I most certainly has been a while since I posted - hasn't been that long since I cooked or tried something new (today I made Chocolate and Vanilla cup cakes from scratch - like the batter and the icing - this is a funny thing. My daughter asked me about the cake I made for her birthday - she asked if I had made it all from scratch or if I had just decorated it. The truth is I rarely if ever bake a cake from scratch and it usually comes down to two things I have to consider (1) why I am I baking the cake and (2) what allergies am I dealing with? Now the first question is usually I'm baking a cake for a party or event (like the reason that I was making cup cakes today) or I am baking a cake because frankly I need a surface to decorate - if I am just making a cake to practice with I'm not too concerned about the cake itself and need to ensure that I have a relatively good surface to work on so frankly the effort comes in to the decorating and for under $2 I can just add some water and eggs and be on my way to cake. This brings me to the second question - dealing with allergies. I have been dealing with cooking some things gluten free since 2003 so some time now. However, with the monkey in school I not only have to contend with people who are gluten free but of course there is always the nuts that have to be avoided (and at one point a vegan - frankly I'm glad I don't have to accommodate the vegan any more it was rough). Now my general policy when making food for an event is to be all inclusive - make something so that everyone can eat it (this may come from some of my own food issues). So when dealing with the GF cakes frankly they tend to be much easier to make with a mix than from scratch - although I am going to start venturing more into the GF baking. So today I actually only had to contend with a nut allergy and frankly I looked at the boxes of the mix and the cheaper ones were "may contain" and the more expensive ones would have been ok. This circles back to the monkey who has been almost taunting me that I need to be cooking more - so I put down the mixes and made the decision to do them from scratch.
I don't have any pictures - but I made basic vanilla and chocolate cupcakes (they were fantastic!) The white ones turned out to be a little dryer only because I couldn't find something to test them with so I let them bake longer than necessary. Next time I make the chocolate I am going to sub out espresso or coffee and then fill them with a Khalua mixture of some sort and then top them with my Bailey's icing (OMG new discovery - adult only icing that is AMAZING and uses Bailey's in place of milk or water - OMG so good!)
In any event this is a long post not actually about cupcakes it is about life. I think January is always a time of new beginnings and of learning things. I often haven't seen that change until later on in the year or even in life. But this January I made a hard decision that for a lot of reasons I had to look for a new job. Now I LOVE my current job - frankly speaking it makes me so happy I didn't think I would ever want to leave it - but it's funny how the things in life you love can open other doors for you. Well as a result of that decision I have found a new job and I start it in a couple of weeks and I would have never had the opportunity to be the successful candidate if it wasn't for my current job. It just makes you sit back and think and reflect on life and the truth is in all of the good that is going on around me right now and the positive steps in my life the thing that made me the happiest was frantically trying to make some cupcakes.
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