I’ve spent a lot of time doing what is expected.
Playing it safe.
I always thought that I was nice. And that I should be nice. I thought that it was exactly right. Recently, someone told me that they didnt think nice was the right word to describe me. Someone else said that I was better when I wasn’t being nice.
I am going to not be nice. Since that isn’t the right word anyway. And since it is kind of a dirty word, let’s not use it any more.
Nice. Passionate. Caring. Full of heart. Those are better words.
They describe the person I am. The person I want to be. The journey I am on.
I am going to make mistakes. Say things I shouldn’t. Do things that I might think better of later.
I am going to keep listening to the silly pop music that makes me happy. I am owning my Spice Girls ringtone (oh yes, I totally rock that). So, call me. Maybe?
I am going to stop and smell the flowers, particularly when they are left in the bathroom in a public place.
I want to do things. See things. Make things. Change things.
I am going to do as much as I can. Some things I should, some I shouldn’t.
I don’t want a small life. In any way. I want to be epic. (Kind of like my summer has been).
I am going to keep making cupcakes. The kind with real sugar, and butter and eggs. I’ve said it before, cupcakes are therapy. And don’t you forget it. And I am going to keep feeding them to others so that I can maintain my girlish figure.
Speaking of that girlish figure, I am going to keep swimming when I can. Walk when it is possible and not beat myself up over the size of my pants.
I am going to be silly and splurge on crazy shoes (YOLO!). Be it shoes with red bottoms because, frankly, if you don’t buy them today, tomorrow you will have a much more practical use for that money or shoes with 5″ heels because that seems sensible. I am going to make no apologies for getting something that makes me happy.
I am going to go on dates with boys. I might end up kissing a few frogs (the world tells me this is going to happen). Maybe I’ll get a prince (the world says I should dream about this moment). Maybe I already did. Maybe I messed that up. Maybe I didn’t.
Maybe one day, my hair will be pink. And maybe I’ll get a tattoo.
I am going to live. Live passionately & fully. Be optimistic. Be a dreamer. Make no apologies for anything. Be me.
What I am most definitely not going to do is be nice. I am not going to apologize for being me. I am not going to do something just to make someone feel better. I am not going to cave or change just to make someone happy. I’ve done that plenty. It isn’t who I really am, or even who I want to be.
Here’s to being more than nice. Here’s to living more than just a nice life. Here’s to good things.
Before I get to the cupcakes I know you want, I want to make sure that you know about Leggings Solidarity Day! I am asking everyone I know to wear leggings, tights, shorts, skirts – (mostly leggings though!) in support of invisible illness awareness. (You know, since I have a kind of major one). Also, if you haven’t seen it, the quotes pulled in from above are from a personal design project of mine. Making posters with positive thoughts. If you have any suggestions for positive quotes, email them to me!
The Whiz-Bang Cupcakes
(Or cupcakes to make an impression). These cupcakes were epic. Well, that’s what I told Dan they were. He asked for something chocolate and fruity. They took about 6 hours from start to finish (with lots of resting, showering an cleaning mixed in). Dan has had both my cupcakes and Mammacakes’ cupcakes. I had to make them extra special.
Chocolate cupcakes. Filled with a tart raspberry jam. Topped with two kinds of merengue buttercream and finished off with a fresh raspberry. This is what I call winning.
|Gluten-free chocolate cupcakes with raspberry and swiss merengue buttercream||
- For the cupcakes
- 63 grams cocoa (1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons)
- 1 cup boiling water
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 235 grams (2 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons) GF AP flour*
- 300 grams (1 1/2 cups) granulated sugar
- 15 grams (1 tablespoon) baking powder
- 5 grams (3/4 teaspoon) salt
- 227 grams (12 tablespoons) butter, softened.
- For the Frosting
- 8 large egg whites (30g each–total 225g, or 1 cup)**
- 400 grams (2 cups) granulated sugar
- 560 grams (5 sticks) of unsalted butter, softened but cool, cut into cubes
- 30 ml (2 tablespoons) pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 300 grams (about 1 1/2 cups of discs) high quality chocolate
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
- For Assembly
- 1/2 pint jar of raspberry jam or preserves
- 30 fresh raspberries
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare the cupcake tins with papers & grease the tops.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the boiling water and cocoa til smooth. Let sit for a couple minutes to come to room temperature.
- In a second bowl, lightly beat together the eggs, 1/4 of the cocoa mixture and the vanilla.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and stir on low to combine.
- Add butter and the remaining cocoa mixture and mix on low speed until all ingredients are moistend. Increase speed to medium for a minute and a half to develop structure.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the cocoa & egg mixture in 3 batches, beating for about 30 seonds after each addition.
- Use a scoop and fill the tins 1/2-2/3 full. You should end up with exactly 30 cupcakes.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes. The cake should spring back when lightly pressed, or a toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.
- Cool in the pans for about 5 minutes, and then move to a cooling rack until completely cool.
- While the cupcakes are baking, make the frosting. If this process intimidates you, Sweet Apolita made a pretty [url href=”http://sweetapolita.com/2011/04/swiss-meringue-buttercream-demystified/”]sweet tutorial[/url].
- Combine the egg whites and sugar in a small pot until they reach 140 degrees fahrenheit.
- Transfer to a clean stand mixer bowl. Using the whisk attachment, beat until light and fluffy (soft peaks).
- Switch to the paddle attachment and add the butter one chunk at a time until it is all combined.
- Remove half of the frosting and set aside. Melt the chocolate in the micorwave on half power, heating it first for 30 seconds, and then in 15 second intervals after that, always stirring after each burst of heat. Let the chocolate cool a wee bit – you don’t want it hot so that it melts the butter, and then add it to half your frosting.
- Set this frosting aside. Add the vanilla bean paste to the reserved half of the frosting.
- When the cupcakes are cool, remove the cupcake centers (I used a cupcake corer), and pipe in the raspberry filling. Replace the cupcake tops.
- Pipe the frosting on the cupcakes – I did half of the cupcakes in chocolate, half in vanilla, but you can get creative and use both on each cupcake if you want.
*I prefer Cup4Cup as a pre-made blend. Please don’t use a bean based flour.
**You can use the pasteurized whites if you prefer, since you cook the eggs anyways, but it will be slightly less fluffy.
This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday on Simply Sugar & Gluten Free.