Casa de Zombie Gets An Upgrade

Yet another long and exhausting weekend is behind us. In Casa de Zombie the passing of the weekend did not leave us unchanged. Our condo has been populated by a new staple. We’ve upgraded our 4 quart mixer to a 6 quart, 1 horsepower professional mixer. And (as Costco offered it in all three colors) we were even able to get it to match our appliances. The real motivation here was that Costco had them on sale so this bad boy was costing us less than getting the 4 quart one at Best Buy or Target. A full reworking of our kitchen to include a place to store the 4 quart one during normal times still has to happen. Since it was a new toy, we needed to play with the Big Daddy though. (C’mon, it’s the big mixer in Casa de Zombie, like I wasn’t going to name it with a nod to a Romero zombie?)

I know everyone is dying to find out what the first thing to be mixed up in our first professional grade mixer. If you guessed one of the novel themed cupcakes I’m prepping to bring to Authors After Dark in New Orleans, you’d be right. Of course the Trampire is set and the Ryzkahl is pretty much set (I’m going to add a ganache filling). So I threw down with the one I needed to truly experiment with, the Hornicorn.

For those of you who haven’t read A Brush of Darkness or A Sliver of Shadow by Allison Pang, the sidekick to her main character is Phineas the Unicorn. 18″ tall, he loves booze, bacon and biting people on the butt. His favorite sleeping spot is in her underwear drawer. Thus, the Hornicorn. The only thing I knew for sure is the cupcake would include bacon. As I had already done this with the Elvis cupcakes, I wasn’t scared of using bacon in the cake. As soon as I called it a Hornicorn, my wife suggested a corn cake. Searching online I found a couple recipes I liked, changed them up a bit (still not sold on cake flour as opposed to all purpose flour) and gave it a swing.

I’ll do a full write-up later, but I think we nailed it the first time out of the gate. Aside from a test run with regular flour, and actually making the little fondant unicorn horns for them there was no proposed changes to them from my taste testers. They did say that the frosting didn’t seem to have enough flavor, but then worked really well with the cake. I may up the maple in the final batch, but I’d be afraid of making it too sweet and ruining the overall effect. Also, I’m considering reducing the amount of bacon in the batter and sprinkling some on top of the cupcakes about half way through the baking process to give it some crunch.

Not wanting to sit idle, Mrs. Zombie made some panda cupcakes for her team at work. This meant Big Daddy was busted out again to mix up a double batch of devils food spiked with mint leaves. Hopefully they realize they were mint leaves and not something else leafy sprinkled into chocolate treats. I could have easily mixed a triple batch. Maybe even a quad. At this rate I’m outdistancing my oven capacity.

Overall the purchase was a righteous one. Also, in addition to discovering that shaving uncooked sweet corn kernels is a pain in the ass, I have locked down three of the four recipes for New Orleans. Four of five if you count the “Jane True” cupcakes – although honestly they’re just peanut butter cup cakes. Seriously, who would eat seaweed cupcakes? Although it would be similar to green tea macha.

A full posting will follow once I’ve nailed them all down, but well before Authors After Dark. Want everyone to know what they’re getting into, right?

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