Friday, June 1, 2012

Don't call it a come back....

I'm back! I hope ya'll have been wondering where I've been these past 6 months. Well wonder no more. It was a tough final semester finishing school but I did it! It feels so great and I'm so excited to be able to return to my hobbies and bring me even more joy. Plus I get to spend more time with my family and my incredible husband.

It wasn't all reading and writing this semester. My lovely sister-in-law Alisha did ask me to do some yummy cupcakes for a bridal shower for her friend. I was excited to be able to create something for her and she was so easy to please. She let me be creative and do whatever flavor combination and style I wanted. Her friends wedding colors were purple and white so I decided to work with that. Then I found this fun tutorial on how to create edible sunflowers from pineapple! I just had to give it a try. Of course you can check out the tutorial here. If your coing to attempt to do these, you'll be thrilled with how easy they are to do. Here are a couple of tips, when you slice the pineapple, let it sit on a few paper towels for an hour or so to get rid of some of the juices. You'll also need to really concentrate on cutting the slices as thin as possible, otherwise it wil take FOREVER to dry out them out into flowers. I actually left mine in a little long in the oven so that they browned around the edges because I really liked the color it created.

It's always super important to me that whatever I create taste great. What's the point in creating something that's pretty but dry, bland or just gross. I want my creations to taste as good as they look! So I went in search for the perfect vanilla cupcake recipe. I didn't have to look far. Glory, over at Glorious Treats (haha get it, Glory, Glorious) had already done all the research for me. She has discovered THE best recipe for vanilla cupcakes EVER. You can find it here. I really wanted to challenge myself with these cupcakes so I decided to fill them with something and if you know me at all you know I love chocolate. And what's better than chocolate ganache? What I was really happy to learn is that it is soooooo easy to make ganache. Of course the amazing folks over at Martha Stewart have a recipe and tutorial for ganache here. To cut the rich taste of the ganache, I decided to top the cupcake with classic vanilla buttercream icing. This was a big challenge for me as I've never been able to successfully make buttercream icing from scratch. I've made may attempts but it always seems to separate. I used this recipe from Magnolia Bakery that I Am Baker posted here. It totally worked! A couple of tips and apparently what I had been doing wrong the whole time you really have to wait for the unsalted butter to reach room temperature and you must use heavy cream. Otherwise, your icing will separate and be super runny and gross. These cupcakes turned out cute and delicious!

I'm so glad to be back to blogging, I missed ya'll and I hope you enjoy these!