14 February 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Lauren and I gave the apartment a really deep clean yesterday so I decided that I should mess it up with some baking. No really I've been planning these cupcakes for a while now; the messing up the sparklingly clean kitchen was just a coincidence. You all know that I'm not a fan of the cupcake but over Christmas my mom directed me to this great blog: Bake It In A Cake; creative cupcakes I can totally get behind.

Since it's Valentine's Day, a day that as a chronically single person I pretty much desipse, and I have a lull before the spring and summer birthdays kick into gear, I decided to make cupcakes for work. Using one of my most popular cakes, the strawberry ganache with white chocolate mousse as inspiration, the cupcakes I made were strawberry with a heart-shaped brownie baked inside. I started with the brownies and cheated a little bit in the baking as I do with both brownies and this recipe; I used box mixes. I know, gasp.

The brownies were actually a little tricky. Knowing they would be baked twice I wanted to make sure that they were a little under-baked; but they couldn't be too underbaked or I'd never get them to cooperate and be heart-shaped.  I also discovered that under-done brownies are not only yummy to eat, they're also fantastically pliable. Using a small heart-shaped cookie cutter, I cut the brownies until only the extra bits were left in the pan. Not wanting to waste anything, I smooshed up the extra bits and smashed them into the cookie cutter. Viola! Heart-shaped brownies.

To fill the cupcakes, I spooned a small amount of cake batter into the papers then put in the brownies, and covered them carefully with additional cake batter. My first batch I used too much cake so they overflowed a little. And then the next batch didn't quite cover the brownies.

For decoration I bought some "red" candy melts (which were more of a salmon when melted) and made candy hearts. I think they turned out pretty cute myself. So I took a lot of pictures.

And then there was nothing left to do but frost the cupcakes with the white chocolate mousse, add a candy heart, and enjoy!

04 February 2011


Like I mentioned a while back in this post, I really enjoyed the different kinds of doors that everyone had in and around Cambs. Obviously, we have doors here too, but they don't seem to be nearly as interesting, whimsical, colorful, or, well...Bri'ish. I'd like to give a big thank you to K for indulging me in my endeavors to photograph every neat door that I saw, even to the point of whipping the car around so that I could run out and take a few snaps. Thanks again K!

I don't have a lot to say about the doors that I fotoed, but I'm going to share the pictures with you just the same. Maybe someday, I'll frame a bunch of them together and actually put them up on my wall as 'art.'

Backside of the Iron Garden Door
Backside of the Iron Garden Gate, Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire

Iron Door
...and the Front

Blue Door
Hope Cottage, St Albans

Green Door
Green Door, St Albans

Red Door with Knocker #27
#27 Door Knocker

St Albans Cathedral

Old Door
Old Door, Cambridge

Two Red Doors
Twin Red doors, Cambridge

Red door with bike(s)
Red Door with Bike, Cambridge

Old Church Door
Old Church Door. St Botolph's, Cambridge

Catholic Rectory Door
Catholic Rectory Door, Cambridge

Garden Houses- St Albans
Garden Houses, with Blue Doors, St Albans

Small Door
Small Door, St Albans

Iron Door at the Abbey
Iron Door, Anglesey Abbey

Inside Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire

Backdoor to the Abbey
ME! Outside the Anglesey Abbey Staff entrance