good morning! well, afternoon. i spent most of my morning adding things to my etsy shop; my closet is packed to the gills and beginning to overflow onto my desk, my chair, my floor, so it's time to dig in deep and get rid of some things, no matter how attached i may feel. i'll post in a bit about the stuff up for sale - if you're interested in anything, leave a comment and i'll hold it for you.
as for today, i'm combatting another rainy, chilly day with one of my favorite outfits of all time. this little red dress has been in my closet, completely untouched and all but forgotten, for probably two years; it was a little big when i bought it, and by the nature of the way i organize my closet - by color, starting with red and ending with black - it's all the way to one side of the closet, and gets kind of hidden by the wall. it fits much better now that i've put on a few pounds, and the strength of the corduroy allows me to cover it with the mess of flower brooches i've amassed, via etsy, bonanza and a few thrift stores. my new favorite collection.
dress: on sale at anthropologie (a long time ago)
brooches: thrifted, etsy'd, bonanza'd
tights: man on the street
someone asked for the cupcake recipe, so here it is! it's adapted from the vanilla cake we made at the bakery where i used to work. without further ado -
2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter , softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 Tbsp. vanilla bean paste
2 large eggs , at room temperature
1 1/2 cups ice cold water
3 large egg whites , at room temperature
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
preheat oven to 325. sift together flours, baking powder, soda, and salt; set aside. cream together the butter and shortening until soft and no chunks remain; add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. add egg and vanilla and mix juuuuust until combined. in three additions, add flour, then water, then flour, then water, then flour and mix until just barely combined. whisk up your egg whites and cream of tartar in a separate bowl until they are white and frothy and no yellow remains - NO peaks, though. fold this in to your cake batter and scoop it into cupcake cups, about 2/3 of the way full. makes about 30 cupcakes. bake for 10-12 minutes, until they just start to turn golden and a toothpick comes out clean. i actually don't know how many minutes this was - i just kept an eye on them.
2 cups milk
1/4 cup white sugar
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
cherry whiskey or brandy (optional)(but highly recommended)
put milk and 1/4 cup of sugar on the stove on medium - high. meanwhile, whisk the remaining ingredients together until they're pale yellow and well combined. once the milk starts to boil, take it off the stove and add it to your egg mixture, bit by bit, whisking furiously all the while, until it's combined; pour the whole thing back into the pot and whisk it on medium heat until it starts to BOIL. once it's boiling, KEEP IT GOING for another 2 minutes at this heat to get rid of the starchy taste from the cornstarch. pour it through a seive into a bowl or tupperware, cover it with plastic, and let it cool.
take about 1 cup of strawberries and cut them into pretty small dice. mix this with about 1/2 of your pastry cream, and set aside.
take a big star pastry tip and insert it into the cupcakes; twist, and pull. you'll pull out a little tube of vanilla cake. you can keep this for munching, or making a trifle with your leftover pastry cream and strawberries! yum. put your pastry cream/strawberry mixture into a piping bag and fill the holes you've made. ta da! i plan on topping these with a lavender buttercream, or maybe even just whipped cream for the sample ones.
all right, that's all from me for today. stay warm, stay dry, and i'll see you tomorrow!