|Here’s a snapshot on our wedding day, 1987.
I was totally rockin’ the Princess Diana look.
Today seemed as good a day as any to fire up the test kitchen in search of the perfect Blue Velvet Cupcake.
While today, Memorial Day, is a U.S. National holiday, our youngest daughter attends a school that follows the German schedule of holidays, breaks, etc.
That made today seem like “just any other day” and still I wanted to celebrate.
I’m personally invested in American military service members; my life partner served his country for 20 years. Our oldest daughter blogged her experience here
Ok… Blue Velvet Cupcakes with a ring white chocolate ganache or white buttercream and a top cone of red buttercream frosting…and some little topper sounded delightful.
Maybe a blue peanut M&M or blue fondant stars…not sure.
What I imagined is not
what I created. Sigh.
I didn’t plan on the cupcakes being a test kitchen baking experience.
I didn’t follow the recipe I downloaded from keyingredient.com
I wasn’t paying attention and wound up with a compounding mess on my hands.
I used all-purpose flour instead of cake flour (I wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing – I love cake flour and have plenty in my pantry) plus the oven was a smidge too hot.
To add insult to injury, I used liquid food coloring instead of blue coloring gel.
They went into the oven a lovely battleship grey.
It looks less grey in this picture…and yet, not quite blue blue.
When there isn’t enough batter to fill the tin, pour about 1/4″ of water into the empty cup to prevent damaging the tin during baking.
Baking results? The cupcakes domed then sank in the middle with a crusted top. It was so unpleasant and downright…ugly? The upside was taste. They tasted yummy and delicious (I took a bite from one and shared the rest with my husband).
Cupcakes on the left were baked at too high a temperature…the cupcakes on the right were made with batter in which I added some blue coloring gel (baked at the correct temp). It makes a difference.
With cupcakes looking this…err…bad, I didn’t want to bother making white chocolate ganache. I decided to use my favorite buttercream frosting with about 3oz of cream cheese added for a little bit of yumminess. I piped on a flat base of white frosting and then tested two different designs to determine if I preferred the smoothness of the 2A tip or my favorite 1M swirly tip. I loooove the swirly, but went with the smooth stack since this was test kitchen.
I didn’t have any blue peanut M&M candy.
Or fresh blueberries. Or any blue candy I could melt in my pocket and roll flat.
Red looked ok, white was better, and I think blue would have been best.
What did I learn? I had to stay flexible today and follow through – even when I knew after the first cupcakes came out of the oven that we were rolling downhill fast. I learned that taste always matters despite ‘eating with our eyes.’ I learned that paying attention is sometimes harder than I think and often times requires focused energy.
Progress not perfection…working the steps, living life, and baking cupcakes.