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All you need is just a little patience…

May 18, 2010

Said, woman, take it slow
It’ll work itself out fine
All we need is just a little patience
Said, sugar, make it slow
And we come together fine
All we need is just a little patience 

–Guns N Roses, Patience 

If you attempt these cupcakes, you may want to have a little GNR on hand to remind you to be patient.  In the end, the patience is totally worth it: 

 

Now I’m not normally a very patient person.  In fact, everyone who knows me seemed to give me the same reaction when I talked to them about these cupcakes: “That’s going to take a lot of time…”  

I’ve come to the conclusion that perhaps obstinance can be substituted for patience.  I was pretty determined for these to come out like I’d pictured in my head. 

When asked if I’d make some cupcakes for a bake sale, I jumped at the chance.  I decided quickly to include the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes I’d made before.  Chocolate + Peanut Butter = sure sale. 

On to a non-chocolate option… 

This was a tough decision for me.  I knew the Chocolate Peanut Butter cupcakes had a few things going for them: 

  • Chocolate + Peanut Butter.  People go crazy for this combination… just ask the people over at Reese’s.
  • The peanut butter filling.  The only thing that makes cupcakes more alluring is a yummy little secret inside.
  • The dark cake and creamy cream cheese peanut butter frosting come together to create a seductive appearance that draws people in.

Whatever I went with had to be good – tastewise AND appearancewise.  Bake sales are like speed dating for baked goods.  If your first impression doesn’t lure ’em in, you’re the one with no phone numbers at the end of the night.  (For baked goods, you’re the one left in the pan at the end of the night.) 

I kept thinking of the only non-chocolate cake recipe I’d had a chance to prove myself…Vanilla Bean Cupcakes. 

They were good, but against Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes?  No one would buy one if there were Chocolate Peanut Butter ones left.  They needed to Fairy Godmother-kind of help. 

Image from Bigoo.ws

Thankfully, another blogger reminded me of the Butterfly Cupcakes Annie made.  I was intimidated, but they were gorgeous (as is everything Annie makes.)  I mulled it over for a few days, but in the end knew I had to.  That determined mindset of mine loves a challenge. 

I’m not going to detail how I did the butterflies themselves; there is no way I can give better instructions than Annie provided on her blog.  Please check out her instructions here

If I was going to go to the extreme of making chocolate butterflies to dress up the cupcakes, I wanted the cupcake itself to be equally impressive.  No amount of chocolate decoration would make the cake itself stand out.  I kept thinking of how the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes were filled…biting into a pretty cupcake to find a tasty surprise inside is a surefire win.  Only problem is… I’d never filled a cupcake after it was baked and cooled.  I had no idea where to even begin. 

Again, Annie’s blog came to my rescue with a cream-filling from her “Fauxstess” Cupcakes.  However, when I started making the filling, it wasn’t what I wanted, so I doctored the recipe until it was closer to what I’d had in mind.  (My adaptation is posted below.) 

I’ve heard rave reviews from the bake sale and am genuinely pleased with how they all came out.  While I’m eager to move on to other recipes, I’m very happy to have this as a fall-back in my arsenal. 

Cream-Filled Vanilla Bean Butterfly Cupcakes 

Sources: 

 

Prepare and bake cupcakes as directed.  Cool completely. 

  • 12 T. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 c. powdered sugar
  • 7 oz. jar Marshmallow Fluff
  • ~1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 1/8 t. almond extract
  • 1/4 t. vanilla extract

(Annie’s recipe states it was enough for 8-9 cupcakes, so I doubled the original recipe.  After filling about two dozen cupcakes, I had plenty leftover.) 

Beat butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy.  Add the powdered sugar, Marshmallow Fluff, and extracts, starting with the mixer on low speed, but increasing speed until fluffy.  Slowly add the heavy cream and beat until light. 

Fill piping bag fit with a bismark tip with filling.  Insert tip approximately halfway into cupcake and squeeze bag, filling until the top of the cupcake begins to “puff up” a little.  Release pressure and withdraw the tip from the cupcake slowly. 

Frost cupcakes. 

(This is 1 1/2 times the regular recipe; adaptation as follows:) 

  • 3/4 c. solid vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 c. (1 stick) butter or margarine softened
  • 1 1/2  t. vanilla extract (was supposed to use clear; I used what I had.)
  • Vanilla bean (optional)
  • 5 1/2 – 6 c. powdered sugar
  • 3 T. milk

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the shortening and butter.  (I scraped the seeds from a vanilla bean and added at this point.)  Cream together; add vanilla extract.  With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the powdered sugar, a few Tablespoons at a time.  (I always add the sugar, beat at low speed until mostly incorporated and then turn the speed up to “fluff” it up a little.)  Slowly add milk until desired consistency is reached. 

At this point, I split the frosting into three bowls and added coloring gel until desired color was reached before piping onto the cupcakes. 

Assemble butterfly wings per instructions. 

When I went to pipe my chocolate for the bodies, I really wished I’d used a bag or a bottle, but I used a baggy with the corner snipped off.  It wound up to be more of a thick body because the chocolate was too warm and seeped all over in between the wings.  It ended up working well because once the chocolate body cooled, it gave additional support to the wings and held the whole butterfly together.  On the cupcakes Mr. S and I had, the butterfly was able to be lifted off the frosting, typically in one piece, thanks to the chocolate body.

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