If that phrase makes you feel like you've been punched in the gut, you're a true Firefly Browncoat. Hoban Washburne was one of those special Whedon characters that the audience usually feels a direct attachment to. They're the Xanders or the Agent Coulsons. They make us smile, and they usually voice what the audience is thinking, only far wittier. No wonder we hate it when Joss maims and/or kills them.
Let's not talk about maiming or killing, though. Let's just talk about Wash. The happy-go-lucky Wash. The Wash that doesn't have a giant piece of metal sticking out of his chest.
When I first starting watching Firefly, Wash was, by far, my favourite character. He was the bright personality in a sometimes dirty and dark universe. The loud Hawaiian shirts and silly red hair made him endearing. While the other girls were into Nelly or Eminem, I was totally smitten with a pilot from a sci-fi spaghetti western. When Serenity came out in 2005, I was head over heals with excitement.
And then Joss killed Wash. Thanks Joss.
But I promised this post wasn't going to be about death. Really, if I wanted to be bitter over that, I would have made Wash's cupcakes a little bloodier. But, instead, I wanted to bake up something that reflected Wash in life, not in death. The cakes are homemade funfetti, reflecting Wash's loudness and personality, while the topping is a light and fluffy marshmallow frosting, because we know that he always had his head in the clouds, both metaphorically and physically.
We baked the first batch of these Wash Cupcakes for Vancouver's Can't Stop the Serenity celebration, which happened yesterday. We had a blast with our fellow Browncoats, and raised over $200 for Equality Now and other local women's charity organizations. This nerdy get together was our first big event three years ago, and it continues to be a favourite of ours. Everyone is friendly, and ready to help you through the Firefly universe, even if it's your first time. And they're incredibly generous to boot.
Next year we'll bring more of Wash's Cupcakes. We promise.
Makes one dozen
1 1/4 cups AP flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
3 large egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles
1) Preheat your oven to 350C. In a small bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
2) In a large bowl with an electric mixer, whip together your butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg whites, one at a time, until thick and white. Add your extracts and mix again.
3) With a spoon, slowly mix in your dry ingredients and milk, alternating between the two. When everything comes together (taking care not to over mix), add the sprinkles and lightly fold in a couple times. Again, do not over mix or your colours will get all muddy.
4) Spoon in the batter to liners and bake for about 15-17 minutes, or until your tester comes out clean. Set out to cool before icing.
(Note: for CSTS, we used our Vanilla Swiss Buttercream for easy travel - if you're going to enjoy these at home, totally go for this Marshmallowy Frosting)1/4 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 pinch salt
1) In heatproof bowl, whisk together the water, sugar, egg whites, cream of tartar and salt. Set the bowl over saucepan of simmering water and beat constantly until mixture holds stiff peaks (about 5 to 7 minutes).
2) Remove from saucepan. Beat until frosting is cooled, about 2 minutes. Beat in orange extract and food colouring (if you wish). Pipe onto the cooled cupcakes. Add star sprinkles and little plastic dinosaurs. Wash would have wanted it that way.