about bliss

Monday, October 27, 2008

twd: chocolate-chocolate cupcakes


a single scary cupcake...

As I mentioned in my last post, the chocolate-chocolate cupcakes were the finishing touch to the first annual Wine Club gathering at Chez Dharmagirl...I imagined and inspired commingling of chocolate and pinot noir, as both meld heartbreak and bliss...

Friday night I mulled over the decorating possibilities, and reading Dorie's suggestions for filling the cupcakes with marshmallow cream put me in mind of a Martha Stewart cake creation, filled with 'mallowy meringue and a profusion of cute ghosts fashioned out of multi-sized marshmallows...

And so it was that I headed home from the store with a bag of classic jet puffed marshmallows, a bag of mini's, and a jar of cream (otherwise affectionately known as fluff). Buying commercial marshmallows forces me to willfully suspend my disbelief, or at least overlook my objections to these puffy delights on the grounds of vegetarianism (gelatin) and whole-unprocessed-foods-ism (corn syrup, likely of the high fructose variety). I know you can find vegan alternatives, gourmet products, or make your own...but when you have a bevy of tiny ghosts to make and you live in a small town some distance from gourmet foodstuffs, sometimes you have to compromise food values.

I set about making the cupcakes, selected for the indefatigable TWD bakers by Clara of I♥foodforthought. They came together nicely, and I was eager to taste the batter--a delicate yet rich, bright chocolate flavor, more nuanced than my standard 6 minute chocolate cupcakes from the Moosewood Cookbook. I poured my best chocolate into these cakes, using my the last of my Valrhona cocoa powder and bar chocolate. I baked them a tad long, as they were a bit dry, a problem many other bakers experienced. I take full responsibility for not checking them soon enough. I stripped the cupcake papers, filled their centers with the aforementioned fluff, and topped them with the shiny glaze.

As I talked to my college friend E., catching up on months of news, I fashioned 36 diminutive specters, drawing on eyes with leftover glaze. Arranged on stacked cake plates, the ghoulish cupcakes looked more kitschy than scary.

When my friends arrived, they marveled at all the little marshmallow ghosts and likely wondered at my sanity. What I realized an hour into the ghost assembling process is how much I love doing fancy detail work, and how I only seem to spend the extra time for a big event, like Wine Club or the holidays. I'd like to change that, and to allow my full creativity time to flourish. I suspect that the baking creative spirit will invigorate my writing and vice versa, much as it did when I was writing my dissertation those several years ago when I began baking in earnest...

As I look ahead to November and my participation in NaNoWriMo, I need all the inspiration I can find, through Dorie and Martha and, mostly, through all y'all:)


a towering ghoulish mass...

18 comments:

  1. We didn't wonder at your sanity, but instead enjoyed your sense of humor. We'll wonder at your sanity, or lack thereof another day.

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  2. love your ghostly creativity!

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  3. How cute are those!! Love it! I loved this recipe and will definitely make them again :)

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  4. I think those ghosts look great! You have more patience than I do, that is for sure! I love them!

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  5. How adorable!!! I love the ghosts.

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  6. That's a crowd of adorable ghosties! Sorry about the dry cupcakes but the filling, the ganache, and the marshmallows no doubt erased any memory of dryness.
    Nancy

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  7. Ahhh your ghosts are darling and scarey! Im glad you were able to share them with your friends. I had fun deocrating my cc with spider webs!

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  8. Adorable! I love the marshmallow ghosts!

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  9. These are the cutest things EVER! I want to redo mine and add these on top. Nicely done!

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  10. Those marshmallow ghosts are so adorable! Now I wanna go dig through my pantry for marshmallows and make my own. Thanks for baking with me this week! Clara @ iheartfood4thought

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  11. Loved this read, almost as much as the actual ghostie cakes. You don't even have to cook for me. Just keep on writing. Of course, if you must cook, a dozen of those cupcakes are just about perfect. And any kind or marshmallow is fine with me.

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  12. OOH! Spooky! I think your ghoulcakes turned out fantastic! Very clever! Thanks for sharing such a great idea.

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  13. Great decorating! So cute!

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  14. Ahhh, thanks, ya'll! I'm glad you liked the ghosties! I still want to make the Martha cake...

    And, Prudy, your positive comments about my writing make me so happy:)

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  15. Chocolate, pinot noir, and ghosts. Sounds fun and delicious!

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  16. Those are totally adorable!

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  17. What cute ghosts! Love 'em!

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