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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Flame Cupcakes

I don't consider this blog to be a foodie blog in anyway, nor do I write about the different recipes that I try and post them, normally.  But today is not a normal day (well I'm not a normal person anyway, so this should be no big surprise haha).  Today I share with you my first recipe post.
I have this obsession with cupcakes.  I scour the blogs trying to find cool, new cupcake recipes.  I guess it is because they are so much easier to share then cake is and I really LOVE cake, but I really can't eat a lot of cake (ok so I can, but my hips and thighs tell me no) so I have to share.  Lucky for me I have found several ways in which to share my obsession.  One of these ways is through my Youth Group at church.  I teach 4th-7th graders every Wednesday night and guess what?  They all like food!  Especially since I have a lot of boys and those of you who have boys know exactly what I am talking about :)  Yay!  Cupcakes to the rescue!
This Wednesday we are going to be talking about Moses and the Burning Bush and I was trying to figure out what snack I could bring specifically pertaining to that.  My mind immediately went to fire and flames, which brought me to... Flame Cupcakes!
I tried to find a recipe online but I couldn't quite find one that worked so I had to work with what I had and came up with my own.  I found the buttercream frosting here but applied my own idea of what I wanted the cupcakes to look like.  I have been experimenting with photographing food, so this was also a way to practice. 
You can find a printable copy of the recipe here.  I went semi-easy, yet experimental on the cupcakes and spent more time trying to figure out the frosting.

For the cupcakes
1 box of white cake mix(or your own favorite recipe)
Yellow Food Coloring
Red Food Coloring

For the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
1 cup of unsalted butter at room temperature
3 to 4 cups of confectioners sugar depending on taste (I go a little less, not quite as sweet)
1 tsp of clear(I use this for frosting sometimes so the white color stays more white, but it is up to you) vanilla
4 tbsp of milk (or heavy cream) to taste or texture, I used heavy cream
Wilton icing colors - yellow, orange and red

- Mix the cake batter according to your directions
- Split the batter into two different bowls(2/3 and 1/3)
- Tint the 1/3 batter with yellow food coloring, according to your preference for color
- Tint the 2/3 batter with red food coloring(I end up using a lot of red food coloring to try and get a more red and less pink color)
 
 
After this it was somewhat experimental.  I used red, yellow and orange cupcake liners.  I tried to find black ones and let me tell you, a month before Halloween and I could not find any black cupcake liners!  Oh well it turned out okay and actually I wish I had used all yellow cupcake liners because you could really see the mixture of colors through them.  Moving on....
 
-Fill your cupcake liners about 2/3 full of red and 1/3 full of yellow (experiment to see what you like best)
-I swirled some of my colors together with a toothpick, I also did not swirl to see how they turned out.



-  Bake the cupcakes according to your directions on your box and then allow them to cool.  I liked the outside look of the swirled cupcakes over the non-swirled cupcakes personally.

But when I cut open the cupcakes to see how they turned out inside I couldn't decide which I liked better.  The swirl left no distinct difference between the yellow and red, but the orange that showed up was kind of neat looking.  I think next time I will add equal amounts of both colors and swirl and see what that does.  On a plus side you could get in a little art lesson about how red and yellow make orange. 
I did like the more distinct line that occured without swirling the batter.  But this is a total personal preference and I'm not sure that my kids will care either way.  And unfortunately as I have found on several occasions and can't quite figure out how to stop it.  My red color was more hot pink looking, but check out how neat the colors look through the yellow liner, kind of candy cornish...  Ohhh Halloween idea.....

    Now on to the frosting.
- In a bowl with an electric mixer, beat your two cups of butter until light and fluffy(about 2-3 minutes)
- With the mixer on medium-low speed add the confectioner's sugar in 1/2 cup increments, beating until well incorporated
- Add 1 tsp of vanilla and 3-4 tbsp of milk(or heavy cream).  Beat for about 2 minutes until well incorporated. 
Taste to see if you like it and now comes the fun part.
- Separate evenly into three bowls and add the Wilton's icing to each bowl to tint the frosting
Now frosting things decoratively has always eluded me.  I have this problem of everything tasting really yummy, but not looking so good.  Still I keep trying.  Load up a pastry bag with a star tip and get ready for some fun :).  I had read to take a rubber spatula and to soop up as much red frosting as possible and slide it down the first third of the pastry bag, then go to the yellow frosting and slide it down the other third and then head to the orange and do the same thing.  This is so you can get the flame mixture.  This was not so easy for me.  I ended up just kind of mixing all the colors together in my pastry bag and applying them to the cupcakes.  It didn't turn out too bad.  What do you think?  Practice does make perfect though.

Enjoy!!!

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