Vanilla Chai Espresso Cupcakes

Big news….I started culinary school this week and I love it! My current plan is to finish my computer science degree over Fall/Spring semesters and just do culinary school over the Summer. I haven’t got to cook anything yet. It’s mostly just lots of “don’t disease people” or “don’t cut your finger off” at the moment. We’ll see how much I like it when I have to cook for 5hrs straight. I mean, I do that of my own free will but I can also start/quit whenever I want. Oh, did I mention I get to buy more knives and have to/get to wear a full chef outfit. Looking at yourself in a mirror with a full chef uniform must be something like hearing your song on the radio? Kind of strange and disturbing but also exhilarating.

All my babies! I now have: candy thermometer, instant read thermometer, French chef knife, Santoku knife, boning knife, paring knife, zester and peeler. Yasss, ALL THE THINGS! :D

All my babies! I now have: candy thermometer, instant read thermometer, French chef knife, Santoku knife, boning knife, paring knife, zester and peeler. Yasss, ALL THE THINGS! 😀

I also got another cool pan to bake cakes in. It’s like a bundt except it is not fluted. It’s supposed to be great for angel food cake, coffee cake, chiffon or other more delicate rise cakes. I made a Maple Walnut Coffee Cake last week:

Maple Walnut Coffee Cake

This weekend I made Vanilla Chai Espresso Cupcakes. You’d think that macarons or tarts would be a lot harder than cupcakes but for some reason cupcakes are bane. My arch nemesis. I pretty much always screw them up. Today I am proud to present a semi-decent batch of cupcakes. First several times I tried making cupcakes they kept imploding in the middle – not cute! Decided that recipe was garbage and went with another one and got decent looking mango cupcakes. Next issue, I kept trying to make swiss buttercream but it kept splitting and turning to poop soup. Finally got the technique of meringue down and then realized I was using margarine and not butter. NO! No bloody margarine. Does not work. Got some high quality butter and it turned out great this time! Now I’ve got the basics down – just need to hunt for the perfect combination of flavors. I’m feeling something really fruity right now. I want to somehow turn my lime meringue pie into a cupcake. Maybe even a mojito cupcake? I got Summer fever and I need it in my foooood!

Cupcakes

Something else I’ve wanted to try, it’s kind of random. Picture several square-cut pancakes that are drenched in luscious butter and a rich maple syrup, sandwiched in between two crispy blueberry waffles with strawberry syrup and creme fraiche on top. 😀

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