Strawberry Balsamic Buttercream

Strawberry balsamic buttercream? YEP! If you didn't believe me on the Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream, I hope you do now! It's an amazing flavor combination! And these high flying homemade cupcake wrappers are the perfect tribute to my Labor Day weekend at the Red Bull Flugtag in Philadelphia! If you don't care for Flugtag scroll down to the bottom for instructions on how to make homemade tulip cupcake wrapers and strawberry balsamic buttercream!  

What an inspiring weekend. Odd word choice, right? I used inspiring for a few reasons. Camden New Jersey inspires me in many ways: to run, to hide, to flee, to curse Google Maps for not having an "avoid ghetto" function, to call the cops, to avoid eye contact, and most specifically to ask "WHERE ARE WE?!?!?!"

What Red Bull Flugtag - Phila Edition failed to mention readily is that it's not actually in Phila. No. It's in Camden, New Jersey, which in 2009 had the highest violent crime rates in the United States! Hooray! Perfect place for a day trip, RIGHT? Neither of which I  knew until Brandon pulled into a parking lot across the street from what appeared to be a chop shop with a man sitting in a car. Staring at us. The. Entire. Time. To be fair I'm sure a car with four people frantically on smart phones parked in a deserted part of town looked odd. It took us just a little to long to find a better address to get us to the waterfront. Ironically, I wasn't physically assaulted until we were in a better section of town.

After a drive through town that scared us DC cityfolk, we made it just in time for all the awesome that just didn't quit!  From a spread eagle pair of legs in whitey tighteys, to Amish buggies, and the habitually uncreative Trojans, there was a lot to be seen....maybe a little too much of the whitey tighty plane! Either way the frightful drive in was forgotten easily enough.

So, let's talk about this assault. First, we had to climb over a fence, and some "lady" had stood up to let people through. Kind right? Well she decided she'd had enough kindness for one day right as my group of friends was cut in half, and mama hen starts yelling about her effing son. Rachel, decided that wasn't gonna fly (bad pun) and figures that any woman who calls them their effing son deserves to be taken down a notch or two. It looked like this five foot four, two hundred and fifty pound woman was gearing up for a fight. Sucks to be her because when she turned around to yell back at Rachel, she realized she'd be needing to yell UP about eight inches. The look of horror on her face when she realized she was threatening a six foot fiery red head was classic.

We all know how crowds can get at these things. You squeeze your way through every nook and cranny, trying to find a good spot, trying to keep your group together, occasionally loosing a person for an hour or so (sorry Yandary!) and just kinda go with the ebb and flow of the mass. We'd luckily made it into a very stagnant section. Not much traffic, mostly kind people, many with children, snacks and no intention of going anywhere near that "lady" and her effing son. Happily in the peace of the eye of the storm, I'm switching out to a zoom lense when this girl of five foot two, with a bad attitude (and bad hair, yeah I went there and quoted a country western redneck song...seems fitting),  asks me to move.

My simple polite response "Oh, can you wait just 5 seconds? I can't move right now."

Her simple reprehensible response "Oh, well then I'll just shove you!"

And commence the assault on me. Honestly! What person can't wait five seconds? It's not like I said "NO @#$&*! Go around @#$%" Bleep. Bleep. Bleep. Apparently, she doesn't speak nice as a second language.

Note: I might be five foot four, blonde, a buck twenty five and have been dressed like a yuppie by comparison, but that does NOT mean you can invade my personal space. Also remember my six foot tall fiery red head friend? I also forgot to mention her six foot tall boyfriend. Oh snap! Yeah, her little attempts shoving me were not well received.

But hey, the dregs of humanity aside, I got the camera lenses in, filled my quota of rude things to yell for the year, and was able to get a ton of great shots of flugtag!!!
Amish Aviation
I'm sorry that the picture collage is a so small! This in no way does justice to this crash, set the music of Weird Al's Amish Paradise. This next collage has so many teams and funny moments. Full shame to the team who made a flying cheesteak, in Phila, that didn't even make it down the runway!
top row: sock monkey, trojans, cheesesteak, and the island of misfit toys!
second row: flying dodo, and the amazing flugtag of the loom team!
third row: king kong, boring trojans, and bill and ted's bogus journey!
bottom row: flying saucers (it actually wound up and spun like a top!), astronauts, and a flying cuckoo clock
SUCH A FUN DAY! ...........okay, moving on to baking. No, actually, one last moment to say: WHO THE HECK SAYS OH I'LL SHOVE YOU?!?!?!?! WERE YOU RAISED BY WOLVES? No, just raised in Camden? Never mind. Okay, now I'm ready to move on. 

Red Bull gives you wings, so why not a cupcake with wings? I used these wrappers for my bacon chocolate cupcakes for the DC [we should be a] State Fair as well. I love them! They remind me of Baked & Wired. And bonus! They are super easy to make. 

Super Easy Tulip Cupcake Wrappers Instructions: 
  1. Cut five inch by five inch squares of parchment paper. 
  2. Spray the cupcake mold with cooking spray (to help the liners stick) 
  3. Press the parchment paper into the molds. 
I will admit that pressing the parchment paper in, and getting it to bake as nicely is not as super easy as I made that sound. My advice would be to find a glass, or round cutter that will find into the cupcake mold and use it to hold down the paper while you make flatten the paper to the sides and make creases in it so it holds its shape better. Worth it! Bakes much better than a regular cupcake liner, and they don't spill over easily. You can make larger cupcakes with it too! You can't go wrong. More cupcake and less mess? PERFECT!

I hope you enjoy the buttercream as well! 

Strawberry Balsamic Buttercream:

1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
a pinch of salt
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
strawberry jelly to taste (about ½ cup for me)
balsamic vinegar to taste (about 1-2 tablespoons)

Whip butter, salt, and vanilla till creamy then whip in powdered sugar in a stand mixer using the paddle attachment. Beat on a medium speed until light and fluffy. Add jam and vinegar and continue until incorporated.


And don't forget to please vote for Cherry Tea Cakes in the Express Night Out's Best of 2010 DC Food Blogs contest! Look under people and places! I am the underdog, and realize I stand no chance, but it's fun for a moment to pretend I do! :) 

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