Literally and figuratively. I'm just a headache person, I think. I just love waking up with a headache, like I did today. Oh wait...what? What does this have to do with cupcakes?
Well, since you asked, and since it's a much more enjoyable thing to read about, I will tell you. This is where we get into the figurative headache. You see, I'm finally digging into that cupcake cookbook I told you about here a long time ago. I'm not starting in the front. I didn't think you'd mind. But I'm making a trio of cupcakes. Recipe titles are: Rosewater & Raspberry Cupcakes, Coconut-Lime Cupcakes and Salted Caramel Cupcakes. (I envision one of each on a long rectangular plate. Wouldn't that be a lovely display?) The first headache came when trying to find the rosewater and the edible rose petals. Granted the rose petals are simply a decorative garnish for the top, but I was determined (at first) to make mine look exactly like the picture in the book. After going to Whole Foods, King Soopers and Sprouts without any luck, I resigned to the fact that finding organic roses, especially in March, is near impossible. And I'm annoyed that it's only March because I would have full access for free in my front garden come sometime in June. I mean, you really don't want me to make sugared rose petals from the normal ones at the store than might have pesticides on them, right? I didn't think so.
The other annoying thing was that I called three stores and asked them about rosewater and they all said, 'Oh yes...we have it.' But I suppose I wasn't specific enough. Well, actually - when I got to the first store, the sales lady said, "The bottle used to say it was edible, but it doesn't say that anymore. I'm pretty sure you still can though. It's totally fine." As she walked away, I started looking at the bottle and found this glaring statement on the back, "Do Not Ingest." Chaaaaaright! Like I'm going to even use it and hand out the cupcakes to other people. No way. Aren't you glad that I'm looking out for you? Store number two had the same stuff. Store number three had nothing. And the thing that bugged me is every time I asked someone about it, they looked at me like I was crazy. "Rose....water? Um.......for baking?? Uh...no. I - don't - think we have that." Even the french-accented behind-the-bakery-counter lady at one of the more snooty stores. They have a decent display of fancy desserts. Seriously? You've never heard of it? Lame. You can imagine my joy and relief when I walked into Vitamin Cottage. At first, I kind of felt like a secret agent because I couldn't stand to get that 'we don't know what you're talking about you crazy lady' look again. But after a lot of walking around, I finally asked and the lady smiled and said, "Rose water? For topical use or for food?" I could have hugged her. Not only did she walk right to it, but another lady in the store got in on the discussion and they showed me a second, concentrated option. Elation, I tell you.
It should only be fair then, that when I baked the cupcakes last night, they turned out like so:
They smell really good, you guys. The rose is really subtle - just wonderful. It reminds me of the Rose Geranium Macarons from Miette. A lovely patisserie in San Francisco.
If you ever have the opportunity - I highly recommend stopping by. Try their Macarons and then peruse their beautiful selection of fancy candies, even things like Lavender Marshmallows. Dreamy, I think. What's a Macaron? Not macaroon. Macaron. Check it out here and here. I might have to mail order some from Miette for myself for Easter. Just might. They also offer them in grapefruit, pistachio, vanilla, hazelnut, etc. If I were 20-something, single and had lots of money - I would move to France and live there for months learning how to make all kinds of fancy pastries and stuff. I digress....
After such a successful ending to an annoying day, I decided to just jump right in to the next recipe. So I whipped together the ingredients for the Salted Caramel Cupcakes and tossed them in the oven. Alas, this was the result:
Ahhh, man! What now??? Now I have to do it over. I'm not saying those little crispy edges aren't super yummy, cause they are. This recipe has a decent amount of brown sugar in it too. Oh so yummy. So, because I have to make this work and for the sake of learning, I have done a lot of research online about sunken cupcakes and I think I might know how to fix it. I will let you know how the second attempt turns out and when I finally do the full posting of these from beginning to end (including the frosting and fancy garnishes) I will fill you in on all of the details.
Oh, and I hope you're excited. I mean, I am. Because yesterday I made my first batch, with success, of Lime Curd (which is going to be the filling for the Lime-Coconut Cupcakes). I also made a batch of Caramel Drizzle. This will be lightly swirled into the butter cream frosting that tops the Salted Caramel Cupcakes.