Posted by: njbrown | February 6, 2010

Cupcakes for Valentine’s

February 6, 2010 

Having to bake for others puts pressure on, so how I am going to do 30 cupcakes for my staff for our pre-Valentine’s luncheon on Thursday has me thinking day and night of decorating options.  This morning, I’m going to do another batch of the chocolate cupcake recipe I first tried (the one using applesauce) which is slightly healthier than the one from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.  By the time they are done – baked but not decorated – the cake decorating supply store will be open, and I can see what kind of cute paper cups they have and their variety of sugars, sprinkles, etc.  I had thought of topping each cupcake with a red-foil wrapped chocolate heart, but when I went to the chocolatier, he said he wasn’t selling them this year because the quality of chocolate was poor.  Instead, I bought good-quality chocolate hearts (without foil) that he makes.  However, this now means the cupcakes will be prettier with a pink icing (peppermint, I think) on which to put the chocolate hearts.  I hope to find pink sparkly sugar to sprinkle, and plan to use the delicious vegan ganache as the first layer of icing for each cupcake.  In a world filled with problems, this is far from a 10 – but everyone’s pressure is different.  After many years of not touching a piping bag, I am piping again – simple swirls of icing , but it is surprisingly satisfying. 

Cupcakes had always seemed slightly boring to me, but now each one is the opportunity to make a creative gem – small, not too high in calories, portable, etc.  I really have missed something all these years. 

More later… 

It is now about 4 30 in the morning.  Having gotten awake with visions of cupcakes dancing in my head, I decided to finish this blog.  The varieties of sprinkles and other adorable decorations in the cake decorating aisle of the craft store were amazing.  Obviously in this era of non-stop work, many people are still finding time to bake and decorate all kinds of things.  I came home with $40 worth of different paper cups, sprinkles, disposable decorating bags, etc. and set to work doing my trial decorations.  I now know why Julia didn’t do cupcakes – the sugar sprinkles did not stay on my carefully piped rosettes and strayed on to the ganache.  (I’d decided not to completely cover the ganache with peppermint icing.)  I’d shaken them out of the little bottle, but perhaps applying a pinch by hand will work better.  As George looked at the identical ones I’d made, he said, "You could decorate each one differently."  Even after 37 years of marriage, thoughts of homicide run through your head at times like that.  I’m comforted that Mrs. Billy Graham replied when asked whether she’d ever considered divorce, "Divorce never – homicide several times" (or words to that effect).  I may experiment with some shaved chocolate or chocolate curls, but I have all those chocolate hearts I bought and don’t want them to go to waste (or to George’s waist). 

He wasn’t up to trying to take an artful picture, so we’ll have another whirl before the luncheon. 



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