Friday, May 13, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes and other such delectables

It is hot and my camera isn’t working. We made Red Velvet Cupcakes in the evening, braving the sweltering sweltering heat of the kitchen, and the hall and the loo – to which I had to rush every 3 minutes to wash face/hands, wishing I could dive into the bath – for what turned out to be the most fabulously good cause. They were chocolate, they were a warm warm red, they had perfectly smooth, rounded cupcake crusts that gave way to lusciously moist, cocoa-ey insides. In short they could make you purr, even as you first glimpsed them sitting elegantly on the baking tray, crowned with a pale, buttercream icing rose. Gorgeous. It made thoughts of the blistering heat melt away. Need I say more?

There’s something about cooking which is possibly, even more satisfying than eating. It’s as though you’ve let loose unto the world a little Frankenstein monster of your own – it looks perfect, the knife’s come out clean, no doughy bits adhering to it, the aroma floods the house and you’re hopping from one foot to another in anticipation – it’s heaven, but deathly scary. What it boils down to is that moment in which you take the very first bite, when the scent of warm, rich cake fills your head, when the first luscious mouthful greets your clamouring tastebuds and [hopefully] you sigh in resounding pleasure and contentment, headily intoxicated by the very thing you have shaped by your own hands.

Fun! The only worrisome aspect of the making and baking of all these winsome delectables, I have found, I that while they mostly always taste alright [unless you’ve blundered unforgivably] they tend to come apart at the seams when you want them to be looking perfectly picture perfect. The other day a friends cheesecake fell straight out of the caketin, perfectly solid, leaving, however, the unfortunate graham cracker base clinging loyally onto the tin. I called her shortly after the tragic incident occurred – the phone was answered by one exceedingly disgruntled individual, snorting like a baby rhinoceros ready to charge she managed to choke into the receiver that her beautiful mother’s day project had fallen apart. She wanted to throw it all away out of sheer brokenhearted fury. After some deliberation, however, we concluded that the only thing to be done was put them in little ramekins by the spoonful, with the disengaged base sprinkled generously above and below the glutinous dessert. By the time I went over in the evening, the lost cause had morphed into the most adorable little cuppy desserts with a drizzle of chocolate sauce and little kitkat sticks that made the already perfect cheesecake irresistible. Which just confirms the fact that one cannot give up on their babies, even if they are tragically flawed.

This last thought gives me hope. Perhaps I too may someday be subdivided into individual portions and served with chocolate, making me the not-so-fallen angel cake of my parents and consumers. If only…

[Pictures and recipe from www.joyofbaking .com]

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