So, it appears I would NOT be under budget for food after all.
Tonight after work I went to my local grocery store and bought vanilla, chocolate bars, cupcake liners, flour, baking soda, and confectioner’s sugar for a grand total of $16. So I went over budget by around $15.
I made cupcakes.
That’s RIGHT! Finally, I’m ready to graduate from Betty Crocker cake mix and see what a cupcake from scratch taste like. I’ve had a fascination with cupcakes for a long time.. they are so delicious, with generous frosting-to-cake ratio, small enough that I never feel bad about eating 2 (or 3.. or 4), and just so darn cute.
Then I found this website: cupcakeblog.com. I decided to try my hand at the Devil’s Food Cupcake with Chocolate Buttercream. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find unsweetened cocoa powder at the store, and I was too lazy to drive in search of that ingredient, so I just bought some bars of bittersweet chocolate, melted it in a water bath, mixed it to the best of my ability (I don’t have an electric mixer either), and convinced myself that some chocolate chunks in the batter will only add to the chocolate-y goodness.
It came out okay… a little too crispy around the edges and not quite fluffy enough (hand-beating couldn’t get up the speed to get enough air in the batter.. but I tried!). But the frosting was AMAZING. A little too runny, but I chilled it in the fridge for a bit to thicken it up. I could not stop licking the frosting off my fingers.
For my first cupcake-baking attempt, I give myself an A for effort. Probably a B(+?) for execution.