George Washington is probably the first president most of us remember learning about. There are so many myths that surround him. I was asked about whether this cupcake would feature splinters, a reference to his alleged wooden teeth. Even the Cosby Show got in on the George Washington game in an episode where Cliff pretty much completed his child’s homework on Valley Forge. Then, of course, there is the story about George Washington and the cherry tree.
Confession: Even as interested as I am in the presidents, I don’t know the details of that story. I just know the bullet points:
- George cuts down a tree he isn’t supposed to cut
- George is asked about it.
- George says something like, “I cannot tell a lie,” and admits his wrongdoing.
This story is so much a part of Washington’s mythology that I wanted to include it somehow in Washington’s cupcake.
In Washington’s time, and up through the late 1800s, molasses was the sweetener of choice because it was so much cheaper than refined sugar. Because of this, I knew that I wanted molasses to take part in this cupcake, too.
Regarding appearances, I wanted this cupcake to be dignified, yet not ostentatious. Now, I’m not sure I know how dignified translates over into cupcakes, but I’m trying to channel Washington here. Upon becoming the first President of the United States he understood, very well, that his actions in this office would become the blueprint for the presidency.
“He established precedents that would last for generations and did more to flesh out the skeleton of the presidential office than anyone could have expected or predicted.” -millercenter.org
George Washington could have been an American king, but he forged ahead with something entirely different.
Already, in this maiden voyage, I have encountered indecisiveness. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to make a cherry cake with a molasses frosting, or vice versa. So, I made both.
Considering that molasses is just another sweetener, I wanted something special for this cake, a filling. The sweet surprise inside is cherry curd. Clearly, we are a long way from cherry season, so I made this cherry curd from frozen cherries. I would have loved to use tart cherries instead, but alas, that may just give me an excuse to revisit this cupcake in the summer time.
The cupcake with the cherry flavored cake is a fun, blushy pink. This cake has chopped maraschino cherries in it, and a bit of cherry flavoring. The frosting is a basic buttercream-spiked with molasses.
I solicited my son to do a taste test, to which he immediately agreed, understanding that this weeknight would be spiced up by not one, but two, cupcakes. However, he was unable to identify a clear favorite. Disappointing!
However, while both of these cupcakes were successful, I have to call the cherry cake with the molasses frosting the official Cherry Chopper.