Iron Cupcake Madison – March 2012

I am posting this ahead of time as the next few days will be all work and no play. Likely not even time to go see Hunger Games (although I am campaigning for a 3 hour break). This coming Sunday is the March installment of Iron Cupcake Madison – this being our second attempt at it. Our last was in September with late summer fruits in which we presented a chocolate cherry stout cupcake with a cherry rum cream cheese frosting. Our display was a haunted lighthouse/cherry orchard theme as that was the inspiration on our “inspiration trip” to door county.

This time has not been quite as easy for us. We’ve decided on an Asian theme and going with a chocolate ginger cake. (The theme this time around is chocolate.) We’ve had some issues modifying our recipe to the point we’re comfortable with it. Add to that my wife’s dislike for ginger and we’re not having as good of a go at it this time around. I think I have nailed down the amount of powdered ginger to use in the batter to make the taste pop without killing the person eating the cake. The ginger-tinted ganache going on top I think is spot on.

Then we started discussing filling to add another layer to the taste. This led to my first attempt at a mango compote less than a week before the competition. Let me just say this, a compote or chutney isn’t as easy as they make it look on the cooking shows. Generally it is just time consuming, but fresh mangoes are no fun to deal with. Also, I have decided to use something other than sugar for the compote. I’m eccentric that way. We’re using agave.

We also had issues with our display. Fairly major ones. Which is to say large enough issues that I couldn’t take that impulse trip to Naperville on Wednesday for a Lissa Price book reading/signing. Other than my daily writing goals, this was the single chance I had this week to feel like a literary person. On the upside, I did get a surprise mailing that perked my spirits right the hell up. Of course then I calculated how much ganache I was going to need to make and remembered we needed to make/get printed cards for the display table.

[Shameless Plugs Begin]

The signing was for Starters by Lissa Price. A dystopian YA that I hear is amazing. I have my copy ready to read once I have the time. (I know, right?) Seriously though, go pick it up. It will give you some good post-apocalyptic society to read while waiting in line for the Hunger Games. 😉

While I’m not really describing my author surprise, let’s just leave it with a link to the Horngate Witches series. Definitely something you should look into. At least I know I’m loving it and Diana Pharaoh Francis’ world building is pretty amazing.

[Shameless Plug Ends]

So the schedule for the weekend includes shopping tonight (holy mangoes, Batman), baking prep Friday (compote and ganache), Spartacus tomorrow night (some things simply cannot wait), and baking most of Saturday. I may have to subcontract the gingerbread coins we’re using to put our numbers on the cupcakes. Not sure yet.

A full blog with photos from the event will follow Sunday night or Monday morning. (That may have to be my words quota for the day.)

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