Tuesday, June 8, 2010

zen and the art of cupcake making

I enjoy discovering little things that made me smile, such as running my hands through the lentil bins at Kakulas Bros. (yep I'm the reason you need to wash them) or words I like rolling around in my head. Take for example the word catharsis...it's soothing and comforting in is soft elongated vowel sounds, try saying it...cathartic isn't it?..... I got onto this train of thought as my mind was wandering while sifting flour. I was staring blankly at the wall enjoying the moment and realised that this is why baking is enjoyable. You allow yourself to zone out and start to enjoy the physical subtleties of making something with your hands. So as I was entering my cupcake zen the other day I found myself smiling at nothing in particular as I methodically weighed, whipped and stirred. It was nice.

Of course you need to snap out of the zombie state to be of any use in the decorating part of making cupcakes. Rather than relaxing it is energising especially when you have fun tools to work with.
 I've been collecting cupcake papers and decorations for a while now. My collection is not yet complete, nor do I think it ever will be. At the moment what I long for the most is a full set of gel icing colours like these  but they're about 5 times as expensive in Australia, crazy! They are super concentrated so you don't change the consistency of icing like the water based food dyes do and they come in some great colours....
pass to me!

 I  have a (some say abhorrent) love of all things naff and kitsch, which means that I was powerless to resist buying the little netball playing cake figurines I found in a decorating shop and was equally delighted when I had the opportunity to use these creatures to adore the tops of cupcakes I made for our mixed netball team end of season dinner. The cakes were simple zesty lemon lavishly topped with a lemon and golden syrup meringue icing, and (sorry boys) unashamedly festooned in all things girly from pink glitter to love hearts and multi coloured butterflies, what can I say these things appeal to me...