Friday, May 25, 2012

For Hire!

Baking is definitely a hobby - actually, an obsession.  I love the smell of rising cupcakes in the oven, and certainly the joy on people's (mostly my students') faces when I bring them to work or to a party.  My students often say I should go on Cupcake Wars - which is outrageous because I need a recipe in front of me the entire time and I double and triple check it (mostly the math if I am doubling or halving the recipe), and even then, I still manage to screw it up sometimes. My husband wants us to buy a food truck and sell away.  But for me, it's just a hobby.

However, I won't turn away someone who wants to hire me to make something special just for them!  I was delightfully surprised when a friend Facebooked me to see if I would be interested in making cupcakes for her daughter's 1st birthday party.  After some important discussion about flavors, she decided on Strawberry Lemonade cupcakes - perfect for a hot summer day (which we have been having the last few days) and even more perfect for a little girl's party!

From Half Baked - The Cake Blog

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup lemonade powder mix
1 cup milk
3 Tbsp lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)
1 Tbsp lemon zest (zest of 1 lemon)
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line your pan with your favorite cupcake liners!

In medium bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, lemonade powder, lemon zest).  Set aside.

In your stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add eggs, one at a time.  Beat well after each and scrape down the sides so that everything combines.

Add lemon juice and vanilla - mix well.

Add dry ingredients in 3 batches, alternating with 2  additions of milk.

Fill your liners evenly and bake for 20 minutes!

These are nice and tart.  And then topped with the frosting - a perfect combo to refresh on a hot summer day!

From Martha Stewart

I added a sour strawberry candy straw
1.5 cups fresh strawberries (rinsed, hulled, coarsely chopped)
4 large egg whites
1.25 cups sugar
1.5 cups unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons at room temp (unless it is like 400 degrees in your house, like it was in mine - then your frosting will be very runny...)

Puree strawberries in food processor.

Combine your egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl (of your standing mixer) over a pan of simmering water.  Whisk constantly by hand until the sugar is dissolved (should feel totally smooth when you rub between your fingers)

Put the bowl in the stand mixer and start whisking on low and gradually increase to medium/high until stiff peaks form.  Continue mixing until it is fluffy and glossy and completely cooled off from stove time! (about 10 minutes)

Start to add the butter a few tblsps at a time.  Mix well after each.  Then scrape down bowl and switch to paddle attachment - mix for 2 minutes on low to get all air bubbles out.  Add strawberries and beat until combined.

The frosting started drooping right away - "room temp"was just too hot for my butta.  But they tasted delish!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I'm Legit - too legit to quit.

For Christmas (I know, a LONG time ago...) my sweet husband worked with a dear friend to create business cards for me for my blog and baking.  I am not really interested in creating a business - I mean, I like to bake but I'm not THAT great.  I follow other people's recipes and make them yummy and pretty (well, pretty most of the time at least!)  In addition to the business cards, he ordered me magnets, a coffee mug and stickers to put on boxes when I do bake for special occasions!

I am very thankful for a sweet and creative husband who supports my messing up the kitchen, throwing crazy fits when things don't turn out, while also providing lots of ideas and inspiration for my next projects!


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