Sunday, April 21, 2013

Buttermilk Cupcakes and Believing

Hasn't this just been one hellacious week ? The Boston Marathon Bombing; the ricin threat in Washington DC and the horrific explosion in West, Texas.  I couldn't bear to read the online news this morning-sometimes it's just too much.  I cannot even imagine what those involved have been going through.  I can only offer my thoughts and prayers and keep them in my heart.

Last night when J and I were out walking, we passed two little 8 year old boys playing in a front yard.  Just seeing the innocence in their faces pierced my heart and took my breath away.  I don't have children but I thought about the mother inside that house, cleaning up after dinner, doing all those little things that we take for granted.  I tried to imagine myself with those two little boys and it hurt to think about how quickly life can change.  How in an instant that sweet little scene of the two boys playing could turn into an unfathomable emptiness. My heart goes out to everyone whose life has been changed drastically by the events of this week. Even more importantly this week has been another reminder of how important it is not to take anything for granted-reach out and tell someone every chance you can how much you love them or value them. And believe that as corny as it may sound good will always triumph over evil. And the number of good people far outnumber the bad.  Go out and share your goodness and enjoy your life to the fullest.

I started the baking process for these cupcakes before the bad guy was captured by the amazing law enforcement community of Boston.  My heart wasn't in them when I started and now I am so grateful for how it ended. Peace and love to you all.

Buttermilk Cupcakes: 
Nigella Lawson's 'Heavenly Buttermilk  Cake' from Paris Loves Pastry
With the sweet little containers I used, I got 14 cupcakes from this recipe

Ingredients: 1 ⅔ cups all-purpose-flour 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder ½ teaspoon baking soda ¼ teaspoon salt ¾ cups + 2 tablespoons buttermilk (or you can use ⅓ cup plain yogurt mixed with ½ cup low-fat milk) 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract ½ cups soft unsalted butter ¾ cup sugar 3 large eggs room temperature

- Preheat the oven to 350˚F
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt together into a bowl and set aside. Pour the buttermilk into a measuring cup and stir in the vanilla. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until it's light and fluffy. Reduce the speed  to low and add the eggs one at a time, beating for 30 seconds between additions. At this point the batter will look like it's breaking but don't worry -the flour will bring it together.  Add alternating increments of the flour mixture and the vanilla-buttermilk, blending well after each addition, ensuring that you finish with the addition of flour; this should take 3 to 5 minutes.
- Fill the cupcake liners ¾ full and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Chocolate Buttermilk Frosting

(Makes about 4-5 cups)
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
2 sticks butter, at room temperature
5 cups (20 ounces) powdered sugar
1/4 cup (3/4 ounce) cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup buttermilk

In a large bowl, cream together the melted chocolate and butter until smooth and creamy. Add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla, and begin mixing. Slowly add in the buttermilk until the frosting reaches your desired spreading consistency. If the frosting is too stiff, add a few more drops of buttermilk.

PS I saw these sweet little cupcake holders over on Sonia's blog,click HERE.  She has a PayPal account and shipped them from Malaysia so the postage is actually more than the cost of the containers.  I searched the Internet for them but she is the only one I could find who was selling them. Check out her store on her website-very reliable and quick response and shipping.