Sunday, December 9, 2012

Garfield's Spaghetti Cupcakes

My ten year old son wanted his birthday party to be held at home this year.  More to the point, he wanted a sleepover.  His first.  My first.  I do know my limitations, in some instances, so I did limit him to two boys staying the night, although he did manage to talk me into seven coming for the party.  He decided to have a movie party, and so we scoped out the "on demand" movies available, and settled on something all parents would be okay with,  The Garfield Movie.  

I had recently seen a recipe for Spaghetti Cupcakes on one of my favourite food blogs.  I showed my son who thought they'd be cool, and appropriate, so I decided to be nuts daring and give them a go.  

As I've discovered, ten year old boys don't want any sort of "organized" party.  You can't plan for pin the tail on the donkey, or other silly party games.  You can barely plan to even eat, since they don't want to sit for any length of time.  We did put the movie on, and some of them did watch it.  Then my son opened presents.  One of his gifts was a Nerf "bullet" launcher.  All of a sudden, I had nine boys, all somehow armed with Nerf weapons, plastic swords, and throwing stars (thanks to my mini-ninja), racing around my house playing some sort of survival game. 

When they finally did stop for dessert, they were all (but one) keen on trying these amazing looking cupcakes. 

After a few false starts with the icing, I can tell you that you need to allow A LOT of time for making the spaghetti.  I never imagined that it would take SOOO long to ice them.  My false starts were (a) using a zipper bag that was not a good quality.  All I had were "No Name" brand in the size I needed, but unfortunately, it sprung a leak before I'd finished icing two cupcakes, (b) moving the icing to a new, proper icing bag, but forgetting to drop in the tip first (!!), and (c) ultimately using too small of an icing tip to ice them (I ended up using a #2 round, but should have used at least a #3, if not a #4). 


I chose to use Ferrero Rocher chocolates because they look textured like a meatball, and because they are made in the town where I live!

I used "1/3 less sugar, 1/3 more fruit" E.D. Smith Triple Fruits (strawberry, raspberry & red plum) jam.  I would have preferred an even less sweet jam for this recipe, as I found it a bit too sweet for my taste.  

Do try them -- they're an awesome fake-out, and great for April Fool's too!


Ingredients

1 boxed cake mix (any flavour) (Betty Crocker/Duncan Hines, etc.)
1 - 450g tub vanilla frosting
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
6 drops yellow food coloring
1 & 1/2 cups low sugar strawberry jam
24 Ferrero Rocher chocolates, unwrapped
3-4 tablespoons grated white chocolate

Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
  3. Prepare the cake mix according to package directions.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.
  5. Bake until cupcakes are lightly golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
  6. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack and cool completely.
  7. Place frosting into large bowl.  Add cocoa powder and food colouring, and mix well with stand mixer or hand mixer to whip and combine.
  8. Spread a thin layer of frosting on top of the cupcakes.
  9. Place the cupcakes on a serving platter with edges touching.
  10. Spoon the remaining tinted frosting into a Ziploc or cake decorating bag.
  11. Snip a small corner from the bag (1/8 inch), or use a #3 or #4 round tip.
  12. Pipe the frosting all over the cupcakes to make the spaghetti.  Pile it high and have some of the frosting hang over the edges of the cupcakes. 
  13. Place chocolates in a bowl, and add the jam.  Stir to coat.
  14. Spoon one teaspoon (or more) of jam on top of each cupcake.
  15. Place a jam-coated chocolate on top of each cupcake.
  16. Top cupcakes with any remaining jam.
  17. Grate white chocolate over each “meatball”.

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