I used Martha's One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes recipe, Betty Crocker vanilla frosting and some dark chocolate to make the "30" chocolate decorations atop each cupake.
Oh, and I finally proved why I call myself the "Bumbling Baker":
Being too greedy, I filled the cupcake liners WAY too full, and had mini-cupcake batter explosions that resulted in randomly baked cupcake puddles. Not fun.
Even worse, I was totally out of flour and cocoa, so I had to rush out to the grocery store before I could start again. The second batch of cupcakes turned out great, but my misadventures weren't over.
I had intended to pipe the cupcakes full of an Oreo filling, but made the terrible mistake of purchasing Coffee Cream (which I thought was what the recipe called for when it asked for "Heavy Cream") when I really needed Whipping Cream, so that didn't work at all. It turns out that you actually need FAT in cream to whip it. Jeez.
What did work out pretty well was the chocolate decorations I made for the tops of the cupcakes.
I knew that I wanted to pipe frosting on the top of each, but I didn't want to add a candle or do anything too cutesy. So I tinted three different batches of frosting green, orange and purple, and decided to do a chocolate decoration on top to complement the darkness of the cupcake peeking out from the frosting.
The ingredients for the chocolate decorations:
The "30's" outlined on a piece of paper:
The paper with outlines under waxed paper, on top of a baking sheet for stability:
The chocolate melting:
Topped with chocolate decorations:
Next to Rayzor's gift:
Dark Decorating Chocolate
1 cup dark chocolate, chopped (about 1 1/2 Hershey bars)
1 tbsp. vegetable shortening
1. On medium heat, melt chocolate and shortening together until just melted.
2. Carefully place melted chocolate into piping bag.
3. Using a round tip, pipe chocolate designs onto waxed paper laid on top of a baking sheet. If desired, write or draw decorations on a piece of paper and place under waxed paper to use as a guide.
4. Place baking sheet in the freezer for at least an hour to set.
5. Carefully peel off chocolate decorations from waxed paper, and gently set atop frosting.