around here, things are a special kind of crazy!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Birthday Party Time!

You've never had anything so tasty
 I solved the cupcake dilemma by making these awesome lemonade cupcakes with this utterly fantastic strawberry whipped frosting. The cupcake was dense, moist, and a perfect blend of tart and sweet. The lemonade flavor really came through. The frosting maintained the sweet tartness and really balanced the cake's density with it's own whipped lightness. My husband even described them as "nectarous and ambrosial". They were seriously amazing, especially considering the comedy of errors their making entailed.

Heydew came over last night after she got off work to help me bake. I'd gone shopping earlier in the day to pick up everything I needed, but managed to forget the butter and the heavy whipping cream. It's a little hard to make a whipped cream frosting without the heavy whipping cream so she kindly brought both things with her. Our first batch took almost an hour from start to oven due to lack of prep on my part. While dividing up the batter into the cupcake liners, it became clear that there wasn't enough for an entire second dozen. As we knew what we were doing this time, mixing the batter went by much more quickly although the butter really could have used a bit more "thawing". This second batch actually puffed up much prettier than the first and I don't know what we did differently. We used the "leftovers" of the batter this time to make up some mini cupcakes as I'd included kids (all younger than 5) in the invitation.

While all of the cupcakes were cooling, I cleaned up the kitchenaid so we could start on the frosting. After blending the cream cheese, dehydrated strawberries, powdered sugar and salt, we had to clean the whisk attachment again so we could made the whipped cream. According to the recipe I was following, it should have taken 7-9 minutes of whipping to get to the stiff peak stage. But at three minutes we noticed that there was suddenly liquid. Maybe we'd found a patch that hadn't been blending? But then the amount of liquid increased! Then more and it started splashing out of the mixing bowl! Turning the mixer off we discovered that we'd somehow managed to overbeat the cream and make butter. Since we'd added a tiny amount of powdered sugar to it in the first place, I added a good amount of honey, mixed it in well, drained off the rest of the liquid and stuck it in the fridge. (It was absolutely delicious smeared all over some biscuits for breakfast this morning.) And of course we didn't have any extra whipping cream and by this time it was nearly midnight so we pack up and cleaned up and I waited to make the rest of it until today when I (or Pug) could buy more whipping cream.

It bears repeating that the cupcakes and frosting were fantastic. I even have a few leftovers. Not many though, so I'm very glad we doubled the recipe. I had a lot of fun at my birthday dinner with many of my friends, including a few I haven't seen in a few months. I made out like a baking bandit with my gifts too!

Only 2 of these aren't directly related to cooking, and one's a water bottle!
I think my friend know what my hobbies are. Also, those white bloby things near the middle of the picture? They're matryoska measuring cups. How absolutely adorable are they? I also got a gorgeous mortar and pestle set (the dark blue thing on bottom right) and some pretty storage containers for flour or pasta or whatever. And a Brita water bottle, because Heydew knows I me :)

So, thank you, to my wonderful friends and family for making my 25th birthday such and awesome event. I think the best part is that I have at least two more weekends worth of celebrating to do when my in laws and then my parents visit in the next few weeks. I'd say I'm starting this year well!

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