Heart of the Matter

Posted by aBEE M. on 2/16/2011 01:04:00 AM in ,
Another Valentine's Day, without a special someone... But, instead, I've been given more; I have special someoneS... with an emphasis on the S. Last Valentine's Day, instead of the usual bouquet of flowers, the chocolates, the love sonnets and the candle light dinners everyone usually get, I got to spend a fun night with my Family and some of our closest friends eating, drinking and listening to LOVE SONGS sung by us of course. With everyone belching out from Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” to Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs” I would say, FUN isn’t the only word to describe the whole night. With last year’s special Valentine’s Day feast becoming such a success, everyone just figured out that sometimes, “the more the merrier” is really the way to go. Everyone of course didn’t go home empty handed, in spirit of the celebration, everyone received a special gift from everyone else. There were heart-shaped chocolates, teddy bears, flowers, and mugs with heart designs. With all the excitement of planning the potluck dinner the night before, I decided to make something special for my DATES. I wanted to make a cake with all the icing flowers and maybe some fondant icing and go all out with it but, reality struck me, thank God; I honestly did not have enough time. So, instead of making something new and difficult for the first time with TIME against me, I decided to tone it down a little bit but still make it special. In the end, I decided to make Valentine’s Day Cupcakes.

The idea was brilliant, I will make my specialty cupcakes (Banana Walnut Cupcakes) and then to make it unique, I would decorate it individually to make it look all Valentine-y… So, for the topping, I needed some creamy Vanilla Butter Cream Icing, which by the way, I have no idea how to make. And so, I went hunting in YouTube (as always) for some delicious vanilla butter cream recipe. I found a couple which I liked (because it was easy and didn’t require too many ingredients) and decided to trim down the find to the yummiest, in terms of look and simplicity. Since most of the recipe looked quite the same, I determined that the best way to go from there was to summarize the ingredients used, in other words, I took some of this and some of that to finally have the ultimate recipe. With the VBC recipe in hand and the knowledge of what to do the next day, I was finally able to sleep, which was around 5 in the morning…

Like most great events that took a day of planning, things don’t really go as smooth as you want it. Let’s start with the time I woke up, at noon. With two dozen cupcakes still to be made, some vanilla butter cream and some decorating, I was in serious trouble. So, with no other option, I took a deep breath, climbed out of bed and started with the cupcakes. I had all the ingredients at hand, which made everything from measuring to mixing the batter quite uneventful. And, with luck on my side (as I started thinking) I then decided to play with the food coloring and make the cupcakes a different color. I was trying to decide between pink or red (thinking of red velvet cupcakes) and thought of red being too strong, I went for pink. And so, the whole baking process went as smooth as it could get, the cupcakes turned out great and had an extra dozen cupcakes, although the color turned out to be normal (it didn’t really bother me one bit). With all the baking done, I placed the cupcakes inside the fridge to cool it down and to make it easier to frost later (without the crumbs falling off). 
it looked more pink in real life
 So, I moved on to get my VBC ready, this is when I started to panic. With the recipe calling in for softened butter (but not melted, which means it should be in room temperature) I remembered too late that my butter was still in the fridge, I took it out immediately (like it would help) and was pushed back 30 minutes waiting for the butter to be soft enough for the recipe. So, when the butter finally melted!!! I continued on with recipe and placed it in the mixer. Just when I was going to start putting in the sugar, the mixer broke… can life get any harder? I honestly wanted to throw out the butter and just not continue on with the icing. But, disheartened I may have been, I’ve always hated giving up. So, I went through all the kitchen appliances we have, until I found a curious little thing that was called a THUNDER STICK (don’t let the name fool you), a weird name, yes! But it was all I have. The thingamajig was like, if a blender, a mixer and a food processor would have a kid, I guess this would be the end result. Thank God for geniuses! And so, with the thingamajig on hand I tried going through with the whole mixing thing, and I take back what I said earlier (about thanking God for geniuses), the whole thing was a disaster, powdered sugar everywhere, it was a nightmare. And like I said before, disheartened I may have been, but I’ve always hated giving up. And so, with so much time wasted already with stupid machines that either break or don’t work at all, I ended up using an old fashioned whisk, and it worked like the bomb! Lesson learned: Don’t trust appliances…

very yummy vanilla butter cream

and so, with my VBC all done though the color was off white which doesn’t matter since I was going to color it anyway and my cupcakes chilled, everything was ready! I placed some VBC in three separate dishes and decided on purple, pink and turquoise for the colors. End result? Well, they’re not as pretty as I wanted it to be, but I believe with time and practice, I can definitely make them look sooo much better.

With everything ready and dinner came to an end, it was time for dessert and like always, everyone was pleased (they love my cupcakes, as everyone tries to order them all the time after I gave out cupcakes for Christmas) the Cupcakes were delicious, as always, and though the decoration wasn’t how I wanted it to be, the Vanilla Butter Cream tasted like heaven, it turned out so yummy! I think I just need to make it look prettier next time. After, the celebration ended, just about 12:30 am, everyone were exhausted, dancing and drinking and having such an ecstatic time, and that is the heart of the matter, Valentine’s Day isn’t only about chocolates, flowers and romantic strolls on the beach, it’s about spending time with the people you love, and that’s exactly what I did!

everyone doing their wacky cupcake pose!


You have to be evil not to love cupcakes. Sweetest post ever.

thank you... and i totally agree!

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