Cupcake Rampage: Trashy Cupcakes
We’re a pretty loose group here at Endless Simmer. Although I’ve yet to visit the corporate headquarters in New York, I hear it’s pretty swanky. Hot and cold running microbrews from the bathroom faucets, life-size voodoo dolls of dozens of celebrity chefs skewered with huge Renaissance Fair lances, and a giant chocolate fountain that rises up three stories into the atrium above the lobby. I wonder why they haven’t invited me to see it yet.
Oh well, it’ll keep. It’s just a thrill and an honor to be a member of the team and do my part for the ball club.
Anyway, for the most part I think I’ve managed to maintain the Cupcake Rampage gold standards so far: didactic journalism, spotlighting mature flavors for sophisticated palates, and trying to explain as much why something happens as how it’s supposed to happen. After last week, however, I may have hit the wall. It wasn’t the new directions I was taking my writing, or the tangle of coming up with something pretty and practical every week, or even the dilemma of what do to with all those goddamn cupcakes.
No, gentle readers; I was done in by frosting.
Last week’s Aztec xocolatl cupcakes were a byproduct of another five dozen cupcakes I baked as a favor to a friend and her party for the neighborhood kids. (My first paid gig!) Now, even though it might sound nightmarish, making fifty-plus cupcakes really isn’t that big a deal, even if they’re different styles and flavors; you just get into assembly-line mode and crank them out. Making a different kind of frosting to go with each kind of cupcake, however, now that’s a pain in the ass. The worst kind of crash is a sugar crash, and nothing has more sugar than homemade frosting.
So you see, I needed something simple this week. Nothing terribly fancy or high-maintenance or with too many ingredients, but still something that encapsulated the essence of Endless Simmer: a little class, a little flash, a little trash. Since going vegan I’ve kind of left my trashy food tendencies behind, but just because something is vegan doesn’t mean it’s good for you. (Hel-lo, vegan cupcakes? It’s still a cupcake!) So, what’s classier than a vegan cupcake, flashier than a new cupcake tree, (thanks, Diana!) and trashier than the tops of said cupcakes adorned with the unnatural accouterments of American breakfast cereal? Nothing, I says! Nothing!
Just whip up a batch of your favorite cupcake batter (I made gluten-free vanilla, because I’m still working on my GF skillz) and sprinkle on your favorite brand of sugarbombs before chucking them in the oven. I used Cocoa Puffs, Trix, (gluten-free!) and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Airy, crunchy cereal works best because they don’t sink; marshmallows tend to melt and make the cupcake all gross. (Extra trash points!) Once they’re baked, the cereal is also going to be in direct contact with the cupcake itself, so the topping will start to get soft after a few hours.
What’s that you say? Oh, you don’t think breakfast cereal is trashy enough, do you? No matter how much high fructose corn syrup it’s been soaked in, how nutritionally deficient it may be, how laden with GMOs, artificial colorings, and hidden sodium it is? Well then, let’s just go back downstairs into the lab and see if we can’t find something a little more…disturbing for you, shall we?
Stare into the face of horror after the jump, if you dare…
BEHOLD: Look upon my creations and weep bitter tears.
Clockwise from top: cupcakes with ramen noodles, Bacos, and smashed-up Pringles. The ramen probably would have made for a better presentation if it was cooked and cooled beforehand, but I wasn’t thinking that far ahead. The Bacos perfumed the whole kitchen with the ghastly stench of hydrolyzed soy protein’; they’re easily the most hideous of the bunch. The Pringles, however, browned quite nicely, kind of like almonds.
Still disgusting, though. GOOD GOD WHAT HAVE I DONE.