Wednesday, February 8, 2012


My assignment: cupcakes. Forty-eight of them, all identical. This, my first task as chef for advanced baking, lands me with something I almost never eat. Cupcakes. Often sugar bombs, rarely containing enough chocolate, these things were inflicted on me as a child, to the point where I developed a real aversion to the things. So, my mission impossible is to take something I've eaten only rarely and transform it into something I will love, that people will rave about, that perhaps other cupcake agnostics such as myself will find good enough to redeem these things in their eyes.

So, I started with an idea. Not so sweet. It can't be savory because then it falls into the black hole of biscuitry, never to escape. But what if it were more European than American. Based on something un-cupcake like. Baba au rhum, for example.

Baba au rhum, first of all, is yeasted. That makes it similar to kugelhopf or any other rich bread. More in my territory that sweet cakes. Then the cooked bread gets dosed with rum syrup. If we were in Europe instead of a community college still firmly under the yoke of prohibition, it would get a final dousing of pure rum.  So, a bit of raisin frosting, a cup to hold some form of liquid, probably rum syrup that's been simmered to evaporate its alcohol. Of course, if some of these things did manage to escape the bounds of ARC, someone could conceivably heat a bit of rum, flame it, pour it in the cup, blow out the flame, drink, then devour the rum-soaked cake. Sounds good to me.

The firs' thing to do was test the recipe. Then put abitta rum in there. Taste. Needa bit more. Not sweet enuf. Make rum syrup. Too sweet. Slosh a bitta rum on. Yeah, that's tasty. Wait til the real thing is made with the raisin frosting and cup thing. For now, not a bad thing at all. Adultz only cuz thazalotta rum. Juzza itty bitty cakcup s'all I ate. S'all offizer, I dina drink a drop!

I think overall the dough formula works. With the sweeter frosting and syrup, this will take cupcakes into new territory. Not just for kids any more, silly rabbit!

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