Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Walking Dead Cupcakes

As pointed out in the latest episode of West Coast Geeks vs Nerds, everyone has a zombie apocalypse survival plan. Hell, there's even aps for this very purpose. Our household's plan is probably very similar to yours: grab a chainsaw, wing our way through London Drugs, then hold up in the closest Costco. Well, to be honest, that's Mr. C's plan. My plan goes a little bit differently: unsuccessfully escape from the horde, get bitten by zombie, have Mr. C shoot me in the face. Really, I'm just being honest with myself. I'm a lover, not a fighter. When the walkers take over, I'm not going to last very long. I'm loud. I cry a lot. I'm not a sprinter. I'm as good as dead.

Being a realist is an important part of the zombie apocalypse.

Zombies have always been with us - through books, movies, comics, and video games. The Infected, The Undead, The Zeds - whatever you call them, they'll still end up shambling behind you and biting your face off. The Walking Dead comic, which started up in 2004, rode the wave of zombie enthusiasm and gathered quite the following, When the comic turned into the TV show in 2010, those Biters made the big time.

Now, I could a total nerd, and start going on "How the comic is so much better than the TV show" but I won't. That shit's annoying. What I will tell you is, if you enjoyed the TV show, pick up a couple of volumes of the comic and you won't be disappointed. You'll get much more of the hammer-wielding Tyrese, a way more badass Andrea, and a much more satisfying ending when it comes to the Governor.

I picked up several issues here and there, but was not as faithful as I should have been. Now there's, what, eighteen volumes of the stuff I have to catch up on? I decided to start from the very beginning  (that way I could get Mr C into it as well, as he had never touched any of the comics) and picked up Volume One from our favourite comic shop, Taz Comics, on Free Comic Book Day. Funny enough, I bought more comics on that day then I got for free. Oh, Taz, you sultry minx. You know I just can't help myself.

To celebrate the comic, the TV show, and all those other zombies that are floating around us, we created The Walking Dead cupcake. The cake itself is a tradition red (or should I say bloody?) velvet - think more cocoa and less food colouring. The icing is my favourite old fashioned, with a bit of a chocolate kick that reminds me of those Wendy's Frosting I used to consume as a child. Roll the sucker in graham cracker and oreo crumb "dirt", top with blood and guts, and you've got yourself a Biter cupcake.

The Walking Dead Cupcakes
makes about two dozen cupcakes

2 1/2 cups flour (minus 3 Tablespoons)
3 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
red food colouring gel

1) Preheat your oven to 350F. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Make sure everything is thoroughly mixed together. In another small bowl, whisk together your oil, white sugar, eggs, vinegar, and vanilla until everything is well incorporated.

2) Slowly pour your wet ingredients into your dry, stirring well with a wooden spoon. When everything has just begun to be incorporated, start slowly adding your buttermilk and a small amount of red food colouring. Continue to stir until your batter is without lumps.

3) Spoon approx. three tablespoons in each of your cupcake liners. Bake for about 17-20 minutes, or until your cake tester comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.

Old-Fashioned Icing
Enough to frost two dozen cupcakes1/4 cup flour
1 cup milk
2 cups butter
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder

Graham cracker crumbs (about a 1/4 cup)
Oreo cookie crumbs (about a cup)
red melting wafers
candy zombie body parts

1)In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the flour and milk and keep on mixing until it starts to take on a thick, pudding-like consistency. Scoop into a wide bowl and cover the top with plastic wrap, pressing it right against the custard so a skin doesn't form. Set it in the fridge to cool completely.

2)Fluff up the butter in your mixer. Add the confectioner’s sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract and mix until everything has come together. Add the cold custard and beat for up to 6 minutes. The frosting will start to take on a lighter colour and will have a real creamy, whipped-cream like texture.
3) Frost your cupcakes, then carefully roll in your graham cracker and oreo cookie crumb topping. Stick on your zombie body parts with some red melting wafers. Sit back and enjoy the zombie apocalypse.

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