Saturday, August 7, 2010

Great ShotBlok Experiment: Filled Cupcakes

"Chef Blaine, tell us about your dish.." The Chairman says as my dishes are laid out before him and the panel of judges.

I respond, "My inspiration for these dishes comes from running. Runners are passionate about what they do so I wanted to bring that passion into their every day life. I call this first dish, 'Cran-Razz Filled Cupcakes.'" A collective murmur of appreciation overcomes the studio audience. The judges look appreciative at the mini cake presented before them.

"Dad, did Grandma really drop you on your head when you were a baby?" My daughter asks after I finish my intro to our latest experiment.

With my resounding success with the ShotBlok suckers have inspired me to bigger and better uses. I've had mixed reviews in my experimenting. My youngest daughter thinks I'm really weird, but is more than willing to assist me in my efforts. Those who know me well, just shake their head and remind themselves never to drop their kids on their heads. Others have told me that they "train with their Shotbloks."

My response to that. Where's the adventure in that? Training with them? But what about all those times you aren't running? If they are good enough to get you from mile 10 to mile 15 then wouldn't they also be good enough to get you through that 3:00 p.m. slump that hits? Wouldn't they be the thing that keep you awake after 12 long hours of driving?

I think a not so moist
cake mix would be better
With newfound genius passion in place, my next step is to see what happens when ShotBloks combine with other ingredients. Visions of a Top Chef Quick Fire Challenge come to my mind or maybe even an Iron Chef America episode with a tribute to all things running. The secret ingredient is "Cran-Razz Shot Bloks." With the time ticking away, I grabbed my packages of ShotBloks and headed to the kitchen.

Mmmmm...homemade GU
Todays experiment with ShotBloks is to see if I can turn them into a filling for cupcakes. I picked up a cake mix from the store the other day with some frosting. They diligently sat on my kitchen counter for almost a week with a sad little "why are you ignoring us" expression while I was busy surfing the web, running,  working. Finally, my guilt overpowered me and in a moment of downtime between projects, I tore into the box I delegated the messy work to my lovely assistant.

While she worked on the cake mix counting the seconds it said on the box while mixing the cake, I worked on the filling. I had two ideas: 1. See if a whole ShotBlock would melt into the cupcake as it cooked. Or 2. Create a thinner filling that would spread out more in the cupcake.

Creamy Chewy center
According to my assistant, I was only allowed to mess with use three cupcakes as my test and NOT the blue wrapper ones (her favorite color.) The first test was to see what a full blok would do. Unfortunately, the blok was so large that it just sank to the bottom of the cupcake while cooking.

The second batch I melted the ShotBlok with some water to create a syrup consistancy, added a little flour and then added that to the second batch of cupcake batter. The second batch turned out better. It still sank to the bottom, but it dispersed more so you do get the impression of it being a filling. The filling is lighter and less chewy than the big Blok. I'll call that a minor success.

So, I probably would have won on originality and taste for the Iron Chef competition, but lost in presentation. Makes me wonder...what would ShotBlok ice cream taste like? Hmm...a scoop of Wild Cherry sounds good right now. Wonder how you'd make that.


  1. Psh, TRAIN with them? Why do that when you can cover them in frosting?

    These actually look pretty good. I think you may be on to something.