Wednesday, May 14, 2014

#8 The Noah: Aka The Orgasmatron.

In the wee write up before this recipe, Allison writes about how this particular cupcake is named after a friend of theirs who originally came up with the name the "Orgasmatron." She explains that in an effort to keep their side walk menu PG (boo) they named it after him, The Noah.  After inhaling said cupcake, I refuse to acknowledge this mouthgasm as The Noah, as I feel its namesake was right. It is the fucking Orgasmatron! It's the Viagra of cupcakes!

I needed a cigarette after, and I don't even smoke.

The day started, shockingly with me not being hungover.  I repeat, I was NOT hungover.  I know right?!?! In fact, I was positively buoyant.  New hair, new glasses and finally finished making my first ever fitted shirt. Also I had managed to liberate Li's cowboy boots.  I was hanging out with my people, baking cakes and I didn't want to die. Yay me.  To make things even better, Awesome Friedel was back with her amazing camera with  "delicious dessert" settings.  We could actually look half decent again, to be fair, this particular day, my hair is doing strange things (the camera can only help so much,) but fuck it, today was going to be a great day.

Girl be trippin' if she thinks she is keeping my shit kickers.

It's the last of the "bacon" chapter *sad trombone* but ending with a bang.  The Orgasmatron is an apple cupcake with goat's cheese buttercream fosting, browned butter and bourbon sauce and candied bacon. Come on!  This was going to be legend.........wait for it, as you are going to have a heart attack at the end of this.... ary.

Doogie is currently playing Hedwig on Broadway. I am filled with musical happiness.

So apple cupcake was made.  Unlike NPH (if you don't know who that is, then jump of a cliff, seriously do it.  Neil Patrick Harris has taken wearing the suit to a whole new level.) this is not the sexiest of cupcakes. Don't get me wrong, it was delicious, but lets face it, like a waitress in Hooters, this bad boy is all about what's up top.
Delicious appley apple cake.  (Fun fact I just had to look up how to spell appley)
Today's tits level was fekkin enormous.  When it comes to a boob off, I am left looking like a twelve year old boy in comparison. Li was also sporting an amusing T-shirt (close up later.)  It made me giggle anyway.  Hmmmmmm meat. Moving on. I am sure we mise-en-place'd of sorts but there is no photographic evidence of this.  Sorry, but to be honest we were just very eager to get to the good part......

Li is obsessed with my teeny tiny grater. I totally need this grater in my life. 

 ....The sauce.  This is the good part. Oh, oh, oh this sauce.  Even now I am trying to thing of something to compare it to.  Every analogy I come up with, seems to fall short.  It made my friend Jess over at Aesthetic Fauna almost weep.  She then proceeded to put it on everything from our coffee to a back up cake she had in the freezer.  Yeah, that's how we roll. I rock up to her house in Amsterdam with a bag of left over frosting and sauce, she whips out some emergency cake.

So while the best fucking sauce in the universe was being created, toddlers happened.  Awesome Friedel's husband rocked up with my future son-in-law and Po.  Clearly Po needed some deliciousness too.  God damn you ovaries.  *harnesses ovarian finger guns*

Hear that? It's the sound of three women's ovaries collectively exploding. 

Goats cheese frosting up next.  President make a fine and reasonably priced goats cheese and a splendid choice for our frosting.  The goat on the package though, has a somewhat Mona Lisaesque expression.  It wigged Li out.

I ain't buying what this satanic-looking goat is selling.

Those eyes follow you, she looks like she is about to eat your soul. The goat, not Li.

What the hell am I looking at??????

Cupcake batter into the cases, spillage licked (hygiene first) and fluffy deliciousness comes out of the oven. Yummy chemistry at work.

There is a tiny towel on my finger. Just go with it people.

 As you can see we are now on cupcake number eight from the book, but making French buttercream frosting has become our thing.  We have this shit down.  (Personally I think we are keeping butter manufacturers in business with this endeavour.)  So it came as a bit of a shock when disaster struck.  The frosting was not "doing the thing."  Sloppy coagulated gunk was flying out of Woody as a disturbing rate. Oh, HELL no.

Butter!  We needed more butter!  When shit starts to split, add more butter.  Back up butter was retrieved from the fridge (yes your read that right, back up butter.) An intense ten mins followed with Li pacing up and down, hovering like an expectant father.  There was real concern.  Together we chanted "do the thing, do the thing" as another half a pack of butter was added.  Slither by slither it came together.

Tits level: nervous concern.
The relief was palpable.  Goats cheese added and happy happy joy joy ensued.  Thank you Ren and Stimpy.  Oh lord have mercy, I thought blue cheese frosting was amazing.  This shit is off the chart.

CANDY ALL THE BACON!  Or at least try. Today was not to be our day.  Once more complacency and all round cockiness struck.  We burned the bacon, it was a bacony carbonised mess.  Li marched off to the shame cave to retrieve the back up bacon.  (Yeah, that too.)  Li still hasn't forgiven herself.  Enough self flagellation to make the Opes Dei wince.  Never mess with a Puerto Rican and her pork. Back-up bacon. You're welcome for this pro-tip. 

I had to be coaxed out of the shame cave for this photo. I nearly turned in my Boricua card.
A sadder-sounding "wepa" has never been uttered. 

This is how it should be done.  The various stages of caramelised Sus Domesticus.  The common pig to you and me.  See how smart I am?

This is what happens when you get it right.  Two grown ass women, licking a window. (Let's face it folks, pride and dignity went out of the window when we started this gig)

Tits level: just give them an an area code already!

Lookie, Lookie.  This is how they came together, when everything finally went right.  Oh so very many feels. By far and away, this is my favourite so far.  That sauce will be a part of my life forever.

Jesus in a jumpsuit these were amazing.

And this is why it should be named The Orgasmatron.  Look at that face.  Nothing outside the bedroom should be able to bring out that expression.

I am SO glad my Mamas is not online. 

As is our tradition, toddlers first.  So much sugar, but the candied bacon is for me.  Sharing only goes so far.

Luke, on the other hand is notorious for his bacon thievery.  Good man.

Aaaaaand my ovaries exploded again. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

# 7 (sort of)The Bea Arthur: A golden cupcake for a golden girl.

I want to start by saying sorry.  I have been out of sorts lately.  I can put this down to many factors.  The moon?  Possibly.  Hormones? Almost definitely.  Mostly thought, I just couldn't be arsed.  I could come up with some a veritable slew of spectacular lies for you.  For instance, I mused about the fact that I was sent into witness protection due to a witnessing a maniacal mafia shoot out, but this is The Hague.  The closest we get to that in out neighbourhood is a show down over douchebag parking and or some renegade wisteria.

Seriously, The Hague, I am from the ghetto and know bad parking.  
I have even put out a chair to save my dug-out parking spot during massive winter snowstorms... 
...Ya'll have evolved douchebag parking into an extreme sport.

So with out further ado, we marched on.  High on our success of the Handmade Market, and nauseous from the sheer scale of butter that was used to accomplish this (seriously folks, it was enough butter to give Paula Deen pause) we took a break.  A wee hiatus no less.

You have no idea the wealth of Paula Deen memes I went through.
Paula Deen is totally meme-worthy. I especially like the photo of her riding a stick of butter. 
Leaping like young gazelles through the savannah we frolicked back to the kitchen once more.  When I say frolicked, I may mean staggered, possibly crawled, definitely whimpered.  Once more dear readers, I had made some questionable decisions the night before.  There was wine and, well more wine. (SO much freaking wine people).  Thinking that my new hair cut and some make-up would pull me together into some form of functioning adult I dragged my sorry ass to my front door to find Li, standing there radiant, positively eager.  Not a fucking whiff of the previous evenings shenanigans evident on her beaming face.  Naturally I wanted to stab it.  

I love Zoe even when she wants to kill me in the face. Totally true. 
I really AM that person in the morning you hate. 

Valiant efforts were made by (a possibly still drunk) me, to heroically "man up".  Frankly though, every time I bent over I wanted to die.  Repeat to yourself, Dutchess Drunky McHangover - "It seemed like a good idea at the time."

It's now that I probably mention that it was Good Friday. (Heathen.)  Li was going to spend Easter with her family and wanted to make a specific cupcake out of sequence.  (Occasionally we have been known to actually spend time with our families.)  The Bea Arthur. A black coffee (oh how I needed this) and chocolate cupcake, with cheesecake buttercream frosting and an espresso ganache.  

Pleij family holiday party! Aw YISSSS! My Dutch family rocks my face off and our seasonal parties are awesome. So much laughter and good food and general gezelligeheid. Man I wish this word existed in English. Festive and cosy just does not begin cover it. 

If you don't know who Bea Arthur is, then I don't know how to feel about you. (And you are officially dead to me. Tough love on this one all the way). The Golden Girls.  Go and watch it and then feel bad about yourself.  She was epic. Acerbic, sharp, fabulous and most of all a comic genius. Bea played Dorothy, the much maligned and resigned daughter of Sophia.  I tried looking for some quotes for you, but I lost an hour, laughed my ass off and still couldn't choose.  I totally understand why Allison Robicelli has dedicated an entire chapter of her book to these amazing women.  A show so far ahead of its time, so wildly inappropriate and wonderfully endearing it makes me smile when ever I think about it. This is how I imagine Me, Li and a few other friends will end up.  

I hope to be awesome as the Golden Girls when I grow up. 

Back to the cupcakes.  We mise-en-place'd once more.  Well we half arsed it by throwing everything on the counter and checking to see if we had enough.  We did.

It looked a little something like this.  Quality all the way.
And for the record that is the SEARS Tower. Save that Willis shit for the tourists. 
The executive decision was made for me to take on a more supervisory role.  So perched in my little nook, and having tried to fortify myself with home made chocolate chip cookies (the best damn cookie ever! Try it) I tried to be a team player.  Yes folks, that is me. Wedged between my baking drawer of shame and the dishwasher.  There huddled up on the floor with the crumbs, squished toddler debris and the dog hair.  It's where I belonged.

Oh, HELL no.

Li, tried very hard to hide her disgust.  Not so much at my hangover or lack of any constructive or discernible help, more at the intermittent whimpering and frankly the rank smell of stale alcohol that refused to shower out.  

Totally not even silently judging her. Also this is my mean face. Stop laughing. 

Reinforcements were needed.  Thankfully, Maisy answered the call.  Lured with the promise of cookies, cupcakes and the opportunity to openly mock a very weakened me, she skipped over, and took up the gauntlet (ok, well sieve, but you get the gist - that's what I get when I try to wax lyrical.)  Maisy, is a far superior me.  She also has magnificent hair.

Maisy is freaking hilarious. You need to know this. 
And her name is MAISY, how awesome is THAT?!

Time stands still for no hangover, so onwards my curly counterparts marched.  In a flurry of flour, chocolate, eggs and coffee, magical things happened as I loitered uselessly in the background like tits on a fish. To be honest it could have been a scene out of Disney's Fantasia in my kitchen, and I wouldn't have noticed.  (I now have an image of Li in Mickey Mouse ears with dancing mops and hippos.  Jesus that shit was trippy) Vainly I tried to figure out how to again become part of humanity and avoid having Li drive my head into the mixer, but to no avail. So. TEMPTING.

The smell of coffee and chocolate magically blended together was biblical.  It permeated my home and wrapped it up in a warm snuggley blanket of comfort and security.  Unfortunately I felt like my head needed to be down the toilet (potentially with Li's hand shoving it in there,) so my normal bowl licking duties were sacrificed for the sake of public hygiene and the fact that I couldn't peel myself out of the fetal position I seem to have found myself in.

Busy things happened, Busy things of which I had no part. My kitchen was a hive of activity as I observed from the safety of my chair.  Better for all involved for me to have hidden behind a cute toddler and pretend to parent.  I am not proud of this, but I'm also not above using my daughter as a human shield.

This is the result of the afternoons baking.  This oh so delicious and, sadly for me, a very unappreciated delight. The espresso ganache was magnificent.  The cheesecake frosting, a perfect rounding-off to balance and lighten the weight of the coffee and chocolate.  (The irony that I use the word lighten to describe the frosting is not lost on me.)  I did manage to pull my head out of my ass long enough to pipe the frosting, but this is where my input concluded.

See? She was not completely useless, just mostly useless! 

It finally ended with me having finally lost the will to live and praying for the sweet release of death. Monkey was packed off to nap and I finished up here. Spooning with the dog on the sofa under a pile of blankets and shame, I despondently vowed to never drink again.

Spolier alert: She is totally going to drink again.

Ok so I may exaggerate, but the guilt for my utterly ineffectual contribution to the day lasted as long as my misery and regret.  (Also until the next bottle of wine was opened.) Yeah, CALLED THIS. I'm like all psychic and shit. 

I am told that the cupcakes were a triumphant success.  I will take Li's word for this.

Please take my word on this. Happy Pleij's were happy and it was a great Easter/Mama Pleij birthday celebration. That's good enough for me.