Let this be on record: I HATE pregnancy insomnia. Hate it. Seriously, what is up with that? Incubating body, exhausted by the act of spawning, and yet no sleep?
Well, I’ve made a determination. If I’m going to be awake, at least I’m going to be productive. I’ve been meaning to find the time to answer some questions from my Facebook page regarding a FABULOUS gig I recently completed. This awake time filled with deathly silence turns out to be just about right.
Ya’ll may remember my ambition to give the world a cupcake? Back in 2011 our New Year’s resolution was to learn how to make gourmet cupcakes. (What better way to achieve world domination by bringing happiness to the masses. I mean, who doesn’t love a cupcake?!) This endeavor has taken us on an incredibly fun journey into a new art form. We’ve had a blast discovering a new talent.
Because of this recently acquired skill, several weeks ago, I was offered a gig to make cupcakes for a wedding. I absolutely adore the Barney family so I jumped at the chance to spread my own brand of ‘Sparkles and Sunshine’ in spite of being what most would consider ‘very’ pregnant.
With the exception of a nearly disastrous frosting fiasco, Sunshine and I were able to pull it off…
Candied lemons and limes were an ideal embellishment to the wedding colors of sunflower yellow with muted greens and turquoise.
These are pretty simple to do and add a touch of elegance. Mental note: fewer lemons candied properly but almost all the lime slices worked out beautifully.
I’ve had several people ask me about the recipes I used for the cake. Yes, they were made from scratch, creating a very much superior cake to a boxed cake mix. I used both dark chocolate cake and a yellow cake recipes from this cookbook:
I HIGHLY recommend it. It is the best cookbook I have found. With the exception of a really lousy chocolate chip cookie, every recipe, cooking tip and tidbit of culinary wisdom is fantastic. These particular recipes use either sour cream or buttermilk so they are deliciously moist.
(You can find the recipe for TATK’s dark chocolate cupcakes posted online here.)
As for frosting, we opted for a simple buttercream. Once the frosting is completely mixed, you can add specialty flavors to give the cupcakes added depth. We opted for three flavors to go along with the colored frostings, Bavarian Cream, Creme De Menthe and Champagne.
AND for the Pièce de résistance, finished cupcakes ought to have a name. (This is one of my favorite parts.) It gives cupcakes a bit of personality. Named for the lovely bride and paying homage to a song I grew up with, they were named ‘Sunshine on a Cloudy Day‘.
It reminds me of being a child and dancing to the ‘Mamas and the Papa’, very much loved by my parents. This song in particular came to mean, for me, that it really doesn’t matter what the weather is like outside. If the right people are in your life, you’ll always find sunshine.
So there you have it. The secrets to my cupcake success. Happy creating!
PS… Word to the Wise: Make the frosting the night before the event BUT DO NOT, under no uncertain terms, chill your frosting in the refrigerator after preparing it. You might just find yourself a panicked mess, massaging a piping bag filled with rock hard frosting while desperately whispering sweet nothings to it. In the end, the heater in your car can be a lifesaver!