Sunday, April 26, 2009

cupcakes and i

i don't get cupcakes.

i don't get why cupcakes made such a big hit in the american world of desserts. with so many great desserts out there with lots of intricacies and wonderful flavor combination, why oh why does a mediocre cake with a dollop of icing can get such a high reputation? i'm not a picky person... but when it comes to dessert, i can be quite a snob ^-^. the thing is... if i'm putting in so much calories into my body, it better be some damn good dessert i'm putting in. i resented cupcakes for quite some time; i avoided making it, and didn't care about eating it either. i said over and over again that the hype is going to go away... soon. but i was wrong. cupcake is still at large. people still love it. so i finally succumb.

however, if i am to serve or consume a cupcake, it better be droll-worthy. i'm not gonna settle with the standard grainy, super-heavy, all or partially made of shortening type of buttercream. it's gotta be lickalicious, smooth and melt in your mouth.

since i have been in a baking hiatus for a while, i decided to give my kitchen-aid some work-out this weekend ^_^. i tried two different butter cakes and one buttercream recipes. the chocolate cake didn't come out right. i think i didn't cream it enuf and it had some shrinkage issues. the yellow cake, on the other hand, was excellent. not overly sweet, not heavy like a typical butter cake, and moist! the best out of the three items, however, is the buttercream. oh my goodness, this buttercream is like... heaven. (okay maybe that's an overstatement. i've never been to heaven so i can't really make such comparison.) anyway, the point is.... it's good... totally lickalicious... and totally drool-worthy.

the combination of the two is just so-so. not sure if the cake has enuf structure to be a cupcake... it's wonderful by itself and maybe with a layer of buttercream. but then again, i finally get what the people are saying. cupcakes can be cute, especially if they're in the mini size. and it's convenience, since you don't have to use a knife or plates to serve it. and i guess, with a buttercream like this, i'm willing to compromise with the unrealistic ratio of cake to frosting ^_^.

on a more personal side... i guess i haven't really been myself lately. i got so caught up in being depressed about not being able to do what i love the most, which is baking, that i sunk deeply in this weird whiny mode. it took an outsider view to made me realize that i have turned into someone that i don't want to become. one sentence brought me back to reality: "i guess the grass is always greener on the other side, huh?". yeah... the grass is always greener on the other side if you're always looking outside your own lawn! i have been blaming on things that i can't have, that i forgot about all the things i do have. instead of working on improving my skill, i sulked. i blamed my unproductivity to lack of opportunity when in reality, i'm not even trying.

as Randy Pausch said on his last lecture, "the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something". instead of trying to break the walls, i've just been standing there. looking at the people that have made it through the walls. envious that they've made it through. blaming on the things that i didn't/couldn't have.

anyway, i'm done sulking. it's time to run again. yay!

credit: photography by Anthony Zung; recipes from the Cake Bible.