo they play for prizes in the hall and the classroom raffles are really good. I never spend as much money on my kids playing games, face painting, food and sweets, or playing on different inflatable contraptions than I spend on raffle tickets and bingo games (some years we even win a few things, but this was a bad year, not one thing). Another thing they have every year is a Cakewalk. So one afternoon, I get a call from my sister asking, ” You are gonna make a cake for the cakewalk right?” To be fair, I had made one for every year since I can remember, but I was trying to sort out my schedule in my mind to make sure I had the time and before I could answer her, she says, “Cause I signed you up.”
Yay! The only issue I had was not the time to make the cake but what cake to make? It took me two days of looking and then I saw this cake and knew instantly. I used her recipe exactly so I won’t post it here except I did use the ganache recipe that I had used in my Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake. Her ganache looks a bit glossier but mine did too when I first poured it. I didn’t get to take good pictures till later in the day after I had refrigerated it a bit (this was when my lights still weren’t working). The cake itself baked up so nicely that maybe, if I can adapt it without the malt, it might just be THAT chocolate cake. We shall see…
The only recipe you are gonna get from me this week is for the frosting for these cupcakes. I thought it was a little odd that an 8 year old would ask for a mint frosting and I almost asked him to change it, but it was what he wanted so I went with it. Did I mention not only is my daughter smart, my nephews are too? He was so right! The chocolate cupcakes with the mint frosting were spot on. The kids weren’t put off by the mint at all and of course the adults loved them. It was a great idea and I look forward to doing it on a more refined scale over again. The chocolate cupcakes were my standard Buttermilk Devil’s Food Cake Doctor cake that I use all the time and also used for my Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake.
As it WAS an 8 year old’s birthday, I needed to add Despicable Me Minions to the cupcakes. I got this idea from pluckymomo.com (sorry no link, it wouldn’t work for some reason). She credits Confessions of a Cookbook Queen for the idea but I like pluckymomo’s version better. It seemed simpler overall and didn’t require me to buy an edible ink pen or black licorice whips (eew). I just had to buy the Twinkies, Smarties, and black gel color which I was able to use for the grey and black buttercream frosting for the goggle details. I also drizzled it on top of the frosting later because I was thinking the frosting tip I used (which is my favorite for cupcakes, maximum coverage without piling on the frosting) made them look a bit girly. Drizzle some grey and black stripes on top, problem solved. The Minions would have looked nicer if I had more time than the hour and a half between my daughter’s soccer game and the party to make them. The recipe said the Twinkies would dry out but also said the kids wouldn’t care. I should have listened and just done them earlier. Especially since I kept them sealed in Tupperware and that is how I transported them to the party, it probably wouldn’t have mattered.
My GeekyLink this week is The Guild – a web series about gamers. I have heard so much about this show and the show’s creator Felicia Day. She is virtually on any cool podcast out there, is around at all the Cons, and overall is like Nerd Princess of the World right now. I had heard so much about this show and was interested but didn’t make the effort until last week. Which really wasn’t that much effort, I checked if it was streaming on Netflix. The first four seasons (the fifth just ended and not available on Netflix yet but is online and I haven’t gotten to it yet) are SO FUNNY and so short (a whole season lasts about an hour) that it is SO worth the effort. Check it out, you will not be dissappointed!
Mint Buttercream Frosting
adapted from Cupcake Bakeshop Mint Buttercream.
makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
4-5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon all natural peppermint extract
Beat butter until creamy, scrape bowl.
Add 4 cups of powdered sugar, cream, and peppermint extract, beat until combined.
Add more powdered sugar as needed till you get your desired consistency.
You can add more extract if you would like but be careful to not let the flavor be overpowering or alcohol like. I did add a few drops of green gel food color, since it was a kid’s party, but that is totally optional.