smalldeer: ([zero punctuation] somewhat impressed)
bug ([personal profile] smalldeer) wrote2015-05-19 08:15 pm
Entry tags:

the cupcake debacle

a few days ago, a friend and i decided to bake. i only just got to typing up this post, but rest assured, the danger has indeed passed already, and this post is merely an aftermath. a damage report, if you will.

now, the thing most of you will know about me by now is that i turned vegan a little while ago. (don't worry. it's only a little bit contagious. catching it from me depends largely on how much you care about bees.) so naturally, these cupcakes had to be vegan. the point of making them was that i'd gotten tired of ogling all the cakes in the supermarket and slavering all over people who had things containing more than 1 grain of sugar, and thus i'd decided it was time to put my baking skills to work once again.

i say "once again", because i've definitely tried to bake before. key word: tried.

look at this cake. i don't understand moderation. i'm pretty sure my friends had a hand in this. it tasted and looked amazing but that's not the point here, is it.
what is this? are those supposed to be biscuits? i wouldn't even remember this without the photographic evidence.

alright what the fuck
are you kidding me? ok. listen. apparently we carved up the CAKE  SLAB and formed bricks out of it. don't ask me to relive what they tasted like.

so this time around, i allied myself with my canadian dormmate who claimed she had in fact baked before, we found a couple of vegan recipes on google, and spent about 45 minutes wandering around the mazelike shelves of an Asda supermarket looking for things we hadn't heard of but had been told to hunt down. (we found the apple cider vinegar eventually. a tired-looking employee pulled a bottle out from underneath a shelf and, as he handed it to us, vaguely implied that asda was constructed solely to toy with the mind. i believe him.)

after returning to our dorms and arguing over whether a "cup" could simply be most of a nutella jar, i snapped this picture of the icing we were making. this photograph is a testament to my shame, because i miscalculated how much soy butter i actually had left and while the rest of our creation was vegan, the icing had to make use of regular butter. shame and sadness abound.

pictured: non-vegan cake icing, or Shame Sugar

i didn't get any photographs of the damn things actually baking in the oven, because our oven is a heinous mess of student leavings and i strongly suspect that exposing you all to the sight of the oven door alone would net me several years of community service. but i did take a photo of the first batch of cakes right after they came out.

designer charcoal giveaway at welsh student dorms!
this brave man tried some, and he's DEAD

okay, listen. no one's perfect. i need you to understand, there are things i'm good at, and there are things i'm not good at. judging how long you're supposed to leave cupcakes in an oven is not one of the things i'm great at. you could call this a failure. but are our mistakes not the spice of our lives? how are we to learn, when mistakes don't get made? i bring you this wisdom from the bottom of my heart, and-

look, i can't bake to save my life. but we did have a shitload of cupcake batter. so we made more. and these turned out WAY better.


okay listen. LISTEN. come back. please. we decorated them. look. don't these look so much better? look, please.

dormmate: these sprinkles are cute! get these!
me: i can't believe we're fucking bronies

so anyway. the cupcake debacle happened. and for the record, they tasted great. my dormmate says we put too much baking powder in, which i can probably attribute to me accidentally spilling a bunch when she wasn't looking. but they did taste good. i enjoyed them. my dormmates have been eating them, and no one has died yet. at least, there's nothing anyone can prove.

hell yeah!
look at these!

oh, and as a journal bonus today, here's a video of us throwing the Failure Cupcakes around doing real science, with many lessons learned.

i'm leaving this entry public, because i want this to be the shining example of who i am when people come looking. you're all welcome for what took place here. and don't ask me to bake for your weddings or reunions.

thank you.
wrinkledeer: (wtf)

i had to make a new icon for this comment

[personal profile] wrinkledeer 2015-05-19 08:25 pm (UTC)(link)
bug, i


the recipe didn't say how long to bake them for? at least you got a funny video out of it, and the second batch looks good. and some of your older... creations are, interesting lmfao

i remember when i was first learning how to bake, i learned the hard way that you can't use Smart Balance. many varieties of SB (including the only vegan ones) can't be melted - they're only supposed to be used as a cold spread.

the banana bread i was making called for pre-melted butter, so i melted it. the oils in it separated but i thought "well. i've gotten this far. might as well see this to the end" and used it anyway. after it was baked it was a disgusting sloshy mess that started rotting like immediately

tl;dr - Smart Balance sucks only use non-dairy butters that explicitly say they can be melted
wrinkledeer: deer/cat hybrid waving (Default)

[personal profile] wrinkledeer 2015-05-19 08:51 pm (UTC)(link)
huh thats really weird. like, either your oven is really fucked up or.. ohhh you know what? you guys use Celsius over there instead of Fahrenheit, right? maybe that had something to do with it? thats the only thing i can think of that would explain why the stated cook time and the actual cook time differed so much

also YEAH its really unbelievable. you can like substitute with oil and that will be fine for some things, but sometimes it really isn't. like, i will only make banana bread/muffins with butter because they taste too "mild" (??? i guess thats the right term) if i use coconut oil instead. gotta be butter
wrinkledeer: deer/cat hybrid waving (Default)

[personal profile] wrinkledeer 2015-05-19 09:00 pm (UTC)(link)
ok your oven is just fucked up then lmfao

YEAH that can be frustrating. for example when i make burritos i have to use molasses in the filling because they just taste like crap without it. like, everything else i'm putting in is good, but without the molasses it just doesn't "work", u know (note to self: add burrito recipe to my recipe post)

in some ways cooking is like programming. one bad like of code/one poorly chosen ingredient can completely break everything. except with cooking u can eat the end result (or make someone else eat it if u can't stomach it)
thethrillof: (luigifase)

[personal profile] thethrillof 2015-05-19 09:24 pm (UTC)(link)
thethrillof: (Default)

[personal profile] thethrillof 2015-05-19 10:34 pm (UTC)(link)
I am incredibly weirded out by how well I heard that in Starscream's voice.

butterflydreaming: "Cris", in blocks with a blinking cat (Default)

[personal profile] butterflydreaming 2015-05-20 03:21 am (UTC)(link)
Blame the recipe? Vegan baking is hard! The first batch are proof!

My go-to animal-free butter sub for baking is coconut oil, and if you don't hate coconut scent and live in a cool region, you win. Hot regions can only fry in it. The melting temp is really low. It is possible to get cheap from Costco if you have one. Second to that, I like Spectrum non-hydrogenated shortening.

I don't do a lot of of vegan baking, though I play around because I do like baking, and I like to have some ready recipes for parties.

I think the hardest part of vegan baking is not using eggs. Eggs do so much, chemically.
butterflydreaming: "Cris", in blocks with a blinking cat (Default)

[personal profile] butterflydreaming 2015-05-20 05:40 pm (UTC)(link)
Coconut oil is super yummy. I have a crappy cooking blog, and I think some of my recipes are vegan or could be made again without creatures. I think you've inspired some content for me. (I will crosspost.)
rynet_ii: A deoxys (alien-like pokemon) with a neutral expression. (Bat-science)

[personal profile] rynet_ii 2015-05-20 02:00 pm (UTC)(link)
Regarding the somewhat collapsed look of batch no. 2, you mentioned that you mixed the batter extra-hard, which might account for it? If your recipe called for flour, mixing it for too long can cause the gluten to break down, giving the resulting product a tougher, less tender consistency. Or so I've heard, anyway.

(This can be done deliberately in order to give it a more bread-like texture- in fact when I'm making up cake from a boxed mix I usually try and beat it a bit harder than the recipe calls for because those cakes turn out ridiculously fluffy and it is annoying to try and ice them without accidentally ripping them to shreds.)

rynet_ii: Rapunzel squinting down at Pascal, her chameleon. (brb consultin my lizard)

[personal profile] rynet_ii 2015-05-20 06:38 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, I'm not really sure either- from what I hear cooking is a pretty fiddly experience if you want to make anything ~perfect~ b/c you have to take into account factors like "How strong is the flavor of the produce where I live? What's the general ambient temperature of my kitchen? My oven? How absorbent is this batch of cornmeal? etc etc"

I personally think batch 2 looks fine- I'd eat one uniced- but if you want the exterior to be as fluffy then it might be worth experimenting with a lower temperature.
rionaleonhart: okami: amaterasu is startled. (NOT SO FAST)

[personal profile] rionaleonhart 2015-05-31 07:13 pm (UTC)(link)
I was intrigued by your comment on the friending meme, clicked over, read this post and decided I had to add you immediately. Hello! My name is Riona; I have eight thousand fandoms and I can't shut up about any of them. You're welcome to follow my journal if it interests you, but of course you're equally welcome not to. Either way, it's nice to meet you! (Even though Bulbasaur isn't on your favourite Pokémon list. Shame on you.)