Monday, March 16, 2009
My birthday was last weekend. And while I had a nice time with family and friends, and received some very nice serving pieces (from Pottery Barn and the Orla Kiely for Target collection), the weekend was really all about cupcakes. Perhaps more than any other city, New Yorkers are obsessed with cupcakes. I blame Sex and the City. Although I did pick up a few cupcakes at Magnolia’s latest location on 6th Avenue and 49th Street, I more often enjoy offerings from Buttercup Bakeshop or Billy’s Bakery. Ironically, my coworker was also celebrating a birthday last weekend, so I wanted to bring in cupcakes on Monday. But instead of leaving the baking up to the professionals, I decided to attempt my own. I don’t consider myself a good baker. Baking is a science – it’s about precision and following a recipe to a T (until you have confidence to deviate). I like to experiment – be it substituting ingredients or adding something new. So with some trepidation, I tried two new recipes: “Key” Lime Coconut Cake as published in Gourmet (which I found by way of Smitten Kitchen) and David Lebovitz’s black bottom cupcake recipe (which I found by way of Letie’s Culinaria). Despite subbing white whole wheat flour for the white (it was all I had!) and regular limes for the key limes, both recipes turned out pretty good. Maybe not as perfect as Magnolia’s would have been, but special in their own way (and a lot less than $2-3 a pop most NYC bakeries charge.). After all, when it comes to birthdays, it’s the thought that counts!