Okay, so it’s not really peanut butter jelly time since I don’t eat peanut butter…but it is time for me to share my very first recipe! Because I’ve been in a cupcake baking mood over the last few weeks, I’ve been trying to be a bit more daring with the cupcake recipes I’ve been trying out.
And this means fillings!
Spoiler alert: Filling cupcakes is tougher than you think. It’s not impossible…it’s just messy! Especially if you’re a beginner like me. Read on for the rest of this debacle:
The first time I tried filling a cupcake, I elected to use a chocolate ganache. The cupcake itself was a lemon vanilla cupcake that I had made earlier in the day. Unfortunately, I don’t own any fancy cupcake coring tools and I don’t have a special tool for actually holding the filling so…I elected to use an icing bag with a large circle tip.
Don’t do that.
Firstly, chocolate ganache is warm. It’s melted chocolate mixed with a little bit of heavy cream and some vanilla. And in order for it to be the consistency it needs to be to fill cupcakes, it is warmer than you want to handle through a flimsy plastic bag.
Secondly, liquid chocolate rushes out of an icing bag. You may think you can control how quickly it does but I promise you, you cannot! You especially can’t control it from running out of the bag between cupcakes. I was dumb enough to think that. And if you can control it, I think you deserve a medal, plaque, and/or an honorable mention.
All I got was a chocolate covered dining table. My roommate was pleased. 😉
So it’s pretty needless to say that the first time I filled cupcakes wasn’t a stunning success. They still got good reviews down at the boyfriend’s office, but free baked goods typically do. Cause who’s really gonna complain about something free to the person who brought it in?
Also, for a bunch of guys in an office, sweets are sweets and they’re all delicious.
But no one should be satisfied with one botched attempt at filling cupcakes! Instead, I implore everyone to try again! Because nothing can be learned unless you struggle multiple times with it. You’ll definitely at least learn some shortcuts that way.
So the true test of filling cupcakes: jam.
I understand that people do this all the time (it’s the freakin cornerstone of the donut franchise after all. Where would we be without the jelly donut??) But not having the right tools can make this really difficult. So you need to be really innovative or else you’ll have to admit from the start you need to buy a better filler. Since they make special tools for specifically this task…and sell them. And they’re fairly cheap compared to the rest of the cake decorating franchise.
I, of course, elected to try to be innovative.
Ha. Second spoiler alert? I’m really not very innovative. And…I’m definitely not an engineer.
The jam recipe is courtesy of Patrick’s (the boyfriend) grandmother. She’s such an adorable woman – I love her. Anyway, she sent Patrick some homemade strawberry jam (it’s amazing!) and he begged her to send him the recipe.
She did and I promptly borrowed the recipe from Patrick and hurried to try it out. Because he certainly wasn’t going to be making jam. And because I like to think I’m some sort of professional, I thought: why stop at just jam? Lets make cupcakes to go with!
I’ll include a version of the recipe. I made some adjustments, but I’ll give you the basics I used in case you want to try it at home.
Long story short: the jam is jam and it’s fresh and homemade so there are still bits of actual strawberry that haven’t been fully mashed and obliterated before making the jam. So…keep that in mind. Because bits of real strawberry don’t like being pushed through a circle tip. They like to clog it up. And when that happens…it’s important not to apply Hulk-amounts of pressure to the bag because the strawberry shoots out and jam spills everywhere.
Lesson learned. 😉
Anyway, the actual jam is delicious and it tastes even better in the middle of the cupcake. It’s a nice surprise! I’ll be posting the recipe hopefully before the day is out but unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures. I’ll make sure I do that the next time I make them so I can add them to the recipe. Because pictures are fun and words are not. Kindergarten teaches everyone that.