Thursday, April 22, 2010

Lemon-Thyme Olive Oil Cupcakes with Balsamic Glaze

INGREDIENTS:

(for the Lemon-Thyme Cake--this recipe was lovingly stolen and marginally simplified from a very pretty blog called The Cupcake Project)

*Makes 12 cupcakes. I couldn't find the cupcake paper, so this looks like a muffin. Shut up, shut up, it's a cupcake.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (not regular olive oil--use a nice, grassy extra virgin)
1 tbsp. lemon zest
3 large eggs
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh thyme

1) Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
2) In a second mixing bowl, combine sugar and lemon zest. Add olive oil slowly and mix on high speed until completely combined.
3) Beat in the eggs singly, mixing well after each addition.
4) Add 1/2 the flour mixture, combining well.
5) Add the lemon juice, combining well.
6) Add remainder of the flour. Beat until smooth.
7) Stir in the thyme.
8) Fill cupcake liners or muffin tins.
9) Bake at 375 degrees for twenty minutes or until cupcakes bounce back when touched.

(for the Balsamic Glaze, which is MINE, baby!)

1/2 cup granulated or superfine sugar
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
a touch of fresh ground black pepper

1) Heat the sugar and balsamic vinegar in a small candy saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
2) Stirring constantly, continue to reduce the mixture until it thickens to a syrup--about 5 minutes.
3) Remove from heat. Working before the glaze cools too much, paint your cupcakes with a brush or drizzle over the tops.

(for the beer)

1 Woodchuck Draft Cider Dark & Dry

Open beer.
Enjoy together with lemon thyme cupcakes for your high tea.

THE BEER:

Well, it's not, of course. It's cider.

You absolutely can drink beer with your high tea, and high tea is what I called it every time I ate one of these killer cupcakes. But maybe you want to class it...I dunno, not UP a notch exactly, but class it...laterally. Yes. Have a cider, then.

I have chosen, for educational purposes, to also picture an actual woodchuck here for your edification and amusement. Woodchucks are awesome.

Woodchuck Draft Cider is a Vermont cider company that makes several varieties of tasty quaffables including an Amber, Pear, Raspberry, and Granny Smith. The Dark & Dry is called 802 (for their area code) and is made with deeply caramelized sugar instead of white sugar, which gives it a beautiful rich color and a better depth of flavor. It's still quite sweet, but this is your f***ing high tea, right? You deserve a treat.

THE BAKED GOODS:

I have believed throughout my adult life in the following principles, a simple list of Things Which Best Be Avoided:

Running, unless pursued by bears. (*NOTE: this is a turnaround from when I was little and thought adults were stupid for not running, because running gets you places faster. I also make exceptions for jaywalking across busy intersections and sudden April rainstorms.)

Shorts.

Cockroaches.

Non-alcoholic beer and decaf coffee. Because...why?

Cooking anything I can't taste multiple times throughout the process and thus save from heading over a cliff if it is going in the wrong direction, and thus: all effort to make baked goods.

I really thought that unless you got the exact perfect number of grains of baking powder in a batch of cookies (is there baking powder in cookies? or is that baking soda? what is the difference??? does it matter? I can't stop crying...I can't feel my lips...) then you would end up with an inferior product and people would laugh at you and point and call you Loser McFail-Baker. I thought they would refuse to ever hang out with you again even when you wore really cute glittery pumps and instead they would give you a steely look as if to say, "Your butter was improperly softened. I disdain you." I thought that acquaintances and friends, after sampling tepid, limp biscotti, would erect a sign above my apartment door that read HERE YOU MAY SEE LYNDSAY, WHO FLEW TOO CLOSE TO THE SUN AND MADE ASSY CINNAMON ROLLS.

PICTURED: the haunted visage of a man whose muffins turned out dry.

Actually, it turns out that baking is easy.

This isn't going to prove as big a problem as it could have been because I don't care for sweets particularly (open a bag of potato chips, however, and I will eradicate it for you). But expect to see bakery offerings on Beer Meets Food now! Be afraid. Be very afraid.

1 comment:

Susan said...

Oh, just stop it. You played the Baker's Wife. You can do this.

Chocolate in cupcakes. Balsamic and herbs in salads.