Friday, 18 May 2012

Disasterous Cupcakes

Today.  What can I tell you about Today?!  This afternoon I set to to make some cupcakes - dalmation cupcakes from Betty Crockers 'The Big book of cupcakes'.  They were a disaster.  Not a complete disaster as they tasted nice and the texture was lovely and light.  I have sat and super-anyalysed what went wrong with them.  The recipe said it made 24.  I got to 24 without scraping the bowl out.  I think US cupcake papers are slightly bigger than what I used.  My papers were cupcake rather than fairy.  The main thing I believe what happened was that the recipe was in 'American' and I translated it wrong.  The measurements were in cups.  This did not phase me as I had looked up the metric equivalents before I started.  Afterwards I carried on looking up conversions, only to find that leading baking books give slightly different quantities.  For example, I have found 35g difference in flour, 25ml difference in liquid.  These quantities may seem small, but they make a difference with cupcakes.

Until I get some more clarity on these measurements, such recipes and books will only be used for inspiration and not exact recipes, which is a great shame.  I shall persevere once I've picked myself up and dusted myself down.  I have never had to throw out 24 cupcakes in one go!  What I do like about the US cupcake recipes is that they are so vastly different and the ideas and decoration is so far removed from the traditional fairy cake 'fancies'.

I had originally planned to do another batch of cakes, maybe two and if they went really well, then perhaps a batch of biscuits.  I threw the towel in after the one and only batch.  I was a bit disheatened.  All the other recipes that I had chosen were from the same book.

On top of that, when I was mulling over the cupcakes just after they had come out of the oven, I had a phone call.  A friend of mine (a brief old flame friend) had died.  I have not seen him for about 22 or 23 years, other friends had stayed in touch.  He had died in a Hopsice on Wednesday of bowel cancer.  I shall be taking some time to remember him.

this evening I have kept to 'safe' knitting.  Yes the ASJ has had a few more ridges added to it - I'm now on ridge 71.  There is no overall number of ridges I need to do, planned or worked out to do.  I just like to count them.


Unknown said...

After reading your post, I checked my cupboard and found some baking cups. These are 2.5" (6.35 cm) in diameter, to fit in baking tins that hold 1/2 cup (US) capacity. But that's if the cup is completely filled, so the useful capacity is about 1/3cup (US). 1 US cup=8 fl. oz

I wish I could help out more, but my last experience making cupcakes was a disaster. I made a batch and gave quite a few to my neighbor (there is no such thing as a small batch of cupcakes!). After gifting him some cakes, I tried one myself and thought it was foul. Tough, rubbery, eggy. And that's not even discussing the frosting. (I thought buttercream was supposed to be easy!). They were so bad that I apologized to him the next time I saw him and he was confused, because he thought they were great. As it turned out, he was stoned when I showed up and he had just started to get a craving for sweets when I unexpectedly showed up, bearing a tray of homemade cupcakes. I'm glad he liked them. I dumped mine in the compost bin.

Unknown said...

And my condolences for your friend. That must have been quite a shock.

CarpeDyem said...

I will try the cupcakes again. I am determined to crack them. Next time I will stick with a set of cups rather than convert to metric and see what gives then.