On Thursday I was so stressed from the weight of this visa application, that I had no choice but to bake. While cooking tends to stress me out even more, as I worry about every part of the process going wrong, baking I always find relaxing. I love both, but baking really is much easier for me. It’s what I learned to do first.
After Masterchef on Wednesday, I was dying to make red velvet cupcakes. My friend, Colette, loves red velvet, but for her birthday cake we’d usually buy a box from Betty Crocker. This was actually one of the first cake-like substances I’d made completely from scratch, including the icing. And I don’t have an electric mixer, so it’s a bit of a strenuous process.
I got the recipe off allrecipes as per usual. My favorite thing is looking through all of the comments and making my own modifications. I found one woman who’d blogged about it, so I went to her site and took my cues from there.
It took a large chunk of the afternoon, but every part of the process went beautifully. The batter was incredible. Probably the best I’ve ever tasted (if I do say so myself). They turned out really amazing. Very moist and soft.
I ran into some issues when I made the icing. The recipe called for far too much and I ended up throwing half of it away. I didn’t want it to be thick and chalky, so I added about half the amount of icing sugar. It turned out thinner than I’m sure it was supposed to, but it had a light and creamy quality. It was a mix of cream cheese, sour cream, butter and sugar, but the taste has a light, lemony tang. It’s ever so slight, but it’s there.
Since the frosting wasn’t too thick, it spread out of the cups quite quickly. I had to be really careful. I sprinkled them generously and there they are. Two days later and the icing isn’t congealed and hard, it’s still as smooth as the first day. I would recommend an adjustment to the level of icing sugar if you do attempt this recipe.
I brought one to work last night (as promised) for my supervisor, Jen. As she was eating it back of house, the chefs pointed wildly and began telling her about the catastrophes of Wednesday’s Masterchef (when the contestants forgot to buy the red food coloring). I laughed and admitted to them my inspiration for making them. Head chef came out and starting singing the Betty Crocker song, and I loudly protested, “How DARE you? I made them from scratch, FROM SCRATCH!” It was a nice moment. You know when the chef starts teasing you that you’re an accepted member of the kitchen.
Yesterday was also the big day for my visa application. I turned it in first thing in the morning. Here is a photo of its sheer girth. I am so happy it’s finally out of our hands. We did have a few mishaps in the turn-in process, but it’s all over now and I feel an enormous sense of relief. I have to work all weekend, so I won’t be celebrating anytime soon. But after sacrificing a lot of sporting commitments this week, I finally get back out on the pitch Sunday morning. I cannot wait!
Oh! Before I sign off, here’s the link if you’d like to make your own red velvets: http://www.carrottopmom.com/?p=290