To be fair, I was not super excited about this next cupcake. There didn't seem to be so much special going on. Li was pumped about finally being able to use the "Rapey Oil", and poaching pears in wine (to be fair, she gets excited about anything to do with wine), but I want my cupcake to ooze sex appeal. It just didn't look sexy enough for me. Oh how wrong I was. (Shocker!)
|This is apparently what a Tarte Bourdaloue looks like. Li: "That shit is delicious."|
Li: "When I lived in Chicago I was referred to as "the tornado." This seems an understatement to me
Moving on. I was up at the crack of a sparrow's fart to go to the market. Not a place I love, but I am cheap and shit is cheap there. And fresh. And cheap. Did I mention cheap? I spent an hour warring with myself at 8.30 am over the shitty weather/nice and warm in side vs cheap fresh groceries. Cheap won. Granny trolley in hand I set off in the gale force winds. On the plus side I took the car and not my bike as I am a lazy bitch. Sorry Friedel. Two types of fresh pears were purchased. I have no clue what Anjou or Bosch pears are and frankly trying to describe them to any market trader in my crappy Dutch would be worse than a root canal with out anaesthetic. (Boom another similie). So I bought Conference and ("the fat ones") Doyenné du Comice They are French and hard.
After a bit of experimentation we went with the Conference. (Take that Frenchy) They were just under ripe and not too juicy. We then trucked on with our mise-en-place. Serious stuff this.
|As you can see. Serious face.|
I am a convert to the whole "cup" system. I am European and I love Metric. When baking though, bloody hell its a damn sight easier to use cups. (Note to you other European ignoramuses, this is not a "mug" or a dainty little china cup with saucer, this is an actual unit of measurement. Who thought it up? Buggered if I know. "'Muhrica!" Thank you Li. Anyway, it galls me to say it, but it really is easier.)
|Li, sporting her silth like black, low and wide. (I could insert many puns, but she scares me)|
|Me with my, so pretty melamine from the local super market.|
Li wanted to think of hers as the Bruce Lee of cups. I was comfortable with my "Chuck Norris."
Li: "Why are there no jokes about Bruce Lee? Because Bruce Lee is no fucking joke."
It was at this point, (mid mise-en-place) that I needed to parent.
|Tired? Not at all. This is Bluey. It is the corner stone of her existence, and clearly the love needed to be spread.|
What is the whole point of mise-en-place? Well, it is to avoid incidents like finding out you have no frosting materials, doing and emergency run to the grocery store in gale force winds, returning and then finding out you don't have enough eggs. This clearly happens to other people and not a part of this narrative in any way.
Our place is now mise'd so lets get this shit rolling. Injuries were sustained (it would appear that New York cupcakes are as hostile as New Yorkers. See what I endure for you people?) I was stabbed in a random pear incident. It was traumatic.
Li: "These cupcakes should come with a safe word. I chose potato."
|Li is obsessed with this mini grater. It is super cute.|
Li is so very proud of her salt. I have no idea why, but I will give it to her.
Li: "I can't be the only one who goes on vacation and brings back salt." Yes, yes you can.
Pears grated, strained, pressed (sort of) and toweled (with a surprising amount of delicious juice), we added the sugar and mixed that shit.
Surprisingly, it wasn't as juicy as we thought it would be. Next up, we added the "rapey" (giggidy) oil, then mixed in the twice-sieved (yeah, that's how we roll) flour and other gubbings. And finally, the wonderfully yellow-jumpsuited (with black stripes and no cameltoe) egg. We beat those like Bruce Lee beat Chuck Norris in "Way of the Dragon" and then added them to the batter.
Li: "See? No joke!"
We expected this to be sloppy, but no! It was perfection. Into the oven. We are quietly confident.
|Half-baked. Like our preparation. But looking amazeballs.|
Li: "Y'all are still pissed we won the Revolution." Nope, not so much.
Anxiety levels cranked up with the pressure of the frosting. The cupcakes came out of the oven in all their fruity glory. We needed to do them justice. Last week's debacle is still fresh in our minds, and our confidence slightly shaken, we soldiered on with trepidation.
Are you excited?
Butter, marscapone, and cream all added to the bowl, and we beat the living shit out of it. We beat it like the Americans just beat the Russians at Olympic hockey. (Li's husband Rene: "Muhrica, pew pew pew" - he is not even American, it's adorable.) It was promising.
It was actually looking how it was supposed to. 1 cup of powdered sugar later..... (Yes we only did a half batch, the cowards that we are.)
"LET THERE BE FROSTING" *insert Händel Hallelujah from the Messiah here*
All hail the frosting bitches!
|Creamy, fluffy, buttery goodness.|
|Ours! Mon dieu! Ooh lala. (Li was super surprised that the French actually say this)|
Slightly different presentation, but I think we delivered.
|The proof is in the tasting, or in our case, the inhaling.|
|"Mother of God!"|
Li's face says it all. Yeah, we did it.
I want to thank the Robicelli's for their advice and for also just being super cool. Li had now peeled herself off the ceiling and is trying to "handle her shit".
It's a work in progress.
In summation; Yes, this cupcake may look innocent. You may be inclined to skip over it to the sexier recipes. I am very glad that we are doing this in order and not cherry picking. It has to be said that this was not my favourite to look at, but I so very much enjoyed it. I would really love to tackle the French buttercream frosting but as nobody has yet come forward to sponsor us (I am looking at you KitchenAid,) it will have to wait. Come on, we are investing the next year of our lives in this. Yes 2014 is the Year of the Cupcake (and possibly the gym, and the back boob).
Anything you would like to add Li?
"Next week's cupcake is where it's at. The Car Bomb."
Thank you for reading and see you next week. Guinness, chocolate, whisky. A match made in my belly.