I have three projects in one post this time.
I do actually make most everything for Alpha Bakers, but I don’t always get a chance to sit down and post it. I can do the baking, but writing about it is harder.
So I am rectifying this, sort of, in a late (or early!) post about some of the projects I made, but didn’t talk about.
Project #1 – White Christmas Peppermint Cake ➡️ Ornament Cupcakes
I don’t like making large cakes unless I have a specific event that requires an actual cake, like a birthday party, wedding, anniversary. I would much rather make small cakes that I can easily transport and give away.
I decided on cupcakes because I was inspired by a Christmas ornament! A mini-cupcake with lots of sprinkles. How could I not make cupcakes that look like my ornament?
The other thing about this cake was the peppermint. Don’t get me wrong, I like peppermint. But not in a cake. I skipped the peppermint extract and went with the vanilla in the cake base.
It was a good cake, too. It had nice flavor and light color. I would use this cake again if I wanted really white cake, and not a yellow-ish cake.
The frosting … oh the frosting! It was creamy, chocolate-y, light, fluffy, great to work with. A perfect frosting.
I piped the frosting on the mini cupcakes and decorated. I had gold sugar nonpareils and crunchy pink sugar crystals flavored with peppermint. Not too much mint, but enough to get them somewhat back to peppermint.
There was a lot of frosting left over from this recipe. I packed it up and waited for another project to use it up.
This bonus frosting was used in …
Project #2 – Faux-reos
My mother gave me a King Arthur boxed cookie mix a while ago. It was rolled chocolate cookies with white frosting. Sort of like homemade oreos. I finally got tired of looking at this box in my pantry and made them.
To me, they were strictly OK. Certainly better than something out of a plastic sleeve, but still, not that great. I brought some down to the corner market to get rid of them. The clerks down there really liked them! One of the girls, Briana, begged me to make more of them for her birthday.
Since King Arthur doesn’t make this cookie mix anymore, I decided I could do a lot better. I already had some really tasty frosting. I just had to find a cookie recipe to go with it.
In Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery cookbook (which I have renewed twice from the library because I don’t want to return it!) I found a recipe for TKO cookies. Chocolate shortbread cookies filled with white chocolate ganache. Ding ding ding!
The cookies were really really good. They got even better filled with Rose’s frosting. They were so good, I almost didn’t want to give any away! But I dropped a container off at the store for Briana. She really liked them. I really liked them! I may have even found another fair recipe.
These cookies lead to …
Project #3 – Pink Pearl Lady Cake ➡️ Pink Pearl Baby Cakes
Believe it or not, I really wanted to do the full cake this time. Or at least heart-shaped small cakes. I have a silicone heart pan with cupcake-sized hearts in it.
I showed my roommate Kathy this recipe and she wanted to help me make this. Kathy does pottery, so she was really interested in working with the fondant. Interestingly enough, the last time I made a fondant cake was her wedding cake! And I was somewhat traumatized by the whole fondant process, so I was quite happy to get an offer of help with it.
The day I planned to make the fondant, I was sick. I had a nasty headache, stomach ache, and felt just plain lousy. I didn’t want to go to the store and find glycerin and glucose. Even though I didn’t make the fondant, I decided I could still make cupcakes instead.
I went ahead and made mini-cupcakes. I overfilled the little cups, and forgot to grease the top of the pan, so I had to excavate the cupcakes. Sigh.
This frosting wasn’t as nice as the white chocolate frosting for the earlier cupcakes. I worried that the frosting would be too warm! I wrapped a cold pack around the bowl bottom. Then the frosting was too cold. I held my hands on the bottom of the bowl to warm it up. I was Goldilocks and the Three Bears of Frosting. It finally came together. Whew.
It wasn’t easy to pipe out, either. It wasn’t warm enough. And there wasn’t enough of it. Some cupcakes didn’t have quite enough frosting.
The frosting tasted pretty good. But the Ornament Cupcakes were just a teeny bit better.
Hopefully I will get the Breton cookies done. And written about. I don’t have mini brioche pans, but I think I have a solution worked out. We shall see!