2013 was kind of a big year for me, there were several milestones, challenges, learning, failing, growing up, together with lots of fun. So, 2014 has a lot of work to do if it wants to beat that. I think I’m up for it though!
My first weekend of 2014 turned out to be pretty intense. I had promised to make pumpkin cupcakes for my cousin for his engagement on Saturday, 4 January. Since the event was in the late afternoon, I had planned to bake the cupcakes on Friday night, make the frosting Saturday morning and frost the cupcake about a couple of hours before I had to leave my house (so that the frosting doesn’t melt.)
I had bought all the things I required a week before, but realised I had forgotten to get the main ingredient – canned pumpkin. I don’t know what’s WRONG with my brain sometimes. Oh well. I stopped by the supermarket on my way home from work and got the canned pumpkin (plus extra in case of emergency). My cousin had requested for just 25 cupcakes, but being a typical Singaporean, I anticipated the worst (what if none of my cupcakes turned out decent?) and decided to bake a lot more. So I baked a triple batch of Smitten Kitchen’s pumpkin cupcakes. Do note that a triple batch makes a huge amount of batter! I decided the mixer wasn’t going to do a good job of mixing the pumpkin at the end, so I depended on my trusty arms for that part.
Thankfully, I managed to bake all 76 cupcakes successfully and went to bed 22 hours since I had woken up Friday morning. I love going to bed feeling accomplished
However, the frosting was kind of disappointing the next morning. Instead of maple cream cheese frosting, I made cinnamon cream cheese frosting this time. Mainly because I didn’t feel like splurging on pure maple syrup. Anyway cinnamon complements pumpkin well. I wanted to use a large frosting tip because I badly wanted to get bakery-style swirls, but my trial run with the large frosting tip didn’t result in the swirls my mind envisioned. I’m not sure if it’s the consistency of my frosting or my skills, but either way, PRACTICE is called for!
Let’s not talk about the challenge involved in transporting 48 cupcakes. Can people involved in making these things please come up with cost-effective solutions for home bakers for transporting a large number of cupcakes? I have faith in you people. Actually maybe these things do exist in the market, but I haven’t looked at the right places. Yeah, that’s probably closer to the truth.
Despite all my complaints however, I really enjoyed the process. It was the biggest project I had undertaken recently, I did all of the work on my own (including most of the washing up), and while they were not as pretty as I had expected them to be, they tasted just fine (in my humble opinion). I must thank my cousin for requesting something from me in the first place because I don’t think I would have voluntarily undertaken such a project otherwise. I sincerely hope his and his gorgeous fiancee’s family enjoyed the cupcakes! My family and I certainly did (I had many extra cupcakes since I baked a triple batch – worrying has its benefits for sure!)
This gave me hope, hope for incorporating baking efforts, whether simple or elaborate, into my everyday life. To go back to my trusted recipes, to try something new. To put sweet, salty, creamy, homemade stuff into my mouth on a regular basis. That’s the best part, and if we’re being honest, that’s really the goal of baking here …