Wednesday, April 26, 2006

more cupcakes!

sushi cupcakes

For Evan's birthday last week, I made sushi cupcakes since he loves sushi so much. They were actually pretty tasty too, although they did not last long at all (all that candy started breaking down pretty quickly). I baked a sheet cake and used biscuit cutters to make rounds; frosted them with Claire Crespo's "rice" icing (4-1/2 cups shredded coconut, 3/4 cup powdered sugar, and, um, sour cream and a little vanilla. I'll look that up later.) the "nori" is cut from green fruit rollups, which were gross beyond belief. If I ever try this again I will work ahead and get real fruit leather from a health food store. Jujubes were cut into the different shapes for the "tuna", "pickled vegetable" etc. The "soy sauce" is a chocolate-cherry sauce that was really tasty (cocoa powder, powdered sugar and Fox' u-bet cherry syrup) and the wasabi is just a little frosting. I had ideas for the pickled ginger but Evan hates the stuff anyway so I skipped it!

LIke I said, the candy all started breaking down by the next morning, so these definitely would have to be eaten quickly. And I was pretty much picking all the candy off anyway -- but I can see kids going nuts for them. Don't know if I'd do it again, but it was fun to try once!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Emily's birthday cupcakes

cupcake roses for Emily!

Another belated post, this one about the cupcakes I made for Emily's birthday party last year. These were inspired by a photo I clipped from a magazine (although I didn't save enough of the page to know what magazine!) and are buttercream roses iced (with a huge flower-making frosting tip) directly onto the cupcakes. If you've ever seen directions for making icing roses on a flower nail, it's basically the same thing, except you make them right on the cupcakes. And since they're buttercream they're totally edible and yummy, unlike royal frosting or (most) fondant. I was very happy with the way they turned out. I made yellow and pink ones, and the cupcakes are chocolate (thanks to my friend Betty for help with those!) Here they are on display before the party:

before the party

And here the cupcakes are naked; and lined up getting iced.

More info: I used the basic buttercream recipe in the Wilton cake book, but I made it ahead of time and kept it in the fridge; I had to use the mixer to soften it a little but I kept it really cold to make it easier to work with. (I had two setups and when the one I was using started getting warm from my hands I put it in the fridge and switched to the other.) I used the Wilton 125 petal tip -- I wanted to use a bigger one, but I didn't give myself time to get them online and I was lucky to find two 125 tips locally as it was! I pretty much free-handed the roses, I didn't use any petal count system (in the comments -- I actually don't know what that 3-5, 7 count means). I looked at a couple of different ways people made roses and just sort of winged it. There's a reason you don't see all the cupcakes I iced in those photos!!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006



I spotted this in Wired's roundup of weird usb gadgets -- they call this an "eyeball baby" but actually, it's a webcam designed to look like Pops from Gegege No Kitaro, only the best ghost manga ever written!! The great things about Pops, is he lives in the empty eye socket of his dead ghost son. No, really! We've loved Gegege ever since it was shown subtitled in NYC back in the early 90s. I seriously think I need this webcam. Not that I even use a webcam.'s Pops! (okay, I don't know that "Pops" is the official translation, in fact I'm pretty sure it's not. But the subtitled version we saw called him that. So, to us, he's always Pops.)

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