Wedding Cupcake Help
I am rather new on this site, and have joined because I need some experienced guidance. I am in the midst of planning my wedding, and have decided to make the brides cake, and the groom's cupcakes. My fiance really wants a better than sex cake type deal and I found amazing recipe:
This is the original cupcake recipe I began working with, than I came up with the idea to include this decadent and delicious dessert as a basis for my filling:
I also intended to either add pineapples to that as part of the filling idea, or to make a toasted coconut frosting and top that with grilled pineapple. I have several concerns with this process:
First off our best man is Jewish and my maid of honor is Hindu so we basically need a vegan-kosher cake. My solution was to substitute the dairy milk for hemp milk until I realized the mousse/pudding recipe already called for two kinds of liquid: coconut water, and coconut milk? How do I proceed from here? Should I simply follow the cupcake recipe to the letter, and then add the filling or would the recipe for the filling have enough moisture? Would the filing I am wanting to use even work? Also what sort of flavor would hemp milk add to the finished product combined with all the other ingredients? Finally any vegan substitutes for eggs for the cupcakes?
Welcome to Chowhound!
Have you seen Isa Chandra Moskowitz's book "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World"? You can "look inside this book" on Amazon and scan the table of contents to get a sense of what's in there. She doesn't have a cupcake called better than sex (but, maybe for your wedding you want to adopt a more elegant name anyway, such as "wedded bliss cupcakes" or something because someone will ask you at your wedding what flavor these cupcakes are and you might not want to say "Better than sex" in front of your grandmother) , but she does have a recipe for a basic vegan chocolate cupcake and she has a recipe for a vegan rich chocolate ganache topping/filling, as well as a coconut pecan fudge frosting. She has recipes for pineapple upside down cupcakes, toasted coconut cupcakes with coffee buttercream frosting, dulce sin leche cupcakes, tiramisu cupcakes, and so on.
I think you might be better off starting off with a vegan recipe and mixing and matching some of her ideas, then try to take a non-vegan recipe and adapt it 100 ways.
The one thing that worries me is how you're going to find time to do these cupcakes at the last minute for optimum freshness, flavor, and appearance. WIth fancy cupcakes, it might be hard to bake and decorate them ahead of time all on your own. You might be able to do the baking ahead of time and freeze, but do you really want to be making ganache and filling cupcakes on the morning of your wedding? It's hard to anticipate the excitement/nervousness and flurry of activity that swirls around a bride right before her wedding, especially if she has out of town guests she wants to visit with and/or she (or her betrothed) has a family prone to drama under pressure.
Do you have a friend who is a good baker you can entrust this baking to? Maybe you can perfect the recipe on your own, then do a trial run together and then trust the baking and decorating for the actual cupcakes to the friend? You can even do all of the ingredients shopping for her/him. Of course, if it's your dream to bake your own wedding cake, go for it, but even so, I might enlist a trusted friend to help just in case you finding yourself freaking out and unable to concentrate on your special day. Even my most stable, logical, engineer bride friend was a total space case for the 2-3 days leading up to her wedding. Stepping into traffic without looking, leaving her purse behind at the salon, that sort of thing. It's just so hard to predict how you will react. Plus, it's so much more fun if you can share the planning and preparation with others, because really, a wedding isn't just about two people joining their lives, it's about bringing two families together forever. You want your friends and family to have wonderful memories, too, and this is just the sort of thing a good friend might love to help you with.
Just to give you an idea:
Here's Isa's chocolate ganache recipe from her blog: http://www.theppk.com/2010/11/vanilla-bean-cupcakes-with-chocolate-ganache/
And here's her chocolate cake recipe: http://www.theppk.com/2008/08/just-chocolate-cake/ She says it's the same as her chocolate cupcake recipe.
Oh, look, ha ha, chow has published her chocolate cupcake recipe: http://www.chow.com/recipes/10794-basic-vegan-chocolate-cupcake
Here are her general tips on vegan baking:
Her recipe for Devil’s Food Cupcakes With Fluffy White Filling and Chocolate Icing (she says you can do these one day in advance) http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/24/dining/241vrex.html?ref=dining
Vegan Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes with Coffee Coconut Buttercream Frosting http://cupcakevillains.wordpress.com/2010/04/03/chocolate-coconut-cupcakes-with-coffee-coconut-buttercream-frosting/
Vegan coconut pecan fudge frosting
On an episode of Cupcake Wars one of the bakers said her cupcakes took a lot longer to prepare because they were vegan so of course they had a lot more ingredients.
Here is a Web site that might be worth checking out because it contains many recipes for vegan cupcakes including coconut ones.
Personally, I think you can do the cake baking for your wedding...it's not that difficult and as you've said, you only have 40 guests. That said, I do feel you that since you have not tried the recipes before, you will need to make a test batch to make sure it turns out well. I have not had hemp milk before but I have had almond milk and think that you could use that or even rice or soy milk; both are kosher/vegan. For a egg substitute, you could use silken tofu @ three tablespoons of room temp tofu per large egg or you could seek out Ener G egg replacer, which is kosher. Their website: http://www.ener-g.com/egg-replacer.html
As far as instructions go, I'd just follow the recipe with your substitutions. I don't think you'll be able to do all three layers of the coconut dessert without the cake falling apart; I'd choose the coconut cream filling and the brittle and not worry about the rest of the layers as you're making a cake and not presenting it in clear cups like in the recipe (if I understand you correctly). The brittle for the filling looks really good and I don't even like coconut. Hope this helps somewhat. ...
Thank you so much Cherylptw, TrishUntrapped, and Cathy . I sincerely appreciate the info that you have given me as it sounds very realistic and useful. I will attempt your various substitutions and see how the recipe turns out. I hope to hear more from you in the future. Thanks again.
Are you an experienced baker? Do you have the time, money and patience to try things out repeatedly until you get them right? How many people are you baking for? I ask this only because I think you're putting a lot of pressure on yourself, which will only get more so as the wedding day approaches. I do wish you the best on this.
I apologize for neglecting to include that information. At the moment no I am not a professional baker, but am scheduled for cooking classes this summer. We are hosting a small intimate wedding for 40 people tops so it is not as though I am cooking for 600. Secondly, I won't need multiple tests if people would be so kind as to post serious answers about the above recipes so that I could figure out how to do this.
You will still need to do multiple tests because people here cannot gauge your skills, your equipment and whether their temps are accurate, your techniques and your materials. What I could make it my kitchen might not be the same in yours. Your are asking many complicated questions and you need to recognize that you are asking people to volunteer their assistance to help you figure it out. Best of luck
I have been told several times over I am a great gourmet cook, but I am not so good at jerryrigging things generally. We intend to use organic ingredients where possible as well. I have purchased a stand mixer, and we have several different types of cupcake pans. W also have the basic utensils found in a kitchen as well, i.e sauce pans and spatulas. Honestly though I have never attempted to fill a cupcake before which is my main concern. My second concern is how well the filling I have chosen would work with my cupcake recipe. I will take any recipes or advice you may have on attempting this. I apologize if I was rude and offended anyone.
Cooking is more of an artistic endeavor. A cooking recipe is something that can be adjusted, substituted, flipped upside down and the result will be palatable.
Baking is more of an exact science. A slight variation of a baking recipe can result in a product that looks (and tastes) like it was pulled from a kiln rather than an oven.
Adding pineapple to a filling requires adjusting liquids. You don't want sogginess of the cake and filling falling out from the bottom. Learning to fill a cupcake takes time and practice to get it right.
A toasted coconut topped with grilled pineapple sounds like soft mushy coconut. Grilled pineapple topped with toasted coconut would work. But I would think the grilled pineapple has to be very drained so as not to make the top of the cake mushy.
Coconut water is popular now, it is *not* coconut juice. Coconut milk is found in cans in Asian markets- you do *not* want to use coconut cream, which is used for mixed drinks.
Hemp "milk" is not milk, which is usually used for the caseins in it. It may work and it may not for baking. Substituting eggs changes everything as far as cake texture goes.
You have a huge number of variables you want to happen for one recipe.
I think a vegan recipe/cookbook would be better.