Taking a Rain Check With Cupcakes
Every time I post new content on the blog, which seems to now be an annual activity, I always mention that I have a lot to share and plan on doing. Well, this plan did not work out even with a pandemic raging around the world and ended up taking a rain check.
I recently injured my leg, so my injury has encouraged me to get back to my original commitment and share more content!
So, what’s new? Plenty. Pretending to run a Thai restaurant in our apartment, perfecting my favorite baked goods that aren’t sourdough or banana bread, and revisiting my professional wine tasting skills to name a scant few.
What has been really fun during the pandemic has been exploring cookbooks. I only have a portion of my cookbook library currently with me in Germany, but what has been really revolutionary about a cookbook to me is how they can physically transport you to a place in the world without having to go anywhere. This has been a challenging time and preventing me from traveling anywhere for a year, but my cookbooks have been a treasure to explore. I plan to share more on this topic, but I won’t spill the beans yet.
What I can share is that my sister recently had her first child, and prior to his arrival, we held a virtual (of course!) baby shower. We had to make sure we were definitely the “party scene” along with my sister and brother-in-law so I made cupcakes from a cake recipe I used several years ago. The result? Probably the best cupcakes I made in a long time, if not, ever!
Four takeaways as to why I think the cupcakes were a success:
Using happy eggs – This was almost revolutionary for me. The happier the egg (meaning how the chicken is treated), the more satisfactory or textbook your recipe will become. If you ever had high-quality Iberico de Bellota or Pata Negra from a Spanish producer, you will understand what I mean.
Our homemade amaretto as an almond extract – My partner loves apricots and started making his own amaretto two years ago. Simply save the extra seeds, let them seep in a neutral spirit for several weeks, discard the seeds, and that’s it!
Sifting the flour – Yes, sometimes we feel rushed, but we really need to sift that flour. The texture transforms the cake into something that you usually have at a bakery: moist, soft, and compact.
Using high-quality chocolate (for the frosting) – It is worth the investment, I promise!
If you want to give it a try, this is the recipe from Carissa Shaw’s blog I used for the cake. I used a different recipe (from Add a Pinch) for the frosting and it's certainly worth it if you are looking for a useful buttercream chocolate frosting!
I will be back.