I am afraid of cake.
Cake is dangerous – so many things can go wrong. It can turn out too heavy and dense, it can be dry, it can be tough. And worst of all is the fallen cake, the sad collapse, camouflaged with frosting. I confess – I’m overwhelmed and intimidated by all the variables: erratic oven temperatures, air pressure and humidity, the freshness of the ingredients, and the possibility of over-mixing the batter.
I have not invested the time and money in taming the Temperamental Cake. When I’m baking for others, I need to know that it’s going to turn out, so I rely on cake mixes, just in case. But I’m never going to bake a cake just for myself. So, when will I ever learn to bake a cake from scratch?
(That was a really long-winded and defensive justification for my shameful use of a boxed cake mix for Kate’s birthday cupcakes. I’m sorry you had to see that.)
Kate requested a chocolaty dessert for her birthday potluck, and (about three years behind on the cupcake fad) I was happy to oblige with S’mores-inspired cupcakes. I guinea-pigged Mom and Greg on the cupcakes last week, and I was mostly happy with the results.
I made chocolate cupcakes with marshmallow buttercream frosting, topped with chocolate covered graham crackers. The frosting—equal parts buttercream and marshmallow fluff—didn’t quite work. It was yummy, but it didn’t taste at all like marshmallow; it tasted like extra sweet buttercream. So, for the potluck, I’m using straight fluff, and browning it under the toaster oven broiler.
I’d like to find a way to really integrate the graham crackers into the cupcakes, but none of the options appealed to me. I didn’t want to mar the texture of the marshmallow with graham cracker crumbs, and I didn’t want a crumbly graham cake. I’ll just have to accept that the graham cracker is mostly a garnish here.
Recipe after the fold
Devil’s Food Cake Mix
Chocolate-covered graham crackers
Prepare the cake per package directions and cool completely. Frost with marshmallow fluff. Brown the fluff under the broiler for a minute or two, watching closely. Serve with a chocolate-covered graham cracker.
I’m not entirely sure that such a simple recipe really warrants an entire blog post.