Sep 17, 2019

Rain. Cupcakes.


So that rain is Back in Sydney and while this is excellent news for the Warragamba Dam, it's the humans (myself, specifically) that are struggling.


After the magnificence that was Sunday's weather and that it enabled me to do in the great outdoors, I've found myself scuttling from one indoor location to the next all day today.  Dragging a pesky damp umbrella after me.


It wasn't that fun doing my run this morning on the treadmill but at least the dreadmill kept me at a pain-free pace as I ease into a week of recovery.    I won't deny, though, that I did enjoy clopping along in my red Hunter wellies.


Rainy days are not without their dramas.  I got 'the request' this morning from Master SSG.  The one for a batch of homemade cupcakes for school. To be made today for tomorrow's maths lesson on fractions.  Predictably,  routine and plan-ahead driven me went nuts as I tried to work out how to find the time to bake them whilst negotiating peak hour traffic and the rubbish collecting trucks who were both out for a bit of cheeky confrontation banter first thing in the morning..  And of course, I immediately went to Google to find myself an easy and fail-safe cupcake recipe.  Which I found on the Best Recipes site, link here.

What I love about this recipe is its precise beating instructions.  It literally takes under 10 minutes to put the batter together.   With thickened cream as its base, there's no need to spend ages trying to cream that block of butter you've just pulled from the fridge at Woolies together with the sugar.

I used my bottle of Aldi vanilla extract for the first time too this morning.  Disappointingly, the extract has the consistency of essence.  It's not that lovely thick syrup that Queens' is.


Luckily, I had my trusty old school ice cream scoop on hand to enable me to neatly fill my cup cake cases with fairly equal volumes of batter.


And here we are!  9 cup cakes (the recipe is meant to make a dozen).  Just as well there are only 9 in the class.  I'm just thinking through the numbers for tomorrow.  If each boy brings in a tray of baked goods... The sugar.  All.  That.  Sugar......



I braved the slightly flooded streets of the city in search of my hairdresser while those cupcakes cooled.  My left wrist is notable for its new kind of arm party... those coiled hair ties you can get at Kmart for $4 a pack (of five).  I've been pleasantly surprised to see that they haven't been defeated by my thick hair yet and actually spring back into their tightly coiled shape after use.  Instagram tells me you can heat them gently with your hairdryer if they do get a bit loose over time. and they'll bounce back into shape instantly.





I'm all set for Paris (a mere 16 days!!!  away now... can you believe it?!?!) with not only fresh locks but a stash of EVO samples so I don't have to endure the pain of 'hotel shampoo and conditioner' bold italics to reflect the shudder in my hairdresser's voice as he handed over my stash....

Meanwhile, back at cupcake HQ...


did you know that ice cream scoops can also be used to frost cupcakes?  Is there nothing this wonder gadget can't do?


All you need do is scoop up your frosting as you would ice cream, 'unscoop' it onto the cupcake and then swoosh things around a bit with the back of a spoon.  No fiddling around with piping bags and nozzles, barely any wastage of your frosting.  I like to think that the finished product has that rustic, homespun look.  Talented home bakers and decorators, look away or risk being offended at the disproportionate amount of satisfaction I'm taking in accomplishing the task of baking and frosting one batch of cupcakes....


Thanks to the generous provision of Woolworths, this is how our cupcakes ended up looking.  There's so much fraction knowledge to be applied to the decorations, don't you think?

Are you an expert cupcake maker?  Any top tips for a novice?  I'm so inspired by this first batch I might just send a tray of birthday cupcakes to class this December.  Which isn't all that far away come to think of it....



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