At any one time, I typically have a handful of a recipe ideas for the blog, but I often have no idea what I am going to write about in relation to those recipes until I sit down at my computer. Yesterday was a bit different. As I was driving home from work, I was thinking of what to post on the last day of September.
I decided Dirty 30 might be a catchy title, but what food item could I make to match? Dirt Cake came to mind, but I just wasn’t that into it. My mind wandered to seeing something about National Mud Pack day on the calendar. What could I bake that has to do with mud…ah ha, a Mississipi Mud dessert.
I had been driving with the radio off, simply enjoying the hum of the tires on the road and the air whipping across the open windows. Close to home and after I had decided on a Dirty 30 Misissppi Mud theme, I flipped on the radio.
“Old black water, keep on rollin’
Mississippi moon, won’t you keep on shinin’ on me”
I kid you not, the Doobie Brothers’ Old Black Water was playing when I turned on the radio. I smiled. Have I mentioned how much I love coincidences? So off to work I went at a Mississippi mud cake. I followed a Paula Deen recipe to a tee, and I ended up Mississippi mud hole cupcakes.
What went wrong? The recipe called for the cake to be baked in a 9 x 13 pan. I know you can’t bake a recipe that calls for a tube pan as cupcakes, but does the pan really matter for rectangular cakes and cupcakes?
I didn’t overmix the batter to kill the baking soda action, and I didn’t dilly-dally when moving the batter from the mixing bowl to the cupcake liners to the oven. Sounds counter-intuitive, but could I have used too much of a leavening agent? I read Shriley Corriher’s Bake Wise back in June, but clearly, it didn’t sink in (pun intended).
I smack talked September a bit, grabbed a DogFish Punkin, and got back to work. I consulted my Great Grandmother’s red chocolate (red velvet) cupcake recipe, and with a little tweaking, I ended up with pretty mud puffs.
While the second round of cupcakes were baking, I sampled Paula’s cupcakes. They may have looked ugly, but they tasted delicious. I chopped one up to use as sprinkles on the pretty cupcakes, and I plan to use the rest in cake balls.
My cakes were delicious as well. I would call them awesome, but they were just a teeny-tiny bit on the dry side. I do believe this was more an issue with overbaking than with the recipe itself. And with marshmallow fluff as a topping, I couldn’t taste a hint of dryness in the cake.
At the end of last month, I wrote about how I wanted to get better at food styling so I could take better pictures. This month I have been thinking a lot about about how to step it up in the icing and frosting department. I wouldn’t call a dollop of marshmallow fluff stepping it up, but at least it was different than the confectioners’ sugar buttercream I have been using on a regular basis.
I am so happy I chose the marshmallow fluff because they made the cupcakes taste like those Hostess cupcakes with the curly white ribbon of icing across the tops. The fluff spreads over the cupcake within a few minutes, so a dollop in the center is more than plenty. If you place fluff over the entire surface of the cupcake, it will run over the sides.
With that, I’m putting September to bed and looking forward to my favorite month of the year: October.
- 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda, dissolved in ½ cup hot water
- 1 - 7 ounce jar of marshmallow creme
- Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt together and set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar together.
- Beat in the egg and vanilla.
- Slowly pour in the baking soda solution.
- Add the flour mixture and mix until well combined.
- Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out with just a crumb or two.
- When the cupcakes have cooled, top with the marshmallow creme.