Of cupcakes and other loveliness…

There’s not a lot that I enjoy doing more than making ridiculously good food and the past few days saw me in prime bad-ass chef/baker mode. I fried tofu into golden colored strips that were just this edge of crispy and served them with a spicy peanut sauce, forbidden rice (which is strange and delicious and chewy), and asparagus fried up with honey and spices (so good it makes tears come to the eye, this is in fact the dish that converted me to the asparagus worship that affects the rest of my family). As dessert I made some truly fluffy vanilla cupcakes and topped them with dark chocolate frosting (the secret was cocoa powder AND melted chocolate). Day one of the cooking was done and so I watched episodes of Glee as a well-deserved reward. Glee is my current favorite show on television (I rarely like television shows but when I do I usually love them absolutely: Buffy, Homicide, Seinfeld, Battlestar, Veronica Mars, Deadwood,the first five seasons of The X-Files, Dead Like Me, and Doctor Who are the ones that leap to mind when I think of great television).
Day two of cooking I focused on baking something lovely and made a very deeply chocolatey cupcake. What to top it with, I asked myself….I’m a vegetarian but usually stay away from vegan desserts as butter and eggs seem so central to fluffy goodness, but I’ve been wanting to play around more without these ingredients, so I thought: why not work on inventing a vegan frosting? No butter, no problem. A lot of people would have went to shortening as a substitution, but I find shortening makes frostings greasy and unpleasant. I ended up making a mock chocolate-raspberry ganache (mock because there was no whipped cream obviously) which tasted truffle-like and, dare I say it, awesome!
Day three had me pondering what to make to go with my mom’s amazing lentils (spiced to perfection) and so I made up a batch of Parisian style Pletzl with onions and poppy seeds. The rolls came out ultra airy and delicious. For dessert, I made a cupcake with a flavor combination that I’ve been wanting to perfect for Women in REDzine’s lovely Art Editor: orange, chocolate, and coffee. I made a super light cupcake laced with orange extract and zest to give a very slight citrus hint, then topped the cakes with an orange-mocha frosting. The result: divine!
Now, alas, I must let the cooking/baking rest for a few days as I finish up my internship and some last minute things before the summer truly begins. But, the summer looks pleasant: a pile of good books to read, paths to hike, recipes to try out, and some wonderful WIRZ related events. As always, I’ll keep you (my dear four [FOUR!] readers posted….

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