Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Plaid Party and Plaid Cupcakes

Mac and Melissa had their 7th, (Mac's 2nd), annual Plaid Party this weekend. Plaid is "ekose", my Turkish friends, don't go crazy trying to figure out what the hell plaid is...
Over the last couple of weeks, maybe months, there must have been some serious plaid shopping going around the stores on Haight and the Mission. People were serious about this party, there were even out-of-towners:)

Napoleon Dynaplaid and Deb were my favorites, though Mac won the "Plaidest of all" medallion, his wife was the judge, hello!!! My outfit was rather plain, a headband and a wrap plaid skirt...Oh well, I already started thinking about next year:) Check out the plaid craze yourself! Pictures!

The Chocolate-Coconut Cupcakes:

Decorating the cupcakes for the party was as hard as finding stuff to wear...I had to do some serious pattern search to understand what exactly counts as plaid.

I knew checkers wouldn't qualify, but had no idea there was also argyle?!! A seriously dressed up couple actually disqualified from the contest because of that, so heart breaking:(( Anyways, here is what I did for dessert; Chocolate-Coconut Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream from Collette's book.

This was by far the easiest cake I have ever done. Even if you don't like coconut, try this moist cake, you can simply omit the coconuts. It is also a no-mess recipe, all you need are two bowls and some basic pantry items. All mixing is done by hand, so you can give your Kitchen-Aid a break. If omitting coconut, try adding orange zest for a citrusy twist or ground coffee for a mochalicious treat!

* Makes 24 cupcakes or 2-8 inch round cakes

I suggest measuring the dry ingredients a day in advance. It makes the whole process much more simple and relaxing.

2 cups of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups of sugar

1 3/4 cups strong coffee (hot)
1/4 cup Kahula (original recipe called for Bourbon, but I had none)
5 ounces of unsweetened chocolate, chopped into small bites for even melting
2 sticks of butter (113*2, 226 gr)

2 eggs at room temperature (very important)
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes

On the day you plan to bake the cake or the cupcakes, heat the oven to 275F. Note the low temperature.

1) Make the hot coffee, I just boiled water used instant coffee, you can use drip coffee as well. Add butter cubes, chopped chocolate and coffee liquor (or bourbon) and let it melt in 15-20 minutes. Cover the bowl with a plate upside down. Add the sugar, whisk well (10 strokes) and let it cool for another 10-15 minutes.

2) Add the flour mixture in two batches and add eggs and vanilla and then the coconut. That's all.

3) Fill the muffin pans lined with cupcake liners, or the 8 inch cake pans lined with parchment paper. Bake the cupcakes for 20 minutes, (45 minutes for the larger cakes) and let them cool in the pan. Once cooled you can start decorating as you wish...

No more plaid for me for a while...Enjoy!

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