Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ghoulish cupcakes and learning patience.

Things are different now. I thought that I had enough time to do everything…to cook, to write, to be a lawyer, to publish academic works, to be a third of the fledgling enterprise that is L. Mulligan.Grocer., to mince around sourcing seasonal produce to keep in my stylishly hued larder, cycle with Mr 9BR, wearing knitwear worthy of a Sinn Fein Ard Fheis, in a hand holding scene reminiscent of a Pashley ad.

Unsurprisingly, that is not the case. My masters thesis is being penned on a laptop balanced precariously on top of the third mock-up of our beer and whiskey tasting menu (a menu that keeps changing before I have a chance to print it), I take late night conference calls perched out the back of the pub, waiting for the chefs to finish dinner service and I occasionally turn my kitchen oven on, only to check it is actually still connected to the gas mains. The other day I had to throw out a whole rotted tub of fresh ricotta I brought back from Italy, ricotta I was going to turn into a take on San Choi Bao with butternut squash and radicchio. It nearly broke my heart.

In the midst of the disorder recently came the realization that while there is nothing I am willing to give up, I am not really sure how to sustain everything. A natural sort of order of priority has emerged with sadly, this blog coming last most of the time. I am struggling against it, trying not to be so absent, but it isn’t working. Having a new business is all consuming, I wish someone had told me that, though I am not sure I would have listened. I need to give myself permission to be absent from this blog, to not feel a twinge of jealousy when my fellow bloggers post seasonal recipes that I would have loved to have made up. I am not letting blogging go, understand, just asking patience, from myself more than anything.

Yesterday though, I baked. I baked from a book that I have used from the time I could stand upright at the stove, during the day when there was enough light to photograph and on a Saturday when there was time to write out the recipe. It reaffirmed my resolve that I am not willing to give up this site. Even sporadic posting feels better than none at all. These are my amazing spook-obsessed friend Lucy’s favourite cupcakes, which I made to celebrate her first headline performance, on Hallowe’en, which given her predilection for all things gruesome, should be her feast day. They are simple to make, and likely sugary enough to provide sustenance ‘til I manage to drag myself back here.

‘til then. ‘Neen.

Simple cupcakes made ghoulish.
½ pound butter, softened
½ pound sugar
4 eggs
½ pound self raising flour, sifted

Food colouring, preferably paste colour, though scant liquid would work also
Bun cases
12 bun baking tin (or 18 if a smallish size)

Line the baking tin with the bun cases.
Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, a tablespoon of the sifted flour with each beating after each addition.
Fold in the rest of the flour with a knife.
Divide into as many bowls as you have colours, each with their own teaspoon.
Alternate teaspoons of each colour into the bun cases until all used.
Bake at 180 C for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Leave to cool.

Top with Nigella’s black icing and optional pumpkin made from died ready-to-roll icing and a clove.


Anonymous said...

Love the blog! It's ok for you to leave it 'till last though. Sound like you have your hands full!

I'm planning on eating at your restaurant tonight, actually. Can't wait!

Anonymous said...

Hi! Could you please tell me what's the difference between "gloulish" and "ghoulish"? regards :)

Me, myself and I said...

I love the idea of the multi-coloured sponge in the cupcakes. My kids would love that. Next time I make cupcakes I'll give it a go.

Beer Pack said...

Nice touch with the little pumpkins on top.

Keep the posts coming.

Anonymous said...

Your blog is very good. Very interesting dishes.

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