Tuesday, October 28, 2008

TWD: Chocolate Cupcakes (a.k.a "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For")


Greetings and Salutations! (as Charlotte says!)

This week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was chosen by Clara, of I Heart Food4Thought (visit her blog for the recipe!)

I must admit, I had high hopes for this one, as I have been on a quest for the 'best/perfect' chocolate cake recipe....I've tried a couple from scratch so far, so I will admit, I've not been on the quest for long--and I am sure I will get a lot of "this was your THIRD scratch cake recipe for and you think you'll just 'find' the perfect chocolate one so soon?!!?" Ya, I know, who do I think I am?!)

I started the recipe on a bright sunny Saturday morning--Dear Husband got out to do errands early and brought me back a coffee (I opted for Dunkin' Donuts-vs- Starbucks) So with large, regular, half-decaf close by, (yes, as a matter of fact, an order at DD CAN indeed be just as involved as an order at Fourbucks) I was off and running!--or baking..Operation: Dunkin' Dorie!.

Now, these are 'good' but I fear I have to keep forging ahead and looking for 'my' chocolate cake--it's in my head, and I know I'll know it when I eat/see it...These just weren't it for me...and I feel guilty saying that..?? I looked on the site, and I don't think it was a factor of too much flour or over-mixing, I do try to be careful with that...they just are not that "moist" bite that I so wanted out of them.

OH--but I nailed the ganache!! I had ganache with panache, I tell you! But then I somewhat lamented not having a more traditional frosting to help off-set the dryness of the cake part--but still, these were tasty, and nothing a glass of milk can't handle!

I decided to get festive with them--in honor of Halloween (side note to Cathy--Elizabeth would love these sprinkles!!)

Dear Husband, my chocolate loving hero and taste-tester, declared them fabulous--and he said he was ok with the texture--and his favorite thing about them is they are not too 'sweet'--as he is a fan of dark chocolate/bittersweet. So hey, another week of putting a smile on his handsome face, so I can't complain...(I threw a lot of new stuff on him the past 2 weeks--5 alone from the same magazine issue--and happily all came out pretty darn good!) but still, I'm just not settled on this being my go-to cake. I'm going to keep testing out different recipes--I know the right one is out there for me! I guess just like Dear Husband--who, being my brother's best friend, has been in and out of my life one way or another since 4th grade, but whom I did not start dating until I was in my early 30's--my guess is that recipe is sitting right under my nose somewhere, perhaps already in my kitchen cookbook archives...it'll show itself when it's time...I just know it! (Wow, this sounds like Lord of the Rings..."one recipe to rule them ALL!!" I'll keep you posted if I stumble upon it in the shire....

In the meantime, I wanted to finally acknowledge some thoughtful awards I have been given and pass them on to 2 blogs!

My first award was given by my dear friend, Cathy at The Tortefeasor and the other from Nancy from The Dogs Eat the Crumbs. I must admit, Cathy was sweet enough to pass her award onto me a few weeks ago, but then I went off MIA, and just never got around to posting about it and adding to my blog. Cathy introduced me to Tuesdays with Dorie (or maybe she just told me about her involvement, and I just jumped in and invited myself? Now I forget)...she is one of those people who when I see or talk to, we are immediately laughing no more than 2 minutes into a conversation...her writing is all at once smart and funny--2 things that no one can 'fake'. Cathy is the real deal.

Nancy's (n.o.e) blog is one of my weekly stops, and the fact that she pointed MINE out really made my day! I have found this whole TWD/baking/cooking blog community are some of the most genuine people around--so thank you again, Nancy! (I feel like Sally Field.."You like me! You really, really LIKE me!") AND I just found out that she has connections in CT--so she's ok in my book! (gotta love the Nutmeg State!!)

So I guess the rules here are I pass some on...so here I go! I am still ramping up getting to 'know' the style of various blogs...Prudy, you come to mind first, but looks like you already have these 2 specific awards. so I thought I'd spread the love..Here are some others that come to mind lately. I will add more as I get to 'know' more blogs and folks on TWD/etc! Again, I'm thoroughly enjoying this bakin'n'bloggin!


And the awards go to....

1. Eat Real by Sandy-- I LOVE that she incorporates great photos, great tips, and all around great recipes all in one! (I am sooo making those bagels!!) I bookmarked her site the minute I saw it!





2. Bun in the Oven by Annette: Maybe it's that she came to TWD a week after I did (and was sweet to thank me for commenting on her blog, adding she thought no one read it--well we do!!) Or maybeI noticed on her profile that she lives in the same CA town that a dear friend of mine lives...or maybe it's that she not only bakes but knits, AND also adds to her profile that she loves wine and photography--and is a proud Auntie---all things that I would use to describe myself! (well, no, actually I'm really NOT a die-hard knitter, I only have a blanket and one scarf under my belt, but I so WANT to be a tried and true knitter!) Anyway, I wanted to post about her blog because while reading about her, it just struck such a chord. Plus, anyone who can successfully balance baking AND knitting needs applause!! I tend to give one up for the other....

25 comments:

Cathy said...

That's it! I'm dropping Elizabeth off at Auntie Lisa's over Thanksgiving so that she can get her sprinkle fix. Just put on Dora and she'll crash after about 45 minutes. I'm sorry that these cupcakes weren't the "One." (I'm sure there is a far better U2 song to match up with your pick, but I've got nothing right now.) Oh well, you know that you have to kiss a lot of cupcake frogs before you find your cupcake prince. This cupcake kind of reminds me of -- who was that guy at Clam Jam who looked promising at first (a la this batter) but then ended up being a little dry once . . . we were (a la this cupcake)? Thanks for your kind words, babe -- you know that I love your posts and LOVE baking with you! P.S. If R likes bittersweet chocolate, wow, have you ever found the baking club for him!

n.o.e said...

OK, so "ganache with panache" is an inspired turn of phrase! I'm not sure I should admit this, but my "go to" chocolate cake is that one with the devil's food mix (shh!) and the pudding mix (shh, again!) and chocolate chips. I can whip it up in 10 minutes and it tastes like a million bucks. See why I need this group? These were my first cupcakes not from a box! They were good, but I agree there are greener chocolate pastures, or something, out there.
Nancy

HoneyB said...

Congrats on the awards to all!

My Grumpy actually loved these cupcakes and he ate 4 of them! That was a whole 1/3 of the recipe :) The litte piggy!

Lady Baker said...

Cathy: Elizabeth can hang any day--and if she's really good, I'll take her to Stop & Shop! (ha!) As for Clam Jam--somehow through an alcohol-induced haze, I think I do remember....;)

n.o.e: I think I'm making good ol' Betty Crocker box-cake this weekend, I am dying for that type of moist yummy-ness...the type with last-crumbs-that-can-stick-to-the-back-of-the-fork kind of cake! Where you want milk, but you don't 'need' it!

CB said...

Bummer it wasn't "the one" but I am so glad you loved the ganache recipe! Love the Halloween sprinkles! Thanks for baking with me this week!
Clara @ iheartfood4thought

chocolatechic said...

Your cakes look great.

Kudos to the husband for getting you coffee.

Flourchild said...

I LOVE your first picture with the pumpkin glowing in the back groud! Sorry you didn't care for them much..but they do look good. Nice sweet hubby to get you your DD coffee! Nothing better then baking in the kitchen with hot coffee in your hand!
Oh and congrats on your award...you deserve it!
Last thing..i promise..I noticed your 75% Irish...right on..Im about that too.I have a touch of German.

The Food Librarian said...

The cupcakes look great - sorry they weren't the favorite. But you did nail that ganache!!!

Annette said...

Thank you Lisa!!! I think I'm actually blushing. I enjoy your blog too!

Your cupcakes look great! I especially like the first pic with the pumpkin in th background. Very festive. As for your quest for the perfect chocolate cake, I am so there. Sounds like a fun and tasty journey to me. If I come across any recipes I think might be a contender, I'll send them your way.

I've been neglecting my knitting blog terribly the past 2 months, but I have been knitting. Are you on Ravelry? I love to talk knitting as much as baking so if you ever want to gab about it, you can email me at nikkolai3(at)yahoo(dot)com.

Lisa magicsprinkles said...

Wow, great post and congrats on awards. So many things that tickled my fancy: "fourbucks" (which can easily morph in to "fivebucks"), "ganache with panache", "shire". Thanks for the smile.

Laura said...

Well, first off - congrats on the well deserved awards! Just found your blog and I'm so happy I did - that photo with the glowing pumpkin is top notch! Sorry this wasn't the cake recipe you've been searching for. Have you tried Martha's One-Bowl Chocolate Cake - it's very dark and rich and has been (still is) my go to chocolate cake recipe. Good luck on your quest!

TeaLady said...

Someday you will find your prince, eh, cupcake. Hang in there. These weren't my favorite either. But they were okay. "Ganache with Panache" I love it!!!!!

Maria said...

I am looking for the perfect chocolate cupcake recipe too. Please let me know if you find one!! Congrats on all of your awards!

Prudy said...

Thanks for thinking of me! That makes my day!
Darn it, I'm sorry this still wasn't what you were looking for. I made these cupcakes twice before and the first time I didn't like them so well. I think I've finally gotten the hang of them, in terms of pulling them out a little early. Oh and ganache with panache is brilliant!
I don't know where you and Cathy got so brilliant, but sign me up for a summer course!:) Thanks for a great read!

Rebecca said...

Good luck with the Quest for the Perfect Chocolate Cake! I'm close, but it's so elusive. ;)

Barbara said...

I also wish you luck on your chocolate cake quest -- and please keep us updated on the results as you go along.

I just returned Nick Malgieri's new book "The Modern Baker" to the library. I recall that he had a chocolate cupcake recipe that he said specifically was NOT dry. You might want to see if your library has the book...

Matt said...

First of all, I agree with you about Cathy and Nancy. Both are excellent bloggers and interesting people. Second of all, your cupcakes look delicious. I love that first photo... excellent!

Pamela said...

Congrats on your awards. I agree about next weeks Rugelach! I am so excited about trying it. Nice job on the cupcakes. While these were pretty good, I thought that they would be better. I think I might try them again with some type of filling, though.

n.o.e said...

Hi Lisa, I'm jumping back in to point you to http://www.bakingandbooks.com/ - today's post is devil's food cupcakes, cream filled, no less. They look really good, so might get you closer to what you're looking for. And, btw, THANKS for getting that song stuck in my head for an entire day. I was singing it in the closet (getting dressed) and my husband asked me, "Do you think you could sing a worse song?"

Michelle Ioapo A'etonu said...

i love your blue and white plate! the cupcakes look delish!

Laura said...

Hey there, I'm back! Nancy at Doge Eat the Crumbs gave me an awrd on Monday and I'd like to pass it on to you - so glad I found your blog, it's wonderful!

Prudence said...

Your cupcakes, even dry-ish, look fabulous. Great job with your presentation. Don't worry, you WILL find that perfect chcoclate cake!

AND congrats on the awards!! I'll be back to visit again.

Julie said...

Your ganache makes me want to go hide the remains of my cupcakes so no one can compare the two. Seriously - yours is that perfect. Ahhhh, you make me sick. =)

Candy said...

They were a little better made as minis for me. I loved the ganache too!

Teanna said...

Ganache with panache indeed!!! So gorgeous!