“It’s not simply that failure helps you learn. It also makes you stronger. Once you’ve failed and come back from it, you’ll never have that fear of trying something new again.”—Esther Dyson at Failcon (via SF Gate)
I usually alter recipes a bit, but didn’t want to risk it with these cupcakes, made for my good friend’s wedding this weekend in South Kent, Connecticut (lovely spot! you should go.) I couldn’t find cake flour anywhere in Williamsburg and after going to three different markets to find dates for the bars I made for the rehearsal dinner, I decided to make do with all-purpose. I made my own cake flour with this easy substitute: for every cup of cake flour called for, use 3/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour and 2 tablespoons cornstarch. If you’re interested in the science behind this, cake flour actually has a lower protein content than all-purpose (6-8% vs. 10-12%), protein being what creates gluten which you want less of in a light, delicate cake batter. This seemed to work out ok. The only other alterations I made were to add ginger powder to the frosting to make the flavor a bit more complex and cut the sweetness, and to add the whole large can of pumpkin to a double batch—about 3 or 3 1/2 c. rather than 2 1/2 cups. I didn’t want to waste a half a cup of pumpkin, and wanted to assure the cupcakes would be moist when served almost two days later (they were). I bought a pastry bag and tips to frost the cupcakes, which felt very PRO of me considering I usually worry about the flavor/healthfulness of goodies above how pretty they are. Though I didn’t do the roses in the photos here, I piped with a large star tip and topped them off with a dusting of cinnamon (thanks Audrey:). Photos TK.
“'You're BLOWING my MIND.' Which is cool, because I always like to dress to entertain.” To entertain? “Yeah, you know, wear something unusual to distract from my face. Oldest trick in the book.”—Chloe Sevigny interview in the Guardian