Last week was one of those weeks. A measure of disillusionment. A pinch of self-doubt. Fickle weather (spring is finally here yet it's nowhere to be found). All this conspired to give me a case of the late-winter blues.
In the midst of this, a dose of reality: I wasn't making things better by retreating into myself. Then happenstance; inspiration delivered in the form of a quote:
I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink. (Leonardo da Vinci)Buoyed by those words, I turned over a new leaf. All this week I woke up uncharacteristically early. I watched the sun rise. And in the wee hours of the morning, I baked. On Monday I baked strawberry cupcakes and topped them with strawberry cream cheese frosting and fresh-cut strawberries. On Wednesday I made chocolate olive oil cupcakes with almond cream cheese frosting. On Thursday I made some white velvet butter cupcakes with maple buttercream frosting. These cupcakes I shared with various others: colleagues, friends old and new. (I brought some to the Baking Makes Friends event hosted by Lillie, of butter me up, Brooklyn!; it was such fun meeting fellow bakers and bloggers!) I might have remembered to save one or two of the dozens that I baked for me, but smiles, some lip-smacking and second helpings were plenty enough reward.
And so it came to be that a wee little thing called a cupcake - bringing delight to others and in turn to me - helped turn things around. This is why I bake, after all: I bake because it makes me content and fulfilled and it brings happiness to others.
The recipe for making the white velvet butter cupcakes can be found in an earlier post. Simply halve the recipe to make about 16 cupcakes.
Maple Buttercream Frosting
Recipe from The Cake Bible, by Rose Levy Beranbaum