Friday, March 27, 2009

Testing, testing: Sprinkles Cupcake Mixes

I love cupcakes.
Actually, I take that back. I like anything sweet and cake-like.
Normally I make cupcakes from scratch. Heck, I normally make all my things from scratch, or severely doctored-up.
So last weekend, when I was throwing a get-together at my apartment, I broke a rule.
I bought mixes.
But not just any mixes--Sprinkles Cupcake Mixes.
I had wanted to get Vanilla and chocolate. Sadly--no Chocolate. So I got Vanilla and Red Velvet.
I brought them home, with about 5 hours until party time.
I decided to make the Red Velvet first. Not sure why, just did.
Opened the canister. Inside is the mix, instructions for cupcakes and frosting, and the 'dots', which are Sprinkle's trademark decoration.
I removed all ingredients from fridge, then realized I needed cream cheese for the frosting. Didn't have cream cheese. Ergo, no frosting. Oh well. Frosting is a pain to make anyway.
So, got out the ingredients. Room temperature needed to be obtained for the milk, eggs and butter. (These use at least one stick of butter for every mix.)
So, whilst these were warming, I opened the packet, dumped it into my Kitchenaid mixer bowl, and added the vinegar (I guess needed to active food coloring, or something.)
Whoops. Read the instructions. Apparently was supposed to add butter first. Well, darn. Can't just scoop it out now--the vinegar's in there, turning the mix nice and red.
Plan B: Just add everything all at once, mix it up, and bake. If awful, we have Vanilla back-up, plus other dessert makings in the apartment. We'll try it.
So I dump in eggs, milk, butter (all at room temp). Mix. Mixer sounds like it's going to spontaneously combust, but mixes. I get a nice, thick, very blood-red batter.
Place batter into silicone-lined cupcake tins. While doing this, you will get red batter everywhere. On the counter, on your shirt, on your arms, on your face. And in the tins. You'll look like you're "bleedin' to death", in the words of Steel Magnolias.
Twenty minutes later....
They are beautiful. They are perfectly shaped little cake domes, in pastel liners.
Remove pan. Cool.
Oh. Heaven on a plate. Red velvet with chocolate undertones....just divine. Moist, wonderful, divine cupcakes! (See! I don't need to follow instructions!)
With the vanilla, I do follow the instructions. Find that every mix has slightly different instructions and ingredients. OK. Remove butter, eggs, milk needed for vanilla.
While the red velvet batter was dense, this batter is like a quasi-meringue. It's very airy, like wet cotton candy (if you can imagine that). It has a very light consistency. Spoon into another cupcake tray. Bake again.
These, instead of being perfectly shaped, overflow the liners. They are huge. Some of them are mushroom-cloud looking. I do not ice these. They taste lovely (if a bit sweet), but they are HUGE.
Red velvet is my favorite, of these two.

Today's experiment: Dark Chocolate and Red Velvet.
Dark Chocolate (above) just came out of the oven. Yet to taste. This batter was more like pudding. Scooped into tins very well (if you use a spatula and spoon combo, it works very well). But, again, overflowed. Not sure if this is me overfilling or if the batter is just, well, overbearing. But I don't object to big chocolate desserts. So I'm OK with this.
Time needed: like a half hour. No mix I have tried yet takes more than 20-25 minutes to bake. Mixing is very simple and takes perhaps 5-6 minutes, depending on if you're using a stand mixer or a hand beater. In about 45 minutes you have finished cupcakes (without frosting).

No comments: