How are you? I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve had a normal, regular, not particularly about anything post. Well that changes today. Instead of another Travel Tales or other event I need to put up that I have been terribly slacking on, I’m going to tell you a bit about my summer. Another thing I haven’t done of late is share a recipe with you – once again, that changes here!
Summer. Sunshine, freedom, beach-going, and t.v. watching…right? I always used to associate summer with these things, and work as well for the past four years now. This summer a switch has occurred. It’s fortunate and unfortunate in different ways. Now I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining here, but I don’t think I’ve had more than 6 or 7 days off since I’ve come home!
Ok, so that was sort of complain-y. The mature side of me continues to say how this is great in the long run. I’m making up a most of the money I spent while abroad last semester (yay!) working at my usual job in a local grocery store, and then my internship has been a great experience so far and will only help me in the coming year when I finish school. It’s actually pretty cool, and the woman I’m working with had a neat idea with this. I’m helping her with her newly launched website called “YouTours”.
The website is a place where people can upload audio and video tours of a city, museum, etc. People can upload them to their phones/iPods and such, and then take a walking tour at their own pace, listening to someone who knows a lot about the chosen place. This way, you don’t have to do the big touristy thing, or spend more money on a big tour that may or may not be good. So I’ve been helping upload tours from a partnering company, look for kinks in the site, and I just finished recording my first tour and we will upload it today!
Now, maturity aside, there’s also this little kid in me that is petulantly crossing her arms, sitting in an “I’m not talking to you” hunched over, turned away pose. It’s this side that continues to remind me that I haven’t gotten over to the zoo yet, I’ve only been to the beach twice, the movies once, and all that other summery stuff we love to do. Oh, right, and I haven’t had In-n-Out in over 8 months now (truly terrible, I assure you)! And summer is quickly coming to an end. Alas, I’ll have to try a bit harder to make it all work here. Including posting more frequently!
One thing I did get around to doing was creating some cupcakes for which I’d been formulating an idea in the last month or so I was in England. It all started with mixing a bit of honey on the cream cheese on my bagels. It was delicious! That started the thought process of, “wow, this would be a tasty frosting flavor”. But what would go with the honey-cream cheese frosting? It couldn’t be something too sweet, so I started thinking about different fruits.
Blackberries seemed to be the one I kept coming back to, and it was perfect as they are in season in the summer. They would be just tart enough to balance out the sweet of the frosting. With this in mind, I went to work. Following a basic white cake recipe I found here, http://allrecipes.com/recipe/simple-white-cake/, from the couple of comments I read, I decided to add about 1/8th cup more milk, and about a tablespoon more vanilla to keep the cake part more moist.
Then, it was time throw a little “Brooke” in there – and I mean that in only the most figurative way. So, I decided a large dash of cinnamon would give it a nice undertone of flavor, as well as about two or three teaspoons of lemon curd. Thinking back, I’d go more lemon curd than less, or would even add a teaspoon or two of lemon zest as well. Finally, stir in a good amount of fresh blackberries. Ok, that’s the cake part done. Toss that in the oven after dividing it into a muffin tin and it’s time to start on the frosting.
For the frosting, I went by this recipe for pipeable cream cheese frosting, http://www.recipegirl.com/2007/05/10/pipeable-cream-cheese-frosting/. I also added in honey once it started to get a nice frosting-like texture, then continued to beat it in. Just add in the honey to your liking. I admit, my frosting did not turn out as well as the picture, however that is more likely due to my not paying close enough attention to the instructions now that I look at it again. While it may not have been nice and pipeably fluffy, it still looked great after just spreading it on the cupcakes. The final touch was a couple of leftover blackberries on top of each cupcake.
…and they were a hit! The flavors all blended well together, from the crisp and fresh blackberries, to the hint of lemon and cinnamon, and the sweetness of the honey and cream cheese frosting on top. Now I just need to come up with a name for these…I’m getting things like “Berry good try/dessert/cupcake” from the peanut gallery over here. But like the name, I will continue to work on this recipe so that it is the best it can be, messing around a bit with the berries, amounts of other ingredients, etc. However, I was extremely pleased with how they turned out this first time. Be sure to keep these in the fridge, as the cream cheese frosting will not do so well if left out for too long. They are a great summer treat!
Should you decide to try these, I’d love to hear how you find them and if you made any changes that make them even better! Following the standard cake recipe, I was able to make 12 cupcakes.
We’ve tried a couple of other recipes since being home as well, so I’ll be sharing those with you soon, too! Hope your enjoying your summers and getting enough free time to spend with family, friends, and doing all those lazy and fun things that summer is all about. Thanks for reading, cheers! Until then…