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Sunday Brunch

Super Bowl Sunday Brunch: Disney Style in the Biggest Stretch Possible
February 6, 2011

Being a Sunday blog, I've had the fortune to write a Super Bowl Sunday themed article, and with Disney, Football, and Food, only one thing can come to mind...(cricket)...(Cri-kee)..

Well, adding football to the mixed bowl of Disney and Food doesn't really bring any immediate thoughts to mind.  Sure, there's the classic Disney shorts "How to Play Football" and "Football Now and Then," and also the feature films Remember the Titans, Invincible, and everyone's favorite Disney TV movie The Garbage Picking Field Goal Kicking Philadelphia Phenomenon (starring Tony Danza!).  While cartoons and films are a great way to salute Disney and Football on this popular television viewing day, what will you be snacking on to continue using elements of Disney while staying thematic with your day?

Have no fear, your favorite Disney-writer-culinary-scientific chef is here!  With little experience in the realm of football outside of gym class, I've approached this article in the broadest way possible.  Grab your favorite chocolate cupcake recipe and a tub of pink icing, we'll be making some pigskin cupcakes, starring the Disney presentation of a Pixar Studios production Toy Story's Hamm!

If you had trouble with last week's Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake recipe, you can breathe a sigh of relief, this week will be a breeze!  And if you are thinking I'm a little hog wild for this Disney football food themed blog post, you might want to hold on to your foam fingers and find out the SECRET INGREDIENT.

For this recipe you will need:

-          Chocolate Cupcakes
-          Secret Ingredient, coarsely chopped and baked into your cupcakes' revealed at the bottom of the article!
-          Vanilla frosting (store-bought is best for today's purposes)
-          Pink icing color (made by Wilton, available in craft stores such as Michael's, AC Moore, and some Wal-Mart
super stores)
-          Pink Decorating goodies!  Here are some suggestions:

o   Pink Starbursts
o   Pink vanilla wafers
o   Pink Sweetheart heart shaped candies

-          Black decorating goodies!  Here are some suggestions:

o   Chocolate chips
and Sprinkles
o   Black licorice
o   Black icing

I hope you've learned a lot about mis-en-place last week and how easy it makes your life.  For today's mis-en-place, bake and completely cool your cupcakes, gather all your decorations, and melt your frosting.  This can be done in two ways: melt in in the microwave (20 seconds, then 10 seconds at a time until it's a thinner and creamy, but not soupy, consistency) or over a double boiler as seen below.  This is simply down by placing your icing in a metal bowl and placing the bowl over a pot of simmering water.  It's not a great idea to put the bowl on your pot of water then turn on the heat-this creates a pressure cooker in the air between the bowl and the water and could overheat your icing.

With your icing melted, you can achieve a great smooth, solid surface and also easily add in the Wilton icing color.  With icing colors, a little goes quite a long way.  If you have a small bowl of icing as pictured below, you want no more than a touch of color at the end of a toothpick.  After you color the icing, simply dip your cupcake into the melted icing and pull it out.  With a small offset spatula or butter knife, smooth the surface to get rid of the little dollop when you pull out the cupcake.

Now you're ready to decorate with whatever you got!  Search your panty, candy store, or baking aisle at your local supermarket for different little edibles that you can use as pig ears, pig snouts, pig eyes, etc.

Based on what I had at home, I made Hamm with Necco Sweetheart ears, rolled fondant snout, black buttercream eyes, and chocolate Jimmies for the eyebrows and smirk.  First, I rolled out the fondant with a small dowel rod to get the snout.  Use circular items to cut out the snout (I used the lid of my Wilton icing color) and poke out holes for the nostrils (I used the #6 Wilton plain tip from my piping tip set).  You can also roll out pink Starburst fruit chews using a dowel or rolling pin or just flattening it with your hands.

Next, arrange all of your little decorations to make Hamm's face.  The key to recreating any character or to give character to a generic design is the tiny little details your brain does not process as first.  Use a reference to see how the original artists designed the character.  If you notice, Hamm has teeny tiny ears, long and oval shaped nostrils, and tiny eyes that are close together and have eyebrows that give him expression.  A smirking smile completes your Hamm cupcake with the same attitude John Ratzenberger gives the character in the movie.

You don't have to go out and buy fondant or Starbursts-be creative with what you have at home.  You could use chocolate chips for the eyes or even black beans!  Here are two different Hamms hamming it up with different resources.

And finally, to thank you for your patience, here's some insight into the secret ingredient:

With the pigskin being tossed across your television screen, enjoy a pigskin cupcake flavored with-pig!  Yes, that's bacon - fried, dried, and coarsely chopped - mixed into the cupcake batter.  You can mix in the bacon in your full cake batter while in your mixing bowl, or sprinkle a little in each cupcake cup so you have some bacon-free, Kosher friendly cupcakes.  I know what you're thinking-too crazy right?  Bacon in baked goods is actually growing more and more in popularity and it works because a) it's bacon, b) the classic synergistic relationship of salty and sweet is demonstrated with bacon and sweet chocolate, and c) it's BACON! 

Kick that into your field goal. =)      


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