Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Remember back in November when I made Obama cupcakes to celebrate the U.S. election? Well, I figured it was only fair that I make some cupcakes to celebrate my own country. Tomorrow is July 1 (a.k.a. Canada Day), and I was immediately drawn to the Maple Cupcakes from the Martha Stewart Cupcakes book. What better to bring to a Canada Day family picnic?

Martha's version has marzipan maple leaves on them, which make them even more Canada-y, but I quickly realized that I had neither the time or patience to a) seek out marzipan and maple leaf cookie cutters b) actually make the leaves. So, the patriotism is in the flavour, not the display.

For the cupcakes themselves, I used table syrup with 15 per cent real maple, rather than two cups of real maple syrup, though I did use two cups of the real stuff for the frosting. I love my extended family, but really, I am not spending $30 on maple syrup for cupcakes. We're in a recession, people. As a result, the cupcakes kind of smell (and taste) like pancakes or that sandwich you can get at Denny's where the bread is pre-soaked in syrup. Kind of weird, and not as Canadian as I would have liked.

Also, I'm a little freaked out about the icing -- I've never made a real buttercream with raw eggs before. You do have to dump in mega-hot boiling syrup, so I'm reasonably sure that the eggs are cooked, but still, I get nervous around the raw egg thing. But, a chef friend has assured me that all will be fine, so I'm going with it.

I did eat one cupcake for the purpose of testing, and despite the pancake-ness of the cake, the super fluffy eggy icing (which has a consistency sitting somewhere between mayo and marshmallow) is pretty awesome. I still haven't found a cupcake that has blown me away from this book, but I'm getting there.

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