Yesterday was my father's birthday, and he requested chocolate and cherries. You know I had to turn that into cupcakes somehow.
I started with chocolate cake batter that I added cherry pie filling to. It made the cupcakes super moist with chewy cherry pieces riddled throughout.
They came out of the oven looking beautiful. The secret to perfect cupcakes every time: my mother's oven. True story. My apartment has a gas oven which has a tendency of burning everything on the bottom. This works wonderfully if you are trying to-- Ah, heck! It doesn't work wonderfully for anything. My mother's electric oven, on the other hand, cooks food evenly and perfectly!
For the filling I whipped (literally whipped) up a batch of white chocolate mousse. I didn't, however, whip it enough, and it was still just a little runny.
For the frosting I tried a new recipe from a food network chef that claimed to make the smoothest and most fudge-a-licious chocolate frosting on this side of the Mississippi. The recipe called for granulated sugar, cooked on the stove top with milk and butter, and boiled for one minute.
[Insert cheesy flashback music]
When I was just a young girl wanted to make cookies with my big sister. As we added ingredients to the batter we realized we were looking at the wrong recipe and actually making brownies. Because we had already begun mixing ingredients, we agreed to forgo cookies and proceed with the brownies. We were not good at waiting for our creation to bake so I got the bright idea to make chocolate frosting. It seemed to be a good distraction from our temptation to repeatedly open the oven door.
This was my first time making frosting. I read the recipie aloud to my sister as she retrieved the ingredients from the pantry. Frosting progress came to an abrupt hault when I read confectioners sugar.
"What's confectioners sugar?" I asked my older and wiser sister.
"I'm not sure," she said cautiously. "But I think it might be powdered sugar."
I took a moment to consider her theory. Powdered sugar. . . like cinnamon roll glaze. . . glaze is like runny frosting. . . but. . . but. . . what if we're wrong?
"We better use regular sugar just to be safe." I said confidently, hiding my doubts. Janell, so obedient, grabbed the granulated sugar from the pantry and into our frosting it went. I mixed and mixed until it sorta looked right, and then we each put forth little tasting fingers. Inside my mouth two things happened. First, my tongue thoroughly cleaned off my index finger, and second, it pushed the frosting against the roof of my mouth where it discovered a disturbing gritty texture.
Who's idea was granulated sugar anyway?
Janell and I were embarrassed and mortified. Not wanting to admit our mistake we attempted a rescue mission on that crunchy frosting. We microwaved it, cooked it on the stove, beat it with the mixer until both of our arms succumbed to the power of the crunchy frosting.
We gave up and massaged the gritty concoction into the top of our brownies. Our family still teases us about the incident.
I thought I had learned from my mistake and put the experience behind me. But yesterday as I tasted the "smoothest" and "most fudge-a-licious" chocolate frosting on this side of the Mississippi my tongue did two things: it cleaned off the spoon and then pressed the chocolate confection to the roof of my mouth. And it was gritty, crumbly, and nothing like frosting. My heart broke in two, fell to the floor, and was carried away by my parent's hyperactive puppy.
Because it could not be piped or even spread onto the cupcakes in normal buttercream fashion I decided to set it aside and start over with a frosting I was comfortable with.
In the end the cupcakes turned out fine and were happily eaten by one and all. But I learned my lesson for good. Never make frosting with granulated sugar.