Things don’t always go as planned. I had a relatively simple plan of making moustache cupcakes for Father’s Day. Well, sadly, it was not to be.
My almost tragic story began with no moustaches. What I’d dreamt about was making chocolate cupcakes, topped with chocolate frosting, and pipe store-bought royal icing in the shape of moustaches on it. Moustaches went out of the picture when the nearby bakery went out of stock with icing.
The idea of making royal icing at home came pretty late to me, but the curtains had already fallen on my cupcake drama by that time.
I’d merrily made the chocolate frosting a day before, mainly out of excitement. But at the same time, I was too lazy to sift the three cups of powdered sugar that the recipe required, which resulted in a cruel “if-you-don’t-sift-me-you-need-to-bite-chunks-of-me chocolate frosting”. I just stored it in an airtight container and shut its mouth for the next few hours.
Then came the chocolate cupcakes. They are the protagonists of my almost tragic drama.
I hate sifting. I especially hate sifting icing sugar. It takes me hours to sift! But for the cupcake batter, I couldn’t avoid this painful process, as I’d already seen the aftermath of not doing so. The drama ensued something like this:
Sift flour. CHECK.
Sift icing sugar. Oh god, please CHECK.
Sift cocoa powder. CHECK.
Sift baking soda, baking powder, and salt. CHECK, CHECK, and CHECK.
We had a power cut. Sigh! My almost tragic batter sat untouched for an hour. Meanwhile, I listened to music, stood in the balcony, stared at the sky hoping for a godly creature to sermonize, “Let there be light”. It finally came back, and I rushed inside to execute my next step, which was to melt the butter. Within 5 minutes, the lights went out again!
This time, the wait lasted for 20 minutes and doubts about the cupcakes were already creeping in my mind. I wondered if I would be able to make them after all on the all-important Father’s Day. Quickly, I mixed all the wet ingredients and prayed to God – “Seriously, let there be light!”. I filled the cupcake moulds and quickly put them in the oven.
Due to my fear of burning anything that goes in the oven, I generally underestimate the baking time, which of course leads to an underbaked product. This is what happened with the cupcakes. They sank in the middle.
Yes, this drama ran for two days!
I had some leftover batter and so I decided to take the risk again. This time, I used butter paper for lining the tin, as I’d read that one can bake cupcakes without liners and with sufficient greasing of the tin.
It didn’t work for me on Day 1. But, on Day 2, I realized that miracles do happen. I took a fearless decision of increasing the baking time, which resulted in happy, properly baked cupcakes. My father said that this is the best I’ve ever made. And this is how my story got a happy ending!
11/3 cups flour
¼ tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 dash salt
3 tbsp softened butter
1½ cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
¾ cup milk
Method (As per Day 2, of course)
Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F). Line the tin with cupcake liners/parchment paper/butter paper.
Sift flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Then, add butter and the eggs one at a time, beating very well. Mix in vanilla and milk.
It makes a gorgeous batter, doesn’t it? Now, just spoon it into the moulds. Remember to fill them ¾ full. Put in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cupcakes are cooked and golden on top.
Let it cool for a few minutes.