Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tartcuppins - An Experiment Making Mini Piecakens

Oh internet, you show us the most amazing things...

If you're addicted to any social media site, you've probably at one point or another come across what is known as a Piecaken.

No? Well, check it out

Yes, it's a pie baked into a cake. iced with cream cheese frosting.
Delicious or horrifying? You decide

My friend Dave had his birthday party over the weekend and decided that the theme of the party would be dessert. I had mentioned the piecaken to him before and he asked me if I would mind making one for him for the party. After agreeing, we decided that the pie should be cherry and the cake should be chocolate.

Closer to the day, I started to wonder how much of the picaken would get eaten at a dessert party. Knowing that there would most likely be some left over and he would be taking it to work, I thought maybe a less messy and more portable version would be better. I decided to make Tartcuppins instead. Basically tarts in cupcakes.

Now there isn't really a recipe to piecaken/tartcuppins. Everything I found looked like this:

PIECAKEN - By The Shaky Baker
  • Two 9″ round cake pans that are 3 inches deep
  • 2 cake box mixes and the ingredients the box calls for (your choice of flavors)
  • 2 pre-cooked 6-inch pies (your choice of flavors)
  • Buttercream icing (double batch or 2 tubs of store bought)
Take one box cake and make the batter according to instructions.  Pour half the batter in a 9” round cake pan. On top of that, put the first pie. Pour the rest of the cake batter on top of that and bake it according to the box instructions.
Take the next box cake mix and make the batter according to instructions on the back of the box. Pour half the batter in a 9” cake pan. On top of that, put your second pie. Pour the rest of the cake batter on top of that and bake it according to the box instructions.
Once both cakes are done, wait until they cool and then assemble and decorate cake as normal.

I decided to try to do it more from scratch. Although I did take a few shortcuts.
I bought tart shells and cherry pie filling. I know, I know. I would usually make this kind of thing from scratch, but I've never really made pie before and with the cupcakes as well, this didn't really seem like the best time to start.

Now, pre-made tart shells come in those tiny aluminum plates, which wouldn't work too well inside of cupcakes. I had to peel each one off.

Well, actually, I had to bake them first for about 10 mins so that I could actually take them out without breaking them.

my first attempt at removing the foil

I filled them with cherry pie filling and set aside. I used Selections brand (Metro's no-name) and it turned out to be fantastic! I was really impressed.

I used the cupcake recipe from The Devil Made Me Do It And I Liked It. It's still one of the best chocolate cake recipes that I've ever found.

I placed the liners in the cupcake tin and filled them just slightly with cake batter

I then placed the tarts on top of it and pressed them down just slightly

Once placed, I covered them with more of the cupcake batter, making sure to get it down and around the sides of the tarts

And put them in the oven to bake.

Now, with tarts in your cupcakes, it's really hard to get the tops to bake. The heat just didn't rise through the tart as well as I hoped. I had to add on 15 extra minutes and then broil the tops to make them bake properly. I actually ended up burning the tops a bit with the broiler, but just shaved that part off.

For the icing, I made a cherry chocolate buttercream recipe from Kitchen Goddess

3 cups icing sugar
1/3 cup butter, or stick of margarine (softened)
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 ounces baking chocolate, melted. So this is about 3 individually wrapped squares!
3 tablespoons milk to make the end product more spreadable.
Maraschino cherries (juice) (or in my case, pie filling)

I ended up up using a lot more pie filling to give it a really nice cherry flavor.

Finally, I got to cut one open and take a look to see how it worked.

The tart sunk a bit while baking, but it didn't matter, they tasted fantastic! I was actually really impressed.

Also, for the party, Adam made an Oreo Fluff Cake!
(And I managed to get his recipe and a few pictures while he made it)

1 package of Oreos
1/2 cup of butter
1 (113ml) box of chocolate pudding
1 1L tub of Cool Whip
1 cup of cream cheese
1 cup icing sugar

1. Crush oreos with a food processor or in a bag with a rolling pin. Set aside 1/2 cup to sprinkle on top when finished.
2. Pour remaining crumbs into a 13x9 cake pan.
3. Melt butter and pour over crumbs in cake pan.
4. Stir butter and crumbs together and spread to evenly coat the bottom of the pan.
5. Prepare chocolate pudding according to its provided recipe.

6. In a mixing bowl, blend the cream cheese until smooth.
7. Add the powdered sugar to the cream cheese. Mix well.
8. Add 1 cup of Cool Whip to the cream cheese. Mix well.
9. Pour the cream cheese mixture evenly over the oreo cookie crust. Smooth with a spatula.

10. Pour the chocolate pudding evenly over the cream cheese mixture. Smooth with a spatula.
11. Add a layer of Cool Whip on top of the pudding, smoothing as necessary.
12. Sprinkle the Cool Whip with the cookie crumble set aside in Step 1.

13. Garnish with whatever! I used caramel! 
(yes he did! And it was totally awesome)

The party was great and the desserts went over extremely well. I'm pretty sure Dave is in a sugar coma now, but probably doesn't care.

I will totally try this recipe again and I hope that you give it a shot too. It's worth it.
As always, if you do try this out, let me know how it goes and what you did to make it better/your own.