Monday, October 12, 2009

Wedding Cupcakes

So, I'm a little delayed in getting these posts complete, but I've been pretty busy in the kitchen and really want to share some of the adventures!

Mainly, I had the pleasure of baking cupcakes for my friends' wedding this September. It was a beautiful wedding down in Pasadena at the CalTech campus where they both went to school.

As Pasadena is nearly a whole state away from me, I had to migrate my kitchen for the weekend in order to accomplish the cupcakes. Transplanting all my tools into the Avery dorm kitchen for a couple days was not as incredible of an undertaking as I imagined, but still quite a hefty chore. I was really grateful that the few kids who were roaming the dormitory halls were very courteous and respectful of me in their space, especially as my cupcakes overwhelmed their common areas, and that the ominous emails the bride-to-be sent to them before my arrival (relating to missing cupcakes) were dutifully noted. I'm not sure how many dorms you could get away with leaving 250 cupcakes lying around overnight without there being some kind of cupcake massacre.

In any case, the task was 125 Banana cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, and 125 Chocolate cupcakes with semi-sweet ganache frosting. I was able to prep a few things beforehand, and did some last minute supply shopping, but mainly just dove right in hoping I'd calculated the quantity of my ingredients correctly. And there were some issues. For example, I had figured I'd need 16 pounds of butter when it was all said and done, but really ended up only using about 10 or 12 pounds. I had to buy 2 more bananas because I had not calculated in the mini-cake I was making (so they'd have a little something to cut into). But overall I was quite pleased with how close I came to my guesses... er... calculations.

So the baking went very smoothly and all the cupcakes were cooled and frosted by 10 or 11 the night before the wedding. The kicker was the little decorations I made on them. Having finished a class in cake decorating, I was feeling pretty good about my buttercream roses, so decided to put a mini one on top of each cupcake. The wedding colors were burnt orange and eggplant purple. So, I thought the orange would look lovely on top of the cream cheese frosting and the purple would go well with the rich chocolatey brown of the ganache. And yeah, I think they did come out looking rather cute. But oh my god did my hand cramp like nothing else! That is a muscle I have yet to develop. So after 3 hours of gently piping one little rose onto my fancy little rose-making spinny-pin, then gently transferring each one to the top of a cupcake and repeating that process until I had a full tray or so of them, then piping on a little stem and leaves to each one of those little rose buds... then, after 250 of those I was able to call it quits. It was that moment I realized using a mouse at work was not going to be the reason why I get carpel tunnel!

But was it worth it? Yeah, I think so. Everyone seemed to really enjoy the cupcakes, and the little girls in their cute little pink dresses at the wedding were in so much awe about them, they had to have been good!

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