Monday, May 16, 2011

.showering with sugar.

by now, most of my friends know that i'm elbow-deep in baking and looking for any excuse to try out a new recipe. then again, every recipe is a first for a newbie like myself. you can imagine how flattered i was when a friend of mine asked me to bake the cupcakes for an upcoming baby shower at work. for the mama-to-be, i wanted to make something special, but didn't want to get in above my head either. remember, only elbow-deep right now, thank you very much.

in a guilt-free gazing escapade, i scoured baking blogs for a cupcake that spoke to me. although i wished to make something unique, i also had to keep in mind that they needed to be crowd-pleasing since they weren't being made specifically for one person. then again, the whole point of the baby shower is to honor the glowing gal carrying the baby. i remembered a conversation once where she told me she wanted to get her mom's tiramisu recipe to me to try because she loved it.

now, how could i piece together a favorite family recipe with cupcakes for this event? luckily, already figured that out and i recreated the detailed tiramisu cupcake recipe with determination and vigor.

these babies called for vanilla bean (or vanilla extract if no bean was available). being that i had none just lying around my house, i set out to purchase my first v-bean and boy will i use these sparingly in the future. is there a wholesale vanilla bean store somewhere i'm not aware of? with bean in hand, i was all set to tackle the dimensions of this cupcake.

first, i began mixing together the cake itself and decided to double the recipe to make sure there was enough for the party. plus, my husband and i are never upset by leftovers. nope, never.

after the vanilla darlings were all tucked away in their paper wrappers and in the oven, i made my way back to the mixer. my husband asked if i was making the frosting to which i coyly smiled. no, the filling. you see, this tiramisu-inspired sweetness will be stuffed with a mascarpone, coffee infused filling. i was a little apprehensive about the call for coffee granules in the ingredients list, but i trusted the path paved before me and put it on in.

after the filling was packed into my piping bag, it was back to the mixer yet again. this time, i whipped up the buttercream frosting dotted with more coffee. once the cupcakes were finished baking and cooling, i started drilling the filling into each one. once stuffed and fluffed, these cakes needed to be all dolled up. although, with a baby boy shower, maybe i should say all action-figured up.

a few days earlier, i had made the toppers for some added cuteness. this was a matter of personalizing some printables, punching them out with my crafty tool and then hot glueing them to popsicle sticks. but nothing quite says complete like a dusting of cocoa powder.

not being a tiramisu-fan in general, i still wanted to taste one before serving them up for everyone. if they were awful, i'd make a run to the boxed cake. hey, it was late before i finished. my husband hates the taste of coffee and i was afraid he wouldn't be a good taste tester for something with coffee in it. however, we split one and both thought it was really scrumptious. the coffee was only subtle and added to the richness of flavor.

my babies fit right in at the baby shower amidst all the cutesy things and an adorable mama-to-be.

.remember, leftovers are frienemies. case in point.

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