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6.5.10

Wishes and more

So I finally got around to celebrating my birthday. It all started over a week ago, when at the turn of the clock my family entered my room wearing fun party hats, little gifts covered with ribbon, helium balloons and my favorite chocolate cupcake from my favorite cupcake store in town.


Now since my birthday falls right in the middle of finals, and considering my best friend lives in another city, I had to make sure everyone would be available for the celebration that was well over a week after the actual birthday. Invitations were sent, phone calls were made, and the word had been spread about, yet no confirmations were made. See I believe that a good party involves home cooked food and desserts, and great company. I had wanted to live by the theory of "the more the merrier", and the lack of confirmations was going to transform me into one spiteful hostess. I had almost given up all hope, until my 3 closest friends (and only friends) who had confirmed all said no matter who showed up, they were there for me and for my big celebration!


After spending an emotional morning figuring out the logistics of my event, I decided to make all the food I wanted to eat and feed without taking into consideration the number of people who would be present. So there I was friday night, opening up my brand new birthday gift, and prepping for my brunch menu. I began with the cake. The cake has it's own story, for I had no responses whatsoever to this post here. Luckily for me, my sister made her decision clearly heard when I listed her the options.



The sound of the machine while it creamed my butter and sugar was music to my ears while I roamed about the kitchen measuring ingredients for the following recipe. I easily get irritated when I'm in a dirty kitchen, I find myself lost and easily angered when I can't find ingredients or the right instruments. Throughout all my baking adventures, I've realized the only person who can keep me calm throughout the process is my mother, who is a master cleaner. While I take hours getting the kitchen ready, my mother has the kitchen shining and sparkling within 10 minutes. On that Friday night however, I was in the kitchen without my mother's presence for the first half of my baking spree. When my mother arrived, she found a clean kitchen, a clean counter and a wonderfully scented house, but more than that, a very relaxed daughter, happy in her baking and not wanting her mother to interfere with the havoc she usually creates. Life was blissful!


While all the cake pans were in the oven, I began preparations for the cake icing which needed to be refrigerated overnight. Once that was done, I started making some creamy scones, which did not require the use of my kitchenaid *sniff sniff*. Since I wanted to serve my friends and family fresh scones, I flash froze them and kept them in the freezer until the next morning. After preparing the scones, I made a light buttermilk cake ideal for tea, which is amongst our most favorited cake in the family. I always decorate the cake with apples and strawberries making it look like a tart or an open pie more than a cake. While that was in the oven, I chopped all my fresh veggies and greens that would go in the omelette the next morning. By then it was almost 10h30. So far I'd used my new gift for 3 recipes in a span of 3 hours. I began cleaning up the little amount of mess there was left, and started wrapping up all the cakes that needed to be refrigerated until the next day. Once all was cleaned, dried and sparkling, I remembered chocolate cupcakes!


How could I possibly have forgotten to make you!? You have been there for me "for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health" you name all the vows you want, these chocolate cupcakes will always be there for me! Knowing I had already made way too much food for the 7 girls we'd be the next morning, I got my kitchenaid to start beating the butter and sugar together. While that was being creamed, I prepared the rest of my ingredients and started lining minuature cupcake molds with colorful lining. 10 minutes later, I was spooning batter into the prepared molds. My back was aching and my feet were in pain, but I had the biggest smile on my face. I was going to have my birthday party afterall.


Old Fashioned Chocolate Cupcakes
Adapted from Chokylit at http://cupcakeblog.com/

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup all purpose white flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla 
  1. Preheat oven to 375'F and either line 14 regular size cupcake molds, or approximately 55 mini cupcake molds with funky bright colored liners!
  2. Beat together butter and cream until light and fluffy and yummy (about 3 minutes). Add eggs, one at a time, beating about 30 seconds in between each addition. 
  3. In a separate bowl, combine and mix all dry ingredients. In a measuring cup, combine milk and vanilla.
  4. Starting with the dry ingredients, mix about 1/3 of the dry ingredients, alternating with the milk and vanilla mix. You should end with the remaining 1/3 of the dry ingredients. 
  5. Fill your cupcake liners about 2/3 full. 
  6. Bake for approximately 12-14 minutes if making mini cupcakes, or 16-18 if making regular sized cupcakes. Always test with a toothpick to make sure it comes out clean. I start checking my minis about 8 minutes into its baking time, or when I notice they're all nice and rounded ontop.
For those who paid attention to that last picture, you might have noticed two different icings on top of the cupcake, that is correct! I placed a dab of chocolate icing (left over from my Cocotte's birthday cake... to be posted soon) and covered it up with my buttercream icing which you'll find here.

Now for you rare readers out there, you might be curious about the recipes of all the good food I served at my birthday brunch, but worry not, they'll all come in time. Actually, since my parents ended up missing out, and mother's day is right around the corner, I'll get more pictures of practically the same menu... So be on the lookout for more posts!

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