Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Extra, extra

I've received the occasional note over the past year from a few concerned folks asking me to return to "regular" blogging. Thank you very much, guys, for taking the time to write and express how you feel, but as every waking moment I spend in the kitchen these days is typically either in planning or preparation for a class - not that I'm complaining, because I am extremely fortunate to be doing what I love, elbow-deep in butter, eggs, sugar and flour - it's virtually impossible not to let my excitement and anticipation about the classes spill over onto these pages. Pages of what, to me, is essentially an online food journal, and the answer to the question of what one has been up to lately food-wise, what is foremost in one's food-related thoughts. From my perspective, I have to confess it's all "regular", if by "regular" we mean conforming to the most prevalent pattern in one's kitchen. Of course, that's not to preclude the this-is-what-I-cooked-last-Sunday-for-dinner variety of rambling altogether - believe you me, I'll happily and long-windedly get to that whenever I'm not otherwise preoccupied!


Anyways, in keeping with the most recent prevalent pattern (read: this particular Spring/Easter-themed affair on 15 March 2008 and 16 March 2008), I thought I'd put up a bit more detail about the handful of bonus recipes.
The Raspberry & Dark Chocolate Cupcakes are moist little keepers thanks to the generous inclusion of raspberry puree in the batter. They're at their best when topped with a Raspberry & Dark Chocolate Ganache - while I've specified Valrhona Equatoriale 55% in the recipe (because this versatile bittersweet is what I know most home bakers always have on standby in the pantry), and it works just fine, if you wish to go the extra mile, do try the recipe with Manjari 64%; the red fruit savours inherent in this particular gem from Valrhona really do pair beautifully with the raspberry puree.
And I simply had to include a recipe for Simnel Cupcakes - I couldn't resist the idea of a Mini Me version of the traditional fruitcake served on Easter (and also on Mothering Sunday). Much lighter than its dark, boozy Christmas cousin, Simnel cake has a generous seam of marzipan running though its centre, is covered with marzipan, and is conventionally finished with 11 marzipan balls representing the 11 good disciples. As much as I adore marzipan, I prefer to skip the last bit (which I think is overkill on a cake this diminutive) in favour of 11 gold dragées. The crowning touch is a yellow marzipan rose in full bloom (the petals edges have been finished with pink luster dust; I was after a tea rose effect).

28 Comments:

Anonymous Mei said...

Beautiful photos as always! I am very much looking forward to the class this weekend! I'll be there. Thanks for all the inspiring ideas!

1:27 am, March 12, 2008  
Blogger Julie said...

Those are so beautiful I would almost hate to eat them.

5:13 am, March 12, 2008  
Blogger the cook without an oven said...

I love your entries :) Makes baking very inspiring.. :)

2:10 pm, March 12, 2008  
Blogger Barbara said...

I'm not sure what your regular blogging was but I certainly enjoy your posts. Such pretty cupcakes.

2:29 pm, March 12, 2008  
Blogger Aran said...

absolutely gorgeous!

7:11 pm, March 12, 2008  
Anonymous keiko said...

Joycelyn - whatever you write about, it always inspires me and puts a BIG smile on my face :) Enjoy the classes - these cupcakes look absolutely heavenly. kxx

1:27 am, March 13, 2008  
Anonymous LL said...

What clever ideas! See you at the class this weekend. I'm sure they are as delicious, as they are pretty!

2:41 am, March 13, 2008  
Blogger cakewardrobe said...

Sooo pretty. You should teach classes in the states!!

3:23 am, March 13, 2008  
Blogger Anthony said...

If it has fruit it must be healthy! :-)

6:18 am, March 17, 2008  
Blogger DoughGirl said...

So beautiful....the little marzipan rose is gorgeous!

7:09 am, March 18, 2008  
Blogger Mansi Desai said...

Just stumbled here from helen (tartelette's) blog, and I have to say all your creations are simply amazing!! this cupcake is an eye-catcher:) wish you taught in california:)

1:08 pm, March 21, 2008  
Blogger xiao zhu said...

These are perfect for spring! The dragees add a beautiful finishing touch. Do you have a hard time locating them in Singapore? They are incredibly hard to find here in the US (with the exception of Manhattan), only in some select gourmet cooking stores, and are altogether banned in the state of California!

8:03 am, March 22, 2008  
Anonymous Midge said...

I really adore those Simnel cupcakes; they look too pretty to eat! (And I love how you replaced the marzipan balls on a full-sized Simnel with the dragees, so sweet.)

12:23 pm, March 26, 2008  
Blogger aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Oh boy. They are so pretty.

7:24 pm, March 27, 2008  
Blogger The Culinary Chase said...

Your posts are always beautifully presented & the photographs make me want to reach out & grab it! Keep up the great work! Cheers!

11:33 am, March 28, 2008  
Blogger Gloria said...

What really beauty are these!!! so nice I will try, ... maybe, the pictures are spectacular Gloria

9:56 pm, March 29, 2008  
Blogger Grace said...

Wow, your cupcakes and other pastries are so beautiful and these are no exception. Absolutely wonderful!

1:32 pm, April 01, 2008  
Blogger ambrosia ananas said...

Those Simnel cupcakes are gorgeous.

8:09 am, April 05, 2008  
Blogger FooDcrazEE said...

good to see u still blog. . . . .i sort of slowed down a lot . . . with 2 kids on hands . . .lolz

1:58 pm, April 05, 2008  
Blogger Wheeler's Frozen Dessert said...

Those are so pretty!

2:51 am, April 10, 2008  
Blogger toro said...

Hi,I am Japanese, but the translation read.
Just read the hungry.
I also mainly sweets recipes written blog.
I would like to exchange information with each other.
Because of the link to your blog.
If you would like, my blog also links please.
ICE CREAM JAZZ~SWEETS in Japan~

2:59 am, April 10, 2008  
Anonymous Sweet Tooth said...

Hello!

I have very much enjoyed your blog (secretly) for a while. I wanted to thank you for your excellent and inspiring work by passing on a nomination for "E is for Excellent".

Great work! Thank you,

Alexandra

7:26 am, April 11, 2008  
Blogger lierre.empire said...

nice cake jocelyn....

11:08 pm, April 15, 2008  
Blogger Paz said...

Lovely. Just lovely!

Paz

3:40 am, April 17, 2008  
Anonymous Ann said...

LOVE your blog - the pictures are LOVELY! You are a true artist. So glad I found you. :)

12:39 am, April 24, 2008  
Blogger Wheeler's Frozen Dessert said...

Those look awesome! Yum :)

4:42 am, April 24, 2008  
Blogger Mrs Ergül said...

While I was ogling at these amazing pieces all while, I didn't know who was the talented lady behind this blog whipping magic one after another. Until my first visit to Shermay's yesterday, and went back to google for her website and finally linked here! So you're the genius behind this amazing food blog. Thanks for the endless beautiful photos and tips!

10:56 pm, April 27, 2008  
Anonymous your-sis's-god-daughter's-mommy said...

everyday lunch hour has been empty for the last month or so. where have you been?

11:33 pm, April 28, 2008  

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