15 August 2008

Blackout cupcakes

Well...they were supposed to be blackout cupcakes, but they do look more like brownout cupcakes.

The 14th was the fifth anniversary of the big blackout that hit most of Ontario along with parts of New York and six other US states, leaving 50 million of us without power. I know some areas were only affected for a few minutes while others (like where I am) were...erm...powerless...for MUCH longer.

You see, I had this idea: blackout cupcakes--unfrosted but with a sprinkly of icing sugar to mimic stars in a sky devoid of light pollution.

Googling found a number of recipes along with a brief history of the cake: it was a signature cake of the now defunct Brooklyn NY Ebinger's Bakery. Homages now exist--the Chocolate Decadence, Mud Cake, Chocolate Lover's Cake, along with some eponymous offerings--but I couldn't easily find the original recipe.

When in doubt, go see Uncle Phaedrus -- so far I've benefitted a few times from Phaed's culinary detectivism. Unfortunately, this time, the original recipe wasn't there, but Jill Van Cleave's recreation was posted.

Well, the chocolate wasn't as dark as I'd hoped, but the cakes were so incredibly moist. Straight out of the oven they domed, but fell and cratered as they cooled--fine by me, but if you were so inclined to hide the wrinkles and crinkles, a dollop of whipped cream with sprinklies would do the trick.


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Anonymous said...

Now those look like something worth surviving a blackout for!

I remember that blackout. It was one of the hottest days in Boston/Cambridge that summer and I had been on a job site without AC all day so I was looking forward to taking a cool shower and then sitting in front of the AC in the house. I had just gotten out of the shower when everything went out/black. So much for staying cool...

The Messy Baker said...

What a wonderful idea. I remember the blackout. We were out of power until the next day, so that night, we sat outside in the hammock and watched shooting stars.

And how can you go wrong with chocolate cupcakes -- sunken or not?

Mama Squirrel said...

Here's one you could try sometime if you want a really dark cake--it's also gluten-free. Black Magic Cake, which also makes good cupcakes and is extra good with fudge frosting. I mentioned it here http://tinyurl.com/5ffoed with directions for finding it at the bottom of the post: it's in the book Special Diets for Special Kids and I just found it posted on somebody else's blog: http://tinyurl.com/5wod57 .

It's seriously delicious. I don't think most people would notice it's gluten-free--it doesn't even have much of a rice-flour texture, especially after it cools and sits a bit.

NKP said...

We went the whole 3 days without power too. It was a bit like camping, the neighbours have never talked to each other so much.
I have a coleman stove and a couple of french presses so I would make coffee on the deck for whoever was around.
(we did lose a lot of food in the fridge and freezer but I am over it now)
I love that you made anniversary cupcakes, so creative. And the crinkles on top just make me think of brownies, yum.

Sarah R said...

I forgot about the blackout!! I was watching a play in Stratford at the time, too... but lucked out because I wound up going to my dad's trailer which worked off of gas power. Nothing better than knowing you can brew coffee!

Those cakes looked delicious too - and I'm all for "frosting fillage" space!

Anonymous said...

They still look great to me! What is better than a warm moist cupcake??

Anonymous said...

In the dark they'd look like black out cupcakes. Therefore, they look perfect.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I remember the blackout -- but I don't remember having anything this delicious looking before, during, or after!

Anonymous said...

LOL! Well, you had the right idea. ;-) I remember the blackout, too. Was affected by it. As Lydia pointed out, I don't remember having anything this delicious-looking, either. ;-)


glamah16 said...

Blackout or no, I will take a cupcake!

Kristen said...

Ooh, those look great. I can't believe it's been five years since that! I was in CA at the time, but remember it because most of my family is in MA.