Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Food for the (Stressed) Brain

Oh Spring, you're my favorite movement of Vivaldi's Four Seasons. Spring the season, however, not so much, mostly because Spring means MCAT time for us Pre-Med students. So, here's to my Chemistry tutor, Miss Megan, who is taking her MCAT this weekend.

I decided on Brain Cupcakes (thank you, Ms. Humble for the idea!),
and for the Devil's food cupcake recipe, I turned to Martha Stewart. 

Yum, yum, butter, buttermilk and chocolate... exactly what a stressed out brain needs.

My least favorite step: Chopping the chocolate. I hate chopping chocolate because it melts so easily in my hands when I'm holding it steady.  I probably should have chopped the pieces smaller, but again, I hate this part so I tried to finish it as soon as I could.

Melting the chocolate

 Mixing the melted chocolate with the batter

At first, everything looked fine. It seemed like Devil's food, but only until the chocolate was thoroughly mixed.

See, what happened was, I was in a rush to get home and bought the wrong type of chocolate- bittersweet instead of unsweetened.  To try and fix things, I added a bit of unsweetened baking cocoa.

But that was useless. I still ended up with just plain chocolate cupcakes. Plain chocolate cupcakes with flat tops. Not good because the flat tops made it challenging to pipe the icing into nice brains. I really need to figure out how to make domed cupcakes.  If you know how, please, please, please tell me.

Making the Swiss Meringue buttercream icing required this many sticks of butter... along with five egg whites. Yikes.

And the final product... flat brains atop flat cupcakes!
(Yes, there is ganache filling, but that also required chopping chocolate into fine bits and I was too frustrated to take pictures of the process. Sorry for depriving you)

More brain cupcakes

Packed with a little message

And here's Megan devouring a brain

With icing all over her face

Hopefully that helped with your stress, my genius tutor!  
Good luck this weekend!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring Break Cakes

Last week was Spring Break for me and I was so excited because no school means baking frenzies galore.  Sadly, though, I did not bake anything more than two cakes and a few cupcakes.  What? Why? you ask.  Well, my friend introduced me to the television series Dexter and it was love at first episode I suppose :)  I seriously got no sleep the whole week and finished all four seasons.  I love Dexter almost as much as baking... almost...

The first cake I baked and decorated with my little brother.  Chocolate cake with chocolate chip cookie dough filling and cream cheese icing.

Can you guess our theme?

The back of our cake

One more clue if you haven't figured it out yet

And now for the answer...
A safari drive through!

The second cake I decorated was for my friend Brad, who no longer lives within driving distance.  White almond sour cream with a blueberry-strawberry filling.

The Brad figure, the bulldog (Yale's mascot), the backpack, and the paper pieces were made with gum paste.

The back of Brad and his bulldog.

the two from the side,

And from the inside...

Miss you, Brad... see you in the Summer!

Friday, March 5, 2010


I think I really need to take a break from baking to focus on school more because when I'm not baking, I'm reading about baking and formulating new decorating ideas.  I'll be back when I'm satisfied with my academic performance.  I will occasionally update Twitter from time to time, though, since that doesn't take more than a few seconds to do.  Ta-ta for now, my friends!  I will miss thee dearly :)


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