What shall I do?

I know I want to run a 5k and half marathon. Okay, so I want to run, but I will end up power walking instead. Maybe try out some new ethnic cuisines. Travel to some new spots. Try some new classes. Support a new charity. Some may be exciting adventures, some may be boring. I welcome your suggestions for something new to try.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

#26...You can have your cake and eat it too...if they are cupcakes!

I am a cupcake aficionado.  However, this enthusiasm has been formerly contained to the act of eating cupcakes.  I am the target cupcake customer and I have frequented many a shop in my lifetime.  Hell, I frequented two just in the past week!  But I have yet to find the ultimate cupcake, that perfect combination of cake and toppings that fills your mouth with an orgasm in every bite.  Oh I have come close, but if the cake is too die for, the frosting is too sweet.  Or if the icing is perfection, the cake is too dry.  There always seems to be one element missing from my ideal and so the quest continues.

Now making my own cupcakes is another matter.  I love a bake shop cake, but the box mixes leave me flat.  However, the ease of a box mix can't be beat.  You see, as much as I love to experiment in the kitchen to recreate meals I have seen or eaten or just to come up with something on my own, I HATE TO BAKE!  Did I say I hate to bake?  I can not stress enough how much I hate baking!  Oh, I can do cookies and brownies fine enough.  Even my pies are not too bad.  But cakes take precise ingredients to come out as they should.  I don't do precise.  I don't follow recipes.  I add a little of this and a pinch of that.  That works out fine with a cookie or pie, but it can spell disaster for a cake. Thus I have avoided baking one from scratch since home ec.  And I have never tried cupcakes from scratch.

The research took longer than the actual baking. I looked at dozens of recipes and couldn't make a decision.  I'm a bit picky about how my cupcakes should taste.  I like it dense, flavorful and super moist.  None of these dry fluffy cakes for me.  But you can't tell that from a recipe...at least I can't. Then I was hit with inspiration.  My favorite cake is a coffee cake so why not make coffee cake cupcakes.  I settled on the second recipe I found.

I must confess I still could not stick to the recipe.  It seems I have a problem with authority, especially in the kitchen. No one is going to tell me what to do, even if it is a recipe.  I had two over-ripe bananas that were just begging me to be added to the batter, so I threw them in the mixer.  And if you look at the photos, the ones with frosting and the streusel on top are how they are supposed to look.  But on one batch I just threw the streusel on top of the batter and let it cook in, more like a traditional coffee cake.  The original recipe with the frosting tasted better as the streusel was more of the star of the cupcake.  I'm pleased to say my cupcakes were deliciously moist with a nice bit of banana flavor.  I did pretty good for my first ever cupcakes from scratch.

One of my dreams has always been to own a cupcake truck that goes to various locales to sell the delicious treats.  But the reality is I would enjoy testing and selling them, but would still hate baking them.  So a more realistic dream would be for me to have a pie truck.  I can taste test, sell and bake little pies and hopefully gain more dollars than weight doing so.  Of course, my star pie would be made from imported olallieberries from the central coast.  Nothing beats an olallieberry pie.  And the name of the truck?  Occu-pie Salt Lake City...

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