October 20, 2015

Life is Strange Blue Butterfly Cupcakes

Who knows what today is?

Okay, yeah, it's the 20th. Yes, it's also Tuesday. Do you know what else today is?

National Brandied Fruit Day? Interesting. But not the answer I was looking for.

Today is the day they release the final chapter of Life is Strange! You may remember that I've talked about Life is Strange before, when I played the first chapter and was super excited about the rest of the game. Well, today is the day they're releasing the fifth and final chapter and I'm still so super excited about the game, especially since Chapter 4 ended on an epic and horrible cliffhanger (full disclosure: I saw it coming. But apparently I'm an aberration, because a lot of people on the forums claimed it didn't make any sense. I think I'm just really good at anticipating surprise "twists" which is why I'm not a fan of mystery novels).
I was so excited about the Life is Strange finale that I knew I had to celebrate. And how do I celebrate? With cupcakes, obvi.

The blue butterfly is a major thematic element in the game, so I knew immediately they had to be blue butterfly cupcakes. The first time Max, the protagonist of the game, found out she had a unique ability to rewind time, she had just taken a photo of a blue butterfly.
Butterflies also appear throughout the game, usually to give the player hints or to highlight something significant. Really, I had no other option. And since they were going to be blue, I decided to add some frozen raspberries so they would be blue raspberry cupcakes.
These butterfly cupcakes are ridiculously simple to make. Bake some cupcakes, let them cool. Use a paring knife to cut a shallow round from the middle. Fill the hole you just made with whipped cream or frosting (I used a whipped buttercream). Take the middle piece you cut out, chop it in half, and put it on top of the frosting with the rounded edges facing in so they look like butterfly wings. And serve. Seriously, even the most novice of bakers could figure this one out.
I tried doing the chocolate butterfly thing from Hello Cupcake! but then I remembered how much I hate using melted chocolate in a pastry bag, and when I tried to do fancy swirlies with the toothpck like the instructions say, it looked awful. This one has no fancy swirlies, which is probably why it looks halfway decent, so I decided to use it. If you are not toothpick swirly incompetent, the chocolate butterflies are supposedly pretty easy.
If you've played Life is Strange, you know why I have a deer as a photo prop. If you haven't played it, you should go do that, and then the deer will make sense.

(Seriously though, even if you're not much of a gamer, you should play it. Gameplay is simple enough for a non-gamer to pick up, and the game is story driven rather than kill-the-monsters driven. And it's a really good story).

Blue Raspberry Butterfly Cupcakes
Yield: About 24 cupcakes, depending on recipe used

1 recipe vanilla cupcakes
1/4 tsp. raspberry extract
blue food coloring
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
Whipped cream or your favorite frosting

Prepare the cake batter according to recipe instructions, adding in the raspberry extract along with the vanilla. Add enough food coloring to reach your desired shade and fold in the raspberries. Bake according to the recipe instructions and cool completely on wire racks.

Use a small, sharp knife to cut out a shallow hole in the middle of the cupcake. Fill the hole with whipped cream or frosting. Take the circle of cake you just cut out and slice it in half. Place the two halves on top of the frosting with the rounded edges facing in, to look like butterfly wings.