Decisions galore – life (this is hardly an angsty post in the real sense of the word)


A nephew is graduating from college later. His (TPS I was tempted to use “her” here to tease you) mother asked me to make cupcakes. Chocolate cupcakes with blue icing because he’s graduating from a blue school.

Making choco cupcakes is not difficult especially because HHA is very good in estimating how much should go into each – that’s the messy part. I do the beating.

So what’s the big deal? Making the frosting.

See, I had a few options but not really.

a) make choco icing and put blue sprinkles. This option is iffy. I tried putting store-bought sprinkles on my milk based frosting and they ran. The colors ran.

b) make blue frosting using buttercream. I like using buttercream because it’s almost problem free except that:

– some recipes of buttercream require using Crisco which I don’t have; though I can buy it doesn’t taste superb and I will hardly use it thereafter; and it’s difficult to find

= if I use all butter, it’s yellowish. If I add blue food color to butter, yellow plus blue equals:

Image

c) make white frosting using egg whites – my stand mixer is kaput; my hand-held mixer, the last time I used it to beat egg whites stiff yielded soft peaks. I was making mocha torte for husband then and so it was not really critical; it didn’t have to be perfect. White frosting made from egg whites is also tricky because one has to make syrup and cook it until thin threads form. but color wise, they’d yield the most accurate blue. Stress.

(At one point, I was so tempted to tell sister to get cupcakes elsewhere. But I know I’m cheaper and months back, I had already refused making cupcakes for her (TPS, his?) grandso on his baptism because I knew the celebration was a big one and I didn’t want to be stressed prior to. Plus if everything in the party looked really pretty, I knew my homemade cupcakes would look like a poor relation.

So today’s blue cupcakes I couldn’t refuse.

Then a eureka moment. I saw this in The Food Bin’s FB page.

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I called and they still had it. I ordered. Then googled. Yes, that was the exact order of what I did. Oops, blueberry flavored. Shucks my sister isn’t too adventurous. I got it from her back in 1980 when we were in Germany. Whenever we’d buy ice cream, she’d buy chocolate. I’d try different flavors like pistachio, strawberry, etc. Then I’d complain it was not as good as I thought. Then she’d chide me about being too adventurous.

Anyway back to the present. After deciding on the blue cupcake, that gave me the option to come up with blue frosting still (using food coloring) or buttercream frosting. Then as I googled, I saw one could buy cream cheese frosting. Wishful thinking we’d have it here in the Philippines plus I haven’t been going to the grocery lately because we still have so many things in our food bins from Christmas, I should steer clear of supermarkets until they diminish. Otherwise the two men will give me the eye. I know, I was in S&R in Feb but that was my birthday, right?And I really tried to restrain myself then.

Again to go back to today’s cupcakes.

So the decision point was: buttercream icing, store bought or homemade? Or cream cheese frosting homemade? I didn’t want to ask HHB to get me store bought icing as I wanted to avoid the stress of explaining. So I decided homemade. Cream cheese frosting or buttercream? With Crisco and butter or just butter? If cream cheese – Philadelphia or Magnolia? Do I color it or not? See, I also bought M&Ms (white choco and almonds) from Food Bin from which I’d use the blue ones to top the cupcakes, one each only. And the frosting could be not too white anyway.

I was planning to surprise sister with my blue cupcake decision but I couldn’t resist and told her. I was excited; she didn’t seem so when she learned I’d not make the choco cupcakes. Then I had a Eureka moment. I said this would be part of nephew’s grad gift. So nothing would constrain my decisions re cake base, type of frosting, color of frosting, right?

But up till now I have decisions to make. What time do I  start doing it? Do I have my hair dyed first and then bake later or the other way around?

Sometimes I wish I’d be invited to occasions where I’m not the baker or cooker of something, ay cook palaIt’s nice to just walk into a gathering where one is but a guest.

So far, decisions re the cupcake:

a) I’ll use the cake mix I bought

b) For frosting – butter with Peotraco. Butter – I read French butter is whitish, but I didn’t want to go to the grocery so I told HHB to find me butter that’s pale like the one in the can (Italian from Bacchus Epicerie in Power Plant).  I could use that but if there was something cheaper, right?

She came back with President butter, B1T1 ( buy one take one) for P191. Wow, President butter is that expensive? It’s whiter than Queensland so I’ll use that. Besides, I might not color the frosting anyway, as the cupcake is blue and there will be blue M&M on top.

In the course of my research I discovered a few interesting things:

a) believe it or not, the gods are teasing me, conspiring against me. The cake mix requires, hold your breath, egg whites! Not just oil/butter and water but egg whites. Three large egg whites. As I’m not sure large in the US is equivalent to large in the PHilippines, I googled and found this:

Image from here.

Another interesting post I saw was this, which had this photo:

 

 

Image

Do I go back to the drawing board? Just kidding.

I did discover though that I could/should use ordinary liner to bake the cupcake in and then put a nice one outside like in the picture.

Anyway……

Hope things turn out all right later and you’ll know because I’ll post a picture if they come out any good.

Another interesting website I stumbled upon was this one on colors. It even mentions Isaac Newton. I didn’t know that he “developed the first circular diagram of colors in 1666.”

The pictures of the finished, angst-ridden cupcakes – in reverse order:photo 5 photo 4 photo 3

My sisters asked where I got the plastic container that I put the cupcakes in. Howard Storage  in Shang, I think. Ages ago.

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9 thoughts on “Decisions galore – life (this is hardly an angsty post in the real sense of the word)

  1. Yes, I like cupcake designs. It started last year when I saw placemats from Landmark with cupcake design. Then, cute coffee mugs…kitchen towel at Fisher Mall, figurine shape like a cupcake with fondue forks, gift bags, etc.. Then, when I went to Tutuban, I saw a cloth with cupcake design. Kaya lang, the owner says, I can only buy 1 yard, coz the whole bunch was already reserved. I plan to make it into a table cloth. Haay..I have to have a small corner/table where I put them all…

  2. Yes, I like cupcake designs. It started when I saw placemats with cupcake design. I bought it from Landmark. Then, later I saw naman cute coffee mug with cupcake design. Then, kitchen towel with cupcake design at Fisher Mall. I even saw fondue forks inside a cupcake figurine. I bought in Tutuban cloth with cute cupcake designs, so I can make a table cloth. Haay, I have a small corner/table where I keep them.

    • Wow! what a nice collection. I cannot recall now but I think I saw a keychain with cupcake design. If I see it again, I’ll get it for you! That was cute.

  3. These are really small ones, two bites ata and you’re done. I wish I had made them from scratch so the victory would have been complete – everyone liked it. The buttercream recipe was so simple: 1 cup butter, 3 cups confectioner’s sugar, 2 tbsp cream and 1 tsp vanilla, but I used Cointreau as my vanilla is the brown one, better if I had clear.

  4. Nice cupcakes…Quite expensive if u buy- About 80pesos and up…Ang galing mo naman you can bake cupcakes. Ako I just buy and eat…and also I collect items with cupcake design – mugs, kitchen towels, gift wrappers and decors…

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