Generally, I like to cook things that are neither the easiest nor the hardest. Cake mixes are my main exception. When it comes to cupcakes, though, I am not very good. I can do tortes, and flourless things, and even the occasional full cake, but whenever I’ve made cupcakes from scratch, they don’t puff enough and are too dense and just aren’t that good. Giada De Laurentiis from the Food Network does a lot with cake mixes – she adds things to them or spends a lot of time on the icing or somehow makes them better. Mostly I think Giada is totally nuts and the ideas behind this style of cooking remind me of adding a can of Campbell’s mushroom soup to everything, but because I can’t make a decent cupcake on my own I have kind of embraced it.
Here, for instance, is a regular cake mix cupcake with Giada’s mascarpone icing, that I dipped in chocolate chips and butterscotch chips that I had thrown in the food processor. I did not like this icing, because it didn’t hold very well so I had to add wayyyy more icing sugar than it called for, but if you wanted to try it, the recipe is:
• 2 (8-ounce) containers mascarpone cheese, room temperature
• 1 cup cream
• 3/4 cup powdered sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
It also may have not worked because I always substitute milk for cream because I don’t have cream around. Anyway! The point is that these cupcakes look nice and tasted pretty good, because I added a bunch of chocolate and butterscotch chips to it.
Now, you might be wondering: why is Beth writing a lot about a recipe she didn’t care for in a forum that maybe no one will ever find? And the answer is simple: I just wanted a reason to post this picture:
There is absolutely no recipe for this. But here are 156 mini cupcakes shaped like a pixelated Mario. This didn’t take so long, and I think roommate Ashley appreciated the pixelated birthday love and Ashley and I had a lot of fun making this. And if you are going to try this, I would definitely recommend using a cake mix. Two, in fact.