In just 14 short days I can no longer call myself a single woman.
Today my 11 year old maid of honor and I had another adventure together– but for this adventure we didn’t even leave the comfort of our home. We donned our aprons and got down to baking wedding cupcakes! I am a DIY kinda girl, to a fault. My preference tends to be to do something myself if it’s humanly possible, (and most things are). So, while I am not crazy enough to make my own wedding cake– wedding CUPcakes are right up my alley.
About a month and a half ago my partner and I embarked upon the Whole 30 journey together. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Whole 30– it’s basically a 30 day elimination diet in which you take all sweeteners, alcohol, dairy, peanuts, grains and processed foods out of your eating repertoire. In short, you eat a lot of meat, vegetables, fruits and nuts. It was a life-changing experience. Truly. We did it because the holidays were a little more over-the-top than usual this year– and it just felt like we needed a reset. It was all that and more. It really allowed me to examine and ultimately change my relationship with food. Food has for as long as I can remember been something that I’ve used to fill myself when I feel empty– regardless of what my physical body needs. It has been comfort as opposed to fuel. These 30 days of conscious eating really turned that on its head. My partner also had a similar experience. Long story short, we no longer have the desire to eat crappy food, and particularly at our wedding. So, instead of using the caterer we were going to use for our reception, we’re cooking! (of course) And we’re MAKING PALEO CUPCAKES!!
Last weekend was Phase 1 of the Paleo baking challenge, it having been the first time either of myself or my daughter had ever attempted any paleo baking. We googled paleo cupcake recipes– my original thought was we’d do a vanilla and a chocolate. The first recipe my eager little maid of honor found and decided she was in love with was of course neither, but strawberry shortcake. SO, we decided we would do chocolate, vanilla and strawberry shortcake.
We decided to make six of each so as not to have a glut of cupcakes on our hands and eagerly began our endeavor. We started with strawberry, worked our way to chocolate and ended with vanilla. The strawberry were made with almond flour and sank a bit in the middle, we made notes and came up with a game plan of what we needed to do differently. The chocolate had coconut flour, coconut milk and coconut oil and turned out a bit dry but had the MOST AMAZING frosting that was composed of simply: melted semi-sweet chocolate, cashew butter, coconut oil and vanilla. DIVINE. The vanilla were underwhelming. Not bad– but not something to write home about– and definitely not wedding-worthy. Just because we only ended up with 18 cupcakes, however does not mean that this was not a ridiculously time-consuming labor of love, because it was definitely that. Regardless though, we agreed to find a new vanilla recipe and reconvene the following week for more mother-daughter baking fun.
Phase 2 of the Paleo baking challenge began today going over our adjustments and getting our game plan down. We decided to maintain the same baking order starting with the strawberry which we decided to use freeze dried strawberries in this time around, as well as the food processor as opposed to our weird ninja blender which was a bit of a debacle during Phase 1. The batter was very different, much thicker but they turned out well. No sinking middles. We added a little more moisture to the chocolate, baked them for five minutes less. Hey, we’re really experienced paleo bakers at this point– we’ve got this all figured out. And last but not least our new vanilla recipe which used almond flour instead of coconut and came out of the oven seeming pretty awesome.
Then we got to the frosting making. Good lord. Paleo baking THREE different kinds of cupcakes and making THREE different kinds of frostings for said cupcakes is very time consuming and A LOT of work. Also, our kitchen is the size of a postage stamp with very little counter space. At one point my daughter was literally on the ground with the electric mixer making frosting because there was absolutely no where else for her to be. But, these are the things that make wedding adventures fun. We managed to push our way through all the way to the frosting being in the piping bags and my daughter putting together the gold cupcake stand that I had excitedly ordered from Amazon several weeks earlier AGAINST her approval. As she took it out of the box she said, “this is really pretty, I like it.” I reminded her she told me not to order it. “I know.” she said. Of course she knows.
When we finally got all of the cupcakes decorated (I’m not even going to get into the frosting-making debacles– it would take me until tomorrow)– we were well past hungry, having yet to eat dinner, and decided we would share one of each. We started with the strawberry, the frosting literally slid off the side of the cupcake as my daughter peeled off the paper. We each took a bite and agreed that it was better than last week– freeze-dried strawberries were the way to go– but we had some serious figuring to do with the frosting, and we didn’t really know where to start. Next we went for vanilla, we figured we knew we loved the chocolate, that’s why we made more of those really, to eat them. We both agreed the vanilla was an improvement over last week. There was a lack of enthusiasm in our reactions, however– like we were trying to convince ourselves of something… Then we got to the chocolate. mmmmmmmmmh was the satisfied hum from my daughter after biting in. “These are SO GOOD!!”
Now THAT sounds wedding worthy. “What if we just did the chocolate for the wedding?” I heard myself saying out loud. We both sat there and tried to convince ourselves of why that was a bad idea– and every reason we shot down immediately. And then I started thinking about making just ONE kind of cupcake and ONE kind of frosting (in addition to the entire dinner I’ll be making) and the concept of making three different kinds all of a sudden seemed absolutely LUDICROUS.
K. I. S. S.
Keep It Simple, Stupid.
I’m getting married 14 days from now and there is SO much to be done before that– and making three kinds of cupcakes is NOT going to be on that ridiculous list of mine. Because chocolate is my favorite anyway.