Blood in the water cupcakes
Sorry, did you say the summer of 2012 would have The Dark Knight Rises, The Olympics, AND the 25th Anniversary of Shark Week? I couldn’t hear you over all the awesome.
Having seen The Dark Knight Rises (twice) and having lost interest in the Olympics about halfway through, Shark Week is all I’ve been thinking about for days.But how to celebrate?
If I had my way I’d gather and lock all my favorite people into a room and we’d gorge on the tasty insides of Discovery Channel television and snack until we were sick! But, as I am once again in a new state, and with Husband beating the heat in Russia, and Simon Pegg not returning my calls (what? I said I wanted all my favorite people) I was stuck alone at home, glum, on the brink of an epic quadranscentennial week of shark television.
In order to keep my loneliness at bay and maintain my enthusiasm for my favorite week of the year, I decided I would nevertheless celebrate Shark Week on my own by combining two of my favorite things: Sharks and Food (Is this healthy? This might not be healthy).
In a fit of inspiration (and boredom) I began to flesh out my idea for a Shark Week themed treat. I didn’t feel like carving up a shark watermelon or actively searching out a precise recipe. I didn’t have the attention span for that sort of nonsense. I decided to wing it with some baking.
Yes, I know baking is usually Jill’s area, but I promise I yelled really loud across our great state to ask her if she would be okay with me writing about baking. I took the silence to mean I should probably just go for it.
After a late lunch/early dinner of sushi (yes, this was on purpose), I got started.
I gathered my baking supplies and iPod so The Mountain Goats (and sometimes Adele) could keep me company. I tried not to feel too depressed I was baking for one and instead focused on how awesome this might turn out.1 I also kept in mind that, in the end, I would be entitled to share my bounty of cupcakes with exactly no one while watching Air Jaws Apocalypse (these are the thoughts that urge me onwards in times of trial, you guys).
The plan was simple: Make bloody adorable Lemon Shark cupcakes.
I picked a simple white cake recipe and added the zest of two lemons and a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, hoping this would all end up as lemony as possible and not gross.
Once the batter was mixed I separated about a half cup of batter away from the batch to dye red. The rest got blue like Tobias Funke.
I filled each cupcake well with mostly blue batter, then globbed some red in the middle, wondering if my morbid idea of a fun cupcake was crossing a line… but it was too late! This was happening!
Once the cupcakes were in the oven I started to clean up, and then realized cleaning sucks and I should have a drink while I washed dishes. I highly recommend wine (and more Adele) for this part of the solitary baking process.
30 minutes later, the cupcakes were done. The next thing to do while they cooled was to start fixing the butter cream frosting. Yes, I know there are ready available frostings I could have bought at the store, but that’s not how I roll. Don’t tell me how to live my life!
The butter cream was going to take about 20 minutes of mixing, so I stuck the cakes in the fridge to make sure they’d be ready when the frosting was.
Guys? 20 minutes of mixing is a long time to watch a machine spin butter and sugar around all by yourself.
I had some more wine.
Soon the cakes were cooled and the frosting was finished. After filling the cupcakes with strawberry jam I tried to be one with the ocean as I squeezed my delectable ocean blue (read: as blue as I could get it because I ran out of dye) frosting from my pastry bag into little cupcake sized waves. I added a yummy candy lemon fruit slice dorsal fin on top, and voilà!
Strawberry/Lemon Shark Cupcakes!
The lemon really came through in the cake, and the strawberry jam was strawberry jam so of course that was delicious. My mother’s butter cream frosting? Forgeddaboudit.2
Sure, they’re not shark cupcakes like THESE are shark cupcakes, but mine were CONCEPT cupcakes! I was all alone and I don’t know how to mold fondant! What do you want from me?
No, I will not share them!
My private feeding frenzy ensues!
Happy Shark Week everybody!
1. I am a recreational, not pro baker, so I had no idea how to bake myself just one fancy little cupcake like Kristen Wiig’s character does in Bridesmaids. Besides, if I only made one cupcake how would I know if a second or third cupcake would be just as delicious? Or the sixth or the twelfth?? I’m not a wizard! Unless the cupcakes turn out awesome. Then I’m a wizard!
Lindsey Malta writes “Thoughtcicles” for The Idler.