Tuesday, May 1, 2007

"blondie" cupcakes

so I took last Friday off. a mental health day, if you will. A day of me trying to catch up with my life. I firmly believe that everyone needs one of these every once in a while. Just a day to take naps, do laundry, watch bad daytime television, and not feel the least bit guilty of doing so on a weekday.

I had all the best intentions in the world – i was going to sleep in and go kickboxing before making cupcakes. Well, i never got around to kickboxing. I slept in, made coffee, surfed the web for a bit, and made cupcakes. There was some laundry done (and since we now own a really great and fantastic washer and dryer, doing laundry isn’t so much of a chore anymore), and there was an afternoon nap thrown in for good measure. I really needed that day. I plan on taking another one next month, because i have around 200 hours of accumulated vacation time and i really never take any.

i wanted to adapt Mr. B’s birthday cake into cupcakes. Mr. B’s birthday cake is two layers of chocolate chip brownie (“blondie”, actually; no chocolate in the batter) with caramel buttercream and caramel sauce. The only thing that i really had to change from the original recipe was the cooking time. I originally halved the buttercream recipe, thinking i wouldn’t need as much as the full-on cake required, but i was vastly mistaken. I only had enough for half the cupcakes. I ended up having to make more buttercream.


While the cupcakes were cooling, i made some spring rolls and sat in the yard for a bit. Spring rolls, my god, what a mess! I had no idea what i was doing with those wrappers, but the end result was tasty. And i used up the last of my tofu that needed to be eaten or thrown away (pan fried it a bit with some of that korean sauce and layered it in between cucumber sticks, glass noodles, and scallions).

I do think, though, that the final cupcake needs some visual lift. The original cake recipe has you making caramelized sugar bits to press into the sides of the finished cake, but i didn't include them for the cupcakes. I toyed with the idea of a caramel cage or a caramel sculpture of sorts either propped up or sitting on top of the cupcake, but never got around to it (by that point in the day, i wanted a drink).

These were well received all around. And when the exec chef at the boy’s work, who is a 2-time James Beard house invitee, says that your cupcakes are pretty fucking great, then you know you have a winner.

2 comments:

Ashley said...

Hey, I'm a "blondie"... bring me a cupcake.

Seriously, good for you taking a weekday off to chil-lax. We all work too hard and long. I have to keep telling myself "work is what I do but NOT who I am." Maybe I'll blog about it... :-)

french tart said...

one of my old managers once told me "work the job - don't let the job work you".