Wednesday, August 1, 2007

How it All Began

I'm starting this blog with entries about what led up to me wanting to keep it. This post is backdated to approximately the date it happened.

There are two things I love more than may be considered normal: music and Harry Potter.

Because of the former, I check BrooklynVegan about a million times daily. Because of the latter, I'm a huge nerd.

Anyway! One day last June, I noticed the "Vegan Cupcakes!" link on BV, which took me to Isa Chandra Moskowitz's blog for Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. I've been a vegetarian for about thirteen years, have considered going vegan many times and really like pretty baked goods, so I fell in love immediately and ran right out and bought the book. I should probably point out that I'd never really cooked or baked at this point. I was just compelled. I got my book home, flipped through it and was DYING to try out a few recipes. But for what? I needed some kind of event if I was going to bake enough cake to feed twelve people, right?

The event and inspiration came the next month.

Having absolutely nothing more interesting to do at work, I was poking around online when I found skull shaped cupcake pans on First I laughed at the idea of gothcakes, then I had a brainfart: my friends were having a party to celebrate the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows! How awesome would Edible Dark Marks be? Very awesome, indeed.

I decided to go with the Golden Vanilla and Basic Chocolate Cupcake recipes from VCTOTW with the Rich Chocolate Ganache on top. For the cupcakes, I used half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat, canola oil instead of margarine and vanilla extract instead of almond or caramel. Since this was my first time baking, I thought it'd be a good idea to do a test run of each recipe. I did and all the cupcakes came out lovely and skull-looking. Fabulous.

So I got some green sugar and sour gummy worms (OK, I actually got all the colors, used the greens and ate the rest) for garnish and stayed up baking almost all night before the book release (which was just a splendid idea considering I planned on staying up all the following night reading the book at getting in good and late the night after since I had tickets for Gogol Bordello, who were just awesome, by the way).

Maybe it was the sleep deprivation, or maybe I just couldn't make good twice in a row, because almost all the cupcakes I made that night stuck to the pan and failed. I had skulls without chins and foreheads and some were just cracked right in half. Naturally, most of the ones that broke were the chocolate, which were far more aesthetically pleasing, since the ganache blended in with the cake and all you saw was bright green on the dark background. I salvaged what I could, decorated them according to plan and...they looked like a first attempt at baking. Not terrible, but certainly not on par with anything you'd see in the blog linked above. However, they were still crowd pleasers, so I guess that's all right. It was a start, anyway.

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