Happy Birthday to TWD! While I haven't been a member from the beginning, and while I've missed my share of recipes, I am a proud to be part of this baking blogging group. I've met many inspired and inspiring bloggers who are passionate about baking, and generous in sharing their experiences online.
To celebrate this special anniversary, TWD members voted on recipes. Tarte Tatin was the winner, with the cocoa buttermilk cake a close runner up. Laurie, our spirited leader, allowed us to choose from either recipe. After a caramel fail on Christmas Eve (using the caramel recipe from Dorie's Tarte Tatin), I was not eager to try again. Caramel is my Waterloo...
I decided to make 12 cupcakes. One half of the cake recipe made a perfect dozen standard sized cupcakes. And, I roughly halved the frosting recipe, which was more than enough frosting for the cupcakes, the freezer, a graham cracker, and my fingers. Mmmmm.
A few interesting notes about my baking adventures: While I set the butter out to soften, I forgot that Wisconsin kitchens in January (or January kitchens in Wisconsin) are just chilly. My butter never quite blended well into the cake batter, despite my best efforts at creaming, and little butter bits remained un-emulsified in the batter. This made for interesting spots of runny goodness in the finished cupcakes.
When I made the frosting today, I discovered that my Carnation Malted Milk Powder, purchased for those delightful chocolate whopper cookies in the fall 2008 baking rotation, had a best by date of September 09. A little research on the internets showed me that my King Arthur non-diastic malt powder, purchased for bagel making and stowed in my freezer, would be a fine substitute. Hooray! Several bakers noted that the brown sugar in the recipe made the frosting grainy. I used some of my favorite Florida organic cane sugar instead, which was still a little grainy. However, because I like the soft malted creaminess of the frosting so much, I don't mind the graininess this time. Next time I'll omit the sugar altogether.
These cupcakes are delightful, simple, and delicious. Everything a cupcake should be.
Here's to another fabulous year with my favorite baking friends:)