Veto asked for two things for his birthday: creamsicle cupcakes and key lime cupcakes. That was easy. Saucy had some other things going on in the kitchen so she made it a sort of cupcake threesome.
That sounds positively pornographic!
The creamsicle cupcake has been seen before on this blog in different incarnations but this one was a little different. Instead of swiss meringue buttercream, Saucy made a hi-hat seven minute frosting using this recipe from Martha. The cake was golden sponge with the old warm Jell-O poured through a straw into the baked cupcakes trick, giving the cake a sweet gooey orange middle. Before adding the sprinkles, the hi-hat frosting was dipped into melted orange candy melts from Wilton.
Saucy's not gonna lie. They tasted great and Veto lurrved them, but the dipping part with the candy melts wasn't a walk in the park. The mixture was too thick and even thinning it with vegetable oil didn't create the exact consistency desired for a perfect hi-hat topping. They looked nice and the first one or two dipped up nicely but the candy melts just don't stay liquid for too long and remelting them is prohibitive once they get a little of the frosting in them. No worries. Now you know. Hi-hats are best dipped in a mixture of melted semi-sweet chocolate chips and vegetable oil.
The key lime cupcakes were fairly standard as well. Saucy grated lemon and lime peel into some of that golden cupcake batter used for the creamsicles (she's very tricky and often turns a batch of 24 cupcakes into two or more varieties). After cooling she placed the cupcakes in a caddy overnight. The tops got a little "sticky" with condensation and that was the perfect surface for holding lime sugar sprinkles. It was easier that sprinkling before baking (less mess and waste) and she only had to roll the outside rim of the cupcake into the sugar. This made a nice little frame for the lemon-lime buttercream (Saucy's trick: flavour your frosting with Kool-Aid powder).
The last batch were a necessity. There had to be some sort of chocolate in the house. Actually, Saucy had some leftover brownies without frosting that she wanted to do an experiment with:
She chopped the brownie bits and folded them into the cupcake batter before scooping. This created a more dense batter that could withstand the next step: sprinkling the tops with sliced almonds and chocolate chips before baking. Do that on a regular cupcake batter and they'll sink in, not stay up on top.
It didn't matter that they baked up all gooey and crunchy looking on top... Saucy covered those bad boys with a buttercream ring and an inverted mini brownie. A quick drizzle of melting chocolate and a sprinkle of Skor bits was the final touch on this Mega Brownie Masterpiece Cupcake.
Because as Saucy says (and so does Frasier Crane)... if less is less, then think about how delightfully more that more would be!