Saturday, January 10, 2009

Girl Gourmet Cupcake Maker OR Satan's Cupcake Maker From The Hot Stinky Place

I am planning, some year, to do green reviews here. Or reviews of catalogs. Or fun household products. Something. What follows is a kind of review of something that's neither green nor a catalog and which didn't even work correctly. However, we learned some stuff and wound up having a good time.

Jeffrey asked for one of those cupcake baker thingies for Christmas. Then he saw a commercial for them and realized it was called Girl Gourmet and lost his mind. (Pause for a mini-rant about why in the heck with folks like Emeril and Bobby Flay and that dude in orange plastic clogs do we still have baking toys marketed only to girls? Why?) Will and I explained that it was perfectly fine for him to ask for the cupcake baker thingy and he would have a grand old time with it. Well, Nana hooked him up and a few days ago, I broke it out.

And by "broke it out," I mean actually got out my pocket knife and jimmied that sucker out of all of the plastic twist ties and flat holdy pieces and tape all that mess necessary? I washed all the silly little bowls and spoons (pink and teal as the 80s, y'all) and waited with bated breath for the Bug to get home.

He was excited to try and pour out the packets of mixes by himself and measure out the water. I bit my lip practically through, but I kept my hand still by some miracle and let him do his thing:

River was clearly as skeptical as I.

We got the cupcake in the cupcake cooker mahoojy and then waited the requisite minute and a half until it was cooked. Jeffrey sneaked a lick of batter out of the bowl and immediately gagged. I reasoned that uncooked batter isn't always yummy, although...honestly, have you ever tasted bad cupcake batter? Yeah, me neither.

The cupcake cooked and Jeffrey was impressed by the whole thing. I personally thought the cupcake looked like a piece of poo. And smelled odd. Jeffrey was very proud.

While we waited for Jeffrey's cupcake to cool, we mixed up one for River. Her's, while not looking like poo, gave off the distinct odor of sweetened Play-Doh. More concerning, it sort of tasted like that, too.

*Can I pause here to comment on the loveliness of my bebes' hands?*

When the cupcake was cool, Jeffrey and I started mixing the frosting per the instructions. It must be said that it smelled like artificial strawberry death. Also, the amount of water recommended by the instructions rendered a bowlful of small pink pellets but not anything even remotely resembling frosting. More water had no effect at all until suddenly, I was stirring a puddle of pink ooze. It was like a magic potion gone terribly, strawberrily wrong. The only thing to do was to add a bit of the vanilla frosting powder.

Now, I've been baking for a month and a half straight, using good vanilla and pure chocolate and freshly shelled pecans. That must be the reason why that frosting smelled (and tasted...holy egg beaters, the taste) so...wrong. As in, "This frosting is not of this world and must be sent back to whatever alien factory produced it." Still, I was going to do this thing. So I stirred and mashed unholy vanilla lumps and finally produced a frosting-ish substance that we spooned into the cupcake frosting mechanism.

Here's where the fun began. The purpose of the frosting mechanism is to produce puffy swirls of frosting atop the cupcakes. Our frosting wasn't puffy to begin with, but even if it had been the right consistency, it never would have swirled while riding along on the cupcake holding tray doojywhopper. Our cupcake looked sad, my friends. And then Jeffrey discovered that if you pumped the mechanism with any kind of enthusiasm whatsoever, it splattered frosting EVERYWHERE in swirling arcs of fake pink sweetness.

For a moment, Jeffrey and I sat in silence as frosting dripped off River's ears.

Then we burst out laughing. I laughed so hard with my boy that the entire thing became worth it, especially when River joined in with a few artificial "hahaha"s of her own. We sputtered over the definition of "gourmet" and generally acted like fools all over my kitchen.

The cupcake, when "frosted", was hideous.

Jeffrey ate it anyway.

Rivers was only marginally prettier, probably because I used less water and the frosting looked like fat white caterpillars versus oozing pink death-ooze. But it smelled like vanilla-flavored Play-Doh and tasted the same. In fact, it sort had the same texture, too. Shudder.

To sum up: the Girl Gourmet Cupcake Maker does not produce gourmet cupcakes, although Jeffrey and I have now taken to calling any disgusting sort of food gourmet. It doesn't produce gourmet frosting, either. I'm thinking, though, that if one used a homemade butter cream in the mechanism, it might work as long as you didn't get too excited while pumping the mechanism.

Or, hey, get a can of ready-made. Cupcakes are pretty easy to whip up from scratch or from a box and really, that was the whole purpose of the cupcake maker in the first place: to spend some fun learning time together.

And we DID have fun.

Speaking of, must go...I need to to scrape some more frosting from the walls.


Anonymous said...

The look on Jeffrey's face is priceless. Too funny!

Holly Noelle said...

Great post! I really enjoyed myself.