Sunday, May 27, 2012

Marble Cupcakes

After a brief hiatus, the cupcakes are back. And, we're on to a new section as well. To make it official... welcome to the third section of Martha's cookbook, simple and sweet. Before each section in the cookbook there is a brief description of what the section will be like. Before starting to bake the cupcakes in this section I actually stopped to read what I would encounter. Something I didn't do in the 2 previous sections. One interesting detail about most of the cupcakes in this section is that they won't have any glaze, filling, icing or any topping at all. Aside from the occasional dusting of confectioner's sugar the cupcakes in this section will be naked. Yowza!

Marble cupcakes (this isn't the exact recipe, but it's close) have the honor of leading off the section. No pressure. I have made marble cake before, though more often than not it's with cheesecake. I love the unique design that you get with each cupcake and that no two cupcakes turn out to be the same. I also suspected that the pictures I took would be interesting since the insides of the cupcakes would have the marble pattern as well. When there isn't any icing I need something to jazz up the picture.

These cupcakes were pretty standard and easy to make. No funny business. Taking out the icing element also makes things much easier and much less time consuming. It also results in less dishes to wash which is always okay by me. But, because this cupcake required both vanilla and chocolate batter it did require more dishes than a normal cupcake batter might. Someday I will have a person to clean up after me.

My first order of business was making the vanilla batter which took no time at all. After the vanilla batter was made I set aside one cup of batter that would become my chocolate portion after I combined the cocoa powder and water, and then mixed them into the batter. Once I had my vanilla and my chocolate I was ready to pour them into the cupcake liners. Martha said to fill the liners with alternate spoonfuls of vanilla and chocolate batter. Of course I listened to Martha. The only problem with alternating the spoonfuls is that the batter doesn't really get evenly dispersed. Swirling the batter with a toothpick to get the marbled effect did definitely help to level everything out, as well as tapping the cupcake pan on the counter, but they still weren't completely level. I hoped that baking them would even everything out.

I baked the cupcakes for 20 total minutes with a turn halfway through. They came out perfect at 20 minutes and were nicely rounded as well. However, some did have little bubbles or protrusions (I think that's actually a word) which I attributed to the state of the batter when the cupcakes went into the oven and that they were a little uneven. I also assume (this may or may not actually be true) that because the cupcakes are 2 different flavors and don't contain the same ingredients that they bake a little differently. Or the third option (probably the right one) is that I messed something up, since Martha's look perfectly round in the picture in the cookbook. Oh well. They still tasted good and I really loved the marble aspect.

I did dust the cupcakes with confectioner's sugar (hard to tell from the picture) before serving them, and to be honest, the sugar didn't do much for them in terms of look or taste. Personally I would have liked icing on them better, especially since the cupcakes were quite dense, I think icing would have really added to them. But, they were very good on their own, particularly with a tall glass of milk.