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bloody baking - I am useless (light hearted)

(29 Posts)
outofcontrol2014 Thu 11-Dec-14 13:44:58

Never, ever make a promise to help someone with catering when you are in the pub with them and a bit tiddly.

I broke this rule with my friend, and in a drunken haze promised to deliver 40 chocolate cupcakes for a birthday this Saturday. They are for adults, so they need to be a bit posh and I am trying to do an American recipe that has a kind of ganache chocolatey bit in the middle.

I just made batter for 30 and only 8 of them are edible. The others were undercooked and collapsed, or perished when I set fire to the bloody silicone tin! The first I knew about it was when the fire alarm went off and the cat went beserk. I ended up throwing the tin out of the back door in a panic.

WIBU to call it a day for now and try again tomorrow?

MrsHathaway Thu 11-Dec-14 13:47:49


It will be ok. But hell no to cupcakes for friends. Too much anxiety!

MrsHathaway Thu 11-Dec-14 13:50:47

FWIW my grown-up chocolate cupcakes have coffee in (I call them mocha cupcakes) instead of milk, in both the cake and icing. Darker and richer and less sweet = more sophisticated.

Also doesn't fuck up cooking time or mixing.

Use very strong coffee cooled from boiling.

krasnayaplats Thu 11-Dec-14 13:51:02

If is any help I just made some very acceptable chocolate cupcakes using Mary Berry Very Best Chocolate cake recipe - you will find it if you google. It is reasonably rich so should be fine even for grown ups! Can also tart them up with fancy icing!

however Thu 11-Dec-14 13:52:15

Get the packet mix, I promise they won't know the difference.

outofcontrol2014 Thu 11-Dec-14 13:53:27

I am using this recipe:

which does use coffee instead of milk! It is a little bit more fiddly than others I have done, and the ganache is making it hard for me to tell when they are done.

That is my excuse and I AM STICKING TO IT.

(In reality, I am not a natural baker at all).

off to google that Mary Berry recipe...

outofcontrol2014 Thu 11-Dec-14 13:54:08

I can't believe I actually set fire to something in the kitchen.

Honestly, I am like the Frank Spencer of cupcakes.

sliceofsoup Thu 11-Dec-14 13:55:10

I am a keen home baker and a qualified pastry chef, and I cannot make uniform cupcakes reliably. I mean it happens now and again but most of the time they look like a three year old made them.

Second time lucky?

outofcontrol2014 Thu 11-Dec-14 13:58:26

Sliceofsoup flowers for trying to make me feel better!

The worst thing is that the recipe is pretty expensive when you scale it - all that chocolate! It would probably have been cheaper for me to buy 8 cupcakes!

In a second, I am going to clean up the almighty mess I have made and try again tomorrow. Harumph.

JADS Thu 11-Dec-14 13:58:55

Those coffee cupcakes sound lush MrsH. I'm a bit confused about milk in icing though. I usually do butter and icing sugar.

I would go with Mary Berry op.

MrsHathaway Thu 11-Dec-14 14:05:37

JADS the chocolate buttercream recipe I use is 250g icing sugar, 50g cocoa, 80g butter and 25ml milk/coffee.

AmItheonlyonezenaroundhere Thu 11-Dec-14 14:05:51

You could try deviating from the recipe a little- cook the cupcakes with out the ganache, wait until they're cooled and use an apple corer to remove the centre and pipe in the ganache before frosting.

RunsWithScissors Thu 11-Dec-14 14:08:28

I'd bin the silicone cases, get a metal tin with paper liners instead. Promise you they will bake better (and not cause surprise fires)


CheeseBuster Thu 11-Dec-14 14:12:51

Are you aware that a US cup is different amount to an English one?

Also, I'm slightly confused by the ganache is making it hard for me to tell when they are done. Do you mean you've baked them with the ganache on?

CheeseBuster Thu 11-Dec-14 14:15:00

Sorry just read the recipe again and realised the ganache is in the cake. I thought it was whipped ganache on the top instead of buttercream. Ganache in a microwave though? That's a plan to fail.

Bulbasaur Thu 11-Dec-14 14:17:32

Would it be too expensive to pop by the bakery and buy some for the party? Or just bake some regular cupcakes?

They have Pillsbury boxes for a reason. smile

outofcontrol2014 Thu 11-Dec-14 14:19:22

Cheese - I converted it all into grams before I started, because I can't be doing with cups. It just feels wrong.

The ganache isn't the icing in this case - it's a bit of kind of chocolately gloop to make the centre of the cupcake all moist and give you another texture. The trouble is, it isn't supposed to set, and it sits right at the top, so it's hard to see when the cake underneath is properly done, particularly as the batter for these is runny, not your normal sponge cake batter at all.

outofcontrol2014 Thu 11-Dec-14 14:22:45

I don't have a microwave. My kitchen is the size of a postage stamp and there is no room (another problem I did not consider in my drunken haze). I have to melt chocolate over water.

Bulbasaur: I am sorely tempted. I'm not well at the moment (was in hospital yesterday) and I know they would understand. It feels kind of important to me, though, in an irrational and probably very silly way that I can't fully explain. I am waiting for an op that I desperately need (scheduled for next Friday) and life has been so bloody awful lately that this cupcake business has kind of become some kind of stupid stand-in for everything I haven't been able to do for friends and family recently. I really just want it to go right!

outofcontrol2014 Thu 11-Dec-14 14:24:22

The irony of this:

I have been trying to persuade posters that incineration is a bad thing in a thread on waste. Now it looks like I've created my own mini-kitchen incinerator.

You know, burnt silicone smells REALLY bad. I'm going to get a metal tin!

Tinkerball Thu 11-Dec-14 14:27:02

Scrap that and start again with a decent plain chocolate sponge recipe and make a nice chocolate ganache icing only. You can also drizzle melted chocolate into swirls or whatever on baking paper, let it garden and use that as a nice posh looking topper. You had me smiling at setting fire to your silicone tin though!!! Use a metal one and bake your cupcakes in the cases!

Tinkerball Thu 11-Dec-14 14:28:07

Let it harden obviously, not garden!

PurpleCrazyHorse Thu 11-Dec-14 14:34:16

Make regular sponge cupcakes, Delia Smith has an excellent recipe and buy either chocolate fudge or vanilla buttercream Betty Crocker icing (in a round tub by the supermarket baking section). Get some nice decorations to add on too, chocolate coffee beans are nice grin or some edible glitter.

Delia Recipe:
6oz self raising flour
6oz margarine
6oz caster sugar
3x large eggs (medium sized are okay if that's all you've got)
1.5 teaspoons baking powder (use a knife to scrape the top of the measuring spoons to make this accurate)

Mix all together with an electric whisk and spoon about 1.5 tablespoons into individual paper muffin cases. Cook at about 170C (or gas mark 3) for about 15mins. Until they go slightly golden on top. Stick a skewer in and check it comes out clean to ensure they're cooked.

You'll probably get 14 or so cupcakes if you're using muffin cases.

Leave to fully cool (don't scrimp this bit or the cases will peel off!) then use a knife to add the topping, swirl and decorate.

If you want chocolate sponge, swap one tablespoon of flour for one of cocoa powder. For coffee use Camp coffee essence or a very strong solution of instant (with very little water).

outofcontrol2014 Thu 11-Dec-14 14:35:38

OK, question:

can I use a standard sponge recipe, e.g. the Mary Berry one or another one, and still use the icing from my original recipe? It is pretty heavy and I am worried that a standard sponge will not be hefty or moist enough to take it?

I do need these to be really posh. It's a 40th and this is The Cake. God knows what I was thinking volunteering to do it.

MrsLemonLyman Thu 11-Dec-14 14:48:41

Step away from the silicone and use a metal tin with paper liners. Stop trying to make something posh and go for simple (understated can be elegant and everyone likes chocolate cake anyway). Stop converting from cups into grams, as it doesn't always work out the same (varies in weight depending on whether it's a liquid or solid). I have a set of American measuring cups and spoons and use those for American recipes as some things really do need to be that precise. If you haven't got those, stick with British recipes and your scales! Good luck!

MrsLemonLyman Thu 11-Dec-14 14:51:15

I would have thought a normal sponge would actually be sturdier than one with ganache in the centre. But if I were you I would stick to a standard chocolate cupcake recipe and a standard chocolate buttercream. No offence, but if you haven't got the baking skills to pull it off, using complicated recipes is not going to come off posh!

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