Friday, June 20, 2014

Sleepless - (Vanilla cupcakes with Coffee Butter-cream)

I have a cold. A really bad one. And last night, I just couldn't sleep. I tried to for a while, tossing and turning, but gave up at around one in the morning. And what does a girl like me do when she can't sleep? She reads, of course.
I read The Memory Keeper's Daughter and finished it. I had just under half of it to read.
It's a beautiful story.....mesmerizing. A story of just how one lie affects human relationships and ruins people's lives. It's not just the lies but also the misunderstanding.
The thing is, I wouldn't have liked that kind of story a few years ago. I was more into stuff like Harry Potter and kids' stories because I was a kid. I didn't understand what I used to call 'the grown-up" kind of stories so i didn't like them. But now I do. I understand. Not everything but some of it and for now, that's enough.
Even books like Harry Potter are different now. I can see past the humor and the funny situations and really see the deeper, almost hidden meaning. But they're not hidden, the're right in front of you. It just takes a certain something, maybe age and maturity or a change in perspective, I'm not really sure what it is, to see those meanings. To see what the writer is really trying to say.
My father always did say that literature was away to gain new experiences, ones you could never dream of experiencing in your own life or ones that you may, later on. And he was right, as always. I'm realizing that now.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Coffee Butter-cream.

These vanilla cupcakes with coffee butter-cream weren't my idea. I saw them in Diary of a Teenage Baker and thought they were perfect for the occasion. My father asked me to make a batch of cupcakes to take to work. I'm all for seizing the moment so I said I would. It was the perfect opportunity to try out this coffee butter-cream. I figure it would be something adults would like since they have a thing for coffee.
I also happen to know my parents don't like lots of frosting on their cupcakes so i only spread on a little. 
The amount this recipe makes enough for 12 cupcakes if you pipe it but will do for 24 if you just spread it on as I did.

Recipe - Makes 24

First make two batches of my Ultimate Vanilla Cupcakes found here and let them cool.

1 tbsp instant coffee granules
1 tbsp hot water
1 tbsp vanilla
250g ( 2 cups) icing sugar
220g/7 oz soft, unsalted butter
2 tbsp milk

In a small bowl, stir together the coffee, water and vanilla until the coffee has dissolved. Set aside to cool.
Beat the butter with an electric whisk on medium for about 1 minute until soft and fluffy. Beat in the icing sugar one cup at a time with the mixer on low. Increase the speed to medium and beat for a further 3 minutes before adding in the coffee mixture and milk. 
Scrape down the side of the bowl and beat for another 3-4 minutes at medium speed.
Frost and decorate however you like.

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