9/3/16

I actually made this a couple days ago, but my entire learning process lasted about 24 hours and I’m only now writing this down after gathering all my thoughts together. I’m sure nobody would object to an original cupcake recipe with Nutella frosting. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it? It actually was, but…

It’s dessert, so obviously, you can’t really mess it up. The taste anyway. I think the only way you could screw up is by messing with the texture. Which is sort of what happened to me. The actual cake was delicious. Its recipe was originally just plain old vanilla cupcakes, which I wanted to do because I had the idea to add chocolate chips at the center (which I expected would melt in the oven, but it didn’t, even just after I took it out). Then have Nutella frosting on top.

There was a recipe for Nutella icing on the Food.com app (which was released by The Food Network, I think…I didn’t get a good look at it, but it seems to be for home cooks to post their own recipes). The home chef who created it said it always worked for her and then she added a note saying that she’d gotten feedback that it was too runny (which I think is just a term for liquid egg yolk, but it also feels right here).

Anyways, her note was that she expected the issue to be with the whipping cream. I read this, so I was aware that I had to get the right kind of whipping cream. She said “not the ultra-pasteurised stuff”, so I just got regularly pasteurized cream. I guess it isn’t supposed to be pasteurized at all…it was still very runny.

It held together when I put it in the piping bag. Well, sort of. If you call “able to stay in shape for a few seconds as it drips out of the bag” together. I’m sorry if this ruins Nutella for you, but it was basically like the bag had diarrhea… Delicious, right?…

I mean, that’s close enough, right? (Cringes.)

Instead, I used a knife to spread out the Nutella soup on the cakes just to cover up the entire surface. So yeah, it was a messy experiment and usually, I could just have the dogs clean it up, except chocolate is poisonous to them so you’re sort of on your own in that department. Well, at least it’s Nutella, so it’s delicious…if you just forget about the diarrhea reference.

So this is what it looked like at the end. Messy, but still pretty cute. You can see a chocolate chip at the edge there. As I said before, I expected it to melt in the oven, since it melts so easily in your hand, but it didn’t so I’ll have to figure out what went wrong there. I also wanted the cake to be more fluffy and initially, I thought that had to do with how much batter I put into each cup of the muffin tray, but I thought about it and realized the texture would still be the same–the cupcakes would just be shorter.

As I was pouring the icing onto the cakes (yes, I said pouring, because let’s face it: that’s what happened), I noticed that the angle of the piping bag matters. Because I’m so short, the curves I made were sometimes straighter than I wanted, if you know what I mean. I think the bag is supposed to be perpendicular to the surface or at least close to it. It’s hard to find an example in the picture I just showed you, but you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Like I said before, this learning experience lasted an entire day. The next morning, I looked at the refrigerated leftover icing and it was pretty solid. Like, enough to be able to put on the cake and have it stick, as long as the cupcakes are also refrigerated till ready to serve. I conducted an experiment that consisted only of waiting and the chocolate melted back to its original form.

Because of this result, I will probably have to either find the “real” whipping cream as the chef advised, or just pick another recipe. Or maybe figure out my own recipe. When it was more solidified, it really did look like actual frosting, so for now, my only hope is to refrigerate the icing overnight and then apply it the next day. This wouldn’t work if I wanted to bake these cupcakes for a family get-together two hours away however, unless I kept it in an ice box during the road trip. What would’ve definitely helped is if the chef, or some of the reviewers whom this actually had worked for, also provided suggestions or substitutions for the heavy whipping cream. It’d be a lot easier to find a specific brand rather than hunt one down at your local store and just guess it’s correct.

That just seems like too much of a hassle, so I’d either have to find another recipe or create my own. Or just spread Nutella directly onto the cupcake. There’s always the lazy way.

So overall, as delicious as this was, there were a few flaws: the most important was the frosting. Second, the cake seemed too thick and heavy, so I would probably need to make alterations on that. Thirdly, how to make the chocolate chips melt. It is certainly possible that they could have melted a bit and then hardened again in the fridge, so I might have to let go of the chocolate chip idea altogether. I don’t want to add Nutella to the center too. That’s why I thought the chips were the way to go.

As far as the taste goes, I thought it was decent. Not professionally ready, of course. My parents came home very early in the morning (at around 4AM), so my mom tried it. To her, the only flaw was it was too sweet so she suggested to use less sugar, but the few times I ate more cupcakes after that, I realized that most of the sugar was from the Nutella, which was obviously store-bought, so I couldn’t change that or else that changes my excitement. (The Nutella frosting was the whole thing.) Although with her and baked goods, what else is new? Everything is too sweet to her. 😛

Well, break an egg!

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