Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Crème Fraîche Cupcakes- Part Quinze

More cupcakes. Who would have guessed?

This week I have a bit of a confession. I'm not a food scientist. "What?" I hear you say. It's true. Having gone through seven years of art school (culminating in my MFA) didn't exactly prepare me to be a chocolatier. Don't get me wrong... Eclipse, especially in it's unique culinary POV, is very much the result of this unconventional upbringing.

But, honestly, I don't even like to consider myself a professional baker. It's a little too technical for me. I have friends who are MUCH more suited for formalized baking than I (Ben, I'm looking at you). I'm more a "fly by the seat of his pants chocolatier". In my opinion, the Crème Fraîche Cupcakes didn't come into their own until I conceptualized them as chocolates instead of cakes.

So the cake has, and continues to be, a simple vehicle with which to stuff a yummy filling, some rich chocolate ganache, and some interesting toppings into a little edible package. But that doesn't mean I should just take the cake for granted, right? Well my chocolate cupcakes have been great, but the white and yellow ones have been a bit dense (here comes the confession). Embarrassingly, I didn't know how best to solve this until I realized that the formula I settled on used both baking powder and baking soda in the chocolate cake, but only baking powder in the white/yellow. I just figured it was the alkalinity of the cacao that made the difference in one, but not the other. After all, I'm not a food scientist!

Well on a whim, Monday I added that baking soda to the yellow cake formula and... Voila! light and airy cake in yellow form... just like the chocolate ones. I am, officially, an idiot. I should have done this a month ago.

Crème Fraîche Cupcakes, now lighter and airier! Just don't throw them at me for not doing this sooner.

Both cupcakes this week are with Marzipan, a confectionery paste made from ground almonds and cooked sugar. You usually find it shaped into decorative fruits or animals. I finally made some from scratch this week (it's been on my personal agenda for some time), but mine is thinner than normal from the addition of Disarrono, an almond liqueur. And how can that be bad?

Another new pantry ingredient of mine is Chicory, a root that is baked, ground, and used as a coffee substitute and additive particularly in New Orleans. The first cupcake mentioned here has a subtle earthy flavor that is reminiscent of nut-flavored coffees.

Enjoy!

Marzipan Chicory-Butter-crème fraîche cake+toasted marzipan filling+dark chocolate ganache glaze+chicory & crushed coffee bean.

Cherry Marzipan-White-crème fraîche cake+tart cherry filling+dark chocolate ganache glaze+toasted marzipan.
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4 comments:

k said...

Hooray! I can finally not be terrified to buy the white cakes. I have to admit that I am very tempted to throw one at you though, after trying to choke down a couple of the little white-cake rocks.

Owner, Eclipse Chocolat said...

Wow... that was mostly a joke. But fair enough! I wonder what day you tried them on? The white cakes loose their freshness fastest. They really should be enjoyed on the first day.

Stop in and try them out again soon. Mention this and I'll get you a complimentary one on me.

Rayrena said...

Well now that they're airier and lighter, we wouldn't dare throw them, at anyone. Besides, now that they're lighter, they wouldn't do the kind of damage one would want to inflict if one were to hurl them. Besides, denser cupcakes just call out coffee and that combo can never be bad.

Leesa said...

Hi Will,

WOW! I'm sorry we didn't find out about your Salon du Chocolat while we were in San Diego for a month (visiting from the Paris suburbs). I just found your page today... and it makes the second time I found your crème frâiche cupcakes- which look to die for, by the way... I really love the idea of all of the parfums exotique... as I am sure you well know that here in France chocolat is a form of art! I am an American expat here.. a former San Diegan.. and I am going to launch a cupcake business here because cupcakes are not yet known.. So, your cf cupcake looks VERY appealing to me.. Take care and I am looking forward to reading more about your business... Take care, Leesa