MangiaMore: GRAVEYARD cupcakes

RER 10.26.12
This Halloween (I know, I know, mid November is almost upon is...Sandy is to blame) cupcake was an experiment, not really any specific recipe that I stuck to, just a combination of different pieces from various recipes. I let my creativity go wild. I got worried that all the different elements made from different ingredients and tastes would be too varied and strange... but in the end it was so fun.

The elements
White cake
I decided that I wanted a blank canvas, so I could create a Halloween cupcake monster. That lead me to a plain vanilla white cake. When I was younger I was the cake queen and would make white cake with a host of different frostings. I looked for the old Betty Crocker recipe I used to use, but to no avail. But the trusty internet helped me find this one.
RER 10.26.12
I wanted to try filled cupcakes again, as last time they were decent (with plenty room for improvement). That time, I was working on Boston Cream cupcakes, and it was my first time making a custard, so I think that may have been the reason they did not turn out as well as I wanted. This time, I opted to make pudding as the filling. I got French Vanilla Pudding and put in red food coloring so it would be like "blood." I know it was kind of cheating (but I did make three different batches of cupcakes in one day).
RER 10.26.12
I love love love my version of buttercream (check out the frosting FoodFacts), which does not involve any cooking, but instead a whole lot of butter. I did not use a recipe, but I did look for a specific consistency and color. All it took was almost a stick of butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder and maybe a little milk to loosen it up. I just added powdered sugar until it was smooth enough to spread. The frosting was meant to look like dirt in the spooky cupcake graveyard. I made it a light chocolate buttercream, opting for just a little bit of cocoa powder, for just enough color and flavor.

For it to be a graveyard there needs to be graves. At first I was going to try to make fondant, but then when perusing the grocery store, I stumbled on marzipan dough. I LOVE MARZIPAN. So my little bias decided that the almond paste dough would make for perfect tombstones, with just a little shaping and black food coloring. My creative Susie Homemaker, also wanted some grass to litter the graveyard atop the cupcake, red with blood and dead bodies. Green food coloring and some shredded coconut was just right!
RER 10.29.12
The crazy scary combination of French vanilla pudding, light chocolate notes, coconut, and almond, laden on a white cake foundation, was surprising and delicious. The filling spilled into the mouth, combining with all the other elements, and almost acted as a unifier. Even the edible decorations added textural and flavor interest. I really enjoyed dabbling in a more creative and imaginative cupcake, aesthetically and in taste.
RER 10.26.12

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food for thought...