The Purple Rain cupcakes are simple but delicious. For the chocolate cake I used a box of Duncan Hines’ Devil’s Food cake mix, a small box of instant pudding mix, 1/3 of a cup oil, a cup of whipping cream, 4 eggs, and a generous tablespoon of vanilla. The frosting is buttercream, which includes a large sack of powdered sugar, a stick of butter, a stick of butter flavored Crisco, 1/3 of a cup of whipping cream, and another generous tablespoon of vanilla.
I went to Spun Sugar and got the shiny purple cupcake papers, purple food coloring (there were at least 5 purple choices and I don’t remember which one I chose. I don’t think it matters), and the purple sprinkles. There was much hemming and hawing over what to decorate with.
There were just a few issues. My friend and co party planner D brought champagne with her and I drank a lot of it. I’m pretty sure this enhanced my baking abilities, but I never tried one. My Williams-Sonoma frosting tip was nowhere to be found. I think my friend S might have hid it so as to avoid me leaving sticky spots all over his kitchen. I had to use the star tip. The sprinkles did not want to stick to the frosting. I should have picked lighter ones I think. Sprinkling was D’s job. She made an admirable effort.
Tomorrow night is my friend L’s 30th birthday at Missouri Lounge in Berkeley. After my Easter brunch with a friend’s family (pumpernickel bagel, egg salad, Kerns pear nectar, and See’s chocolate Easter eggs), I got to work baking cupcakes. It feels good not to have to follow recipes and be able to improvise now. Baking isn’t as rigid/scientific as some people think.
I did my usual Duncan Hines Devil’s Food mix with a box of chocolate pudding mix for the dry ingredients. Four eggs, 1/3 of a cup vegetable oil, 3/4 of a cup buttermilk, and 1/4 cup bourbon got mixed in.
I decided to fill them this time. Filling is fun. You core out little pockets of cake with a pairing knife, pipe in some goo and then pop the little tops back on. After frosting, no one is the wiser until they take a bite. I’d asked my friend P to get me salted caramels to melt at Berkeley Bowl but he was too stressed out by being in that fucking madhouse, he abandoned his mission.
I ended up at Safeway at 9 am buying something trying to fancy next to squeeze bottles of Hershey’s Syrup. It ended up tasting not salty at all, so I added salt. Then it was too salty. I’d say I eventually wrestled that shit into submission.
The frosting was standard buttercream with extra vanilla and some more bourbon. I went to the fancy cupcake store and got snazzy little chocolate vanilla swirl straws to top them off. Very professional looking. I also got 3 and 0 candles because I think everyone should blow out candles on their birthday. I hope they help make a it a special night for her. She deserves it. She’s wonderful.