Okay I need a brief "mommy" moment before we begin today. As many of you know my son is in school getting his Master's Degree. Well today he had to defend his thesis. He called a little while ago saying there are no revisions so whoo to the hoo! He made it through with his sanity intact, well, mostly. So congrats to B-Dude on a job well done. He was also accepted to Calgary for his PHD so we'll be saying goodbye to him this summer. Going to be so weird without him here eating all my food and doing my dishes. Guess mini-me needs to start kicking it with dish pan hands soon. Okay all joking aside I am super proud and going to miss the little hooligan when he goes. I'm threatening to move down there with him. A mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do!
Now on with the show!
BURNING DOWN THE KITCHEN WITH MOVITA BEAUCOUP:
Today I have the hysterically funny Movita Beaucoup in the house. She not only burns it up in the kitchen but she makes me laugh so hard I've been known to wake the neighbours. It's okay though cuz I don't really like my neighbours so it's all good. If you are not reading Movita's blog you are missing out. She cooks up incredible food that will make you drool all over your keyboard. Today I will be showing you my take on her Classic Cupcakes. They caught my eye when she posted them. So fancy shmancy looking and I'm not going to lie, the thought of turning everyone's teeth blue and not telling them really appealed to me. Movita also hosts the ever popular Ginger series where people get to bake their faces off making gingerbread houses. I plan on entering this year and winning so just watch your backs folks. She also does a Pumpkin Carve Off which I plan on entering this year and winning so you might want to up your game folks. There's also Bake My Cake 2012 to celebrate Movita's impending 40th (the contest will run whether Movita decides to turn 40 or not) which I plan on entering and winning so if I were you I'd just accept defeat now. Well, maybe not. I hear Isabelle from Crumb might enter so I need to find a way to sneak on over to Toronto to sabotage her cake so I stand a chance. Movita also does tutorials on refinishing furniture and doing crafts. I cannot wait until hubs is working again so I can get back to that myself. I miss projects. I want to make her pallet table. So as you can see I am a huge fan of this woman. She makes me laugh, makes me drool and I am happy to report I plan on meeting Movita when I visit my brother out her way next summer. Look out Halifax, the two of us out on the loose is sure to spell disaster and hijinks for certain. Now here's your chance to wander around in the mind of Movita. Hope you enjoy getting to know her better. I sure did. For those curious her real name is Rachael but I find myself calling her Movita all the time even though I know that.
I asked Movita to share a picture of herself with us. I could not find one single photo of this lady on her blog. So me being the forward kind of gal I am I asked her if she could send me one. Imagine my surprise and delight when she agreed. I recommended she wear a bathing suit in the comment section of her blog when she posted her new series Crap Movita Worries About. She was quite concerned about her beautiful body plummeting naked through the floors while in the tub. I mean it's a legitimate worry so I suggested a bathing suit. Not only did she heed my worldly advice but she sent a pic of her in her lovely bathing suit to share with the world. She claims to never take it off since I suggested it. This is why I love Movita more than chocolate:
Rapidfire Q & A with Rachael of Movita Beaucoup:
1. What inspired you to start blogging?
I started blogging back in 2004 - I had a non-food related blog, which outlined my dating disasters and the like. After I met 2.0 (my permanent dude), I really got into baking. Since he wasn’t really keen on me dating other men for blog material, I started a new site which developed into a blog about the butter-infused life we lead. We do some pretty dumb stuff around my place, so I can only assume people follow my blog to feel better about themselves.
2. What is the enjoyable part of blogging for you?
I have made a great number of invisible friends. I truly appreciate every comment and email they send my way. There’s a weird reassurance I get from knowing they’ve got my back. I count them among my best friendships now.
3. Anything about it you don't like?
The photography. I love it and hate it at the same time. For a perfectionist, it’s a constant struggle.
4. What is your favourite post of yours and why?
I feel like I should say my tutorial on antiquing and distressing furniture with paint. It drives thousands of people to my site every week. But in reality, any post involving 2.0 and something weird he has done, is a winner with me.
5. What sparked you to do your super popular Ginger contests and the Pumpkin Carve-Off?
Those competitions began several years ago between my enemies, The Rutherfords, and I. We forced our friends and colleagues to judge who could make the best gingerbread house and/or carve the best pumpkin. It was borderline violent. Once The Rutherfords had children, they were rendered useless, so I opened the competitions to the entire planet. And I’ve made a whole new set of enemies.
6. I'm entering your Bake My Cake competition, any advice to tip the scales in my favour?
As J-Lo would say, you can go hard, or you can go home. Also, you could just read some tips I wrote out for you here:http://movitabeaucoup.com/
7. You are very crafty, is there anything you're bad at? Something that just chafes your *bleep* that you can't do?
I can’t do a cart-wheel. Or draw. Or whistle. Or snap. Feel better?
8. What was your worst kitchen disaster?
Last year, I had to make my mother’s birthday cake three times. I chose a recipe from a famous food blogger, which had hundreds of comments saying how awesome the cake was - and a few saying it contained grievous errors. The cake failed twice - spectacularly so - and 2.0 refused to let me attempt the same cake a third time. That’s not to say the cake didn’t work for that blogger and dozens of her readers. It just didn’t work for me. It was a good lesson in learning to walk away, and I ended up making an old family recipe that kicked cake ass.
9. I'm coming to visit you and you're making me dinner (seriously!), whatcha making?
Well, no visit to the East Coast would be complete without some seafood chowder and a huge, honkin’ lobster. So, I guess we’ll go to Burger King.
10. Do you have a favourite dish you just love to make?
Beaucoup Seafood Chowder. It’s always a hit. And anything with icing.
11. Coke or Pepsi?
12. Sweet or Savoury?
Both. See question 14 for further explanation.
13. Butter or Margarine?
Butter. So much butter.
14. Candy or chips to snack on? Fave kind?
I have a snacking policy which I never stray from: if you are eating a sweet treat, it must be followed by a salty snack. If eating chips, they must be chased by candy. It’s the only aspect of my life in which I have achieved perfect balance.
15. Fruit or veggies?
16. Morley makes me swoon, any plans to sell your needle felted creations at any point?
Lately, my crafts have taken a back burner to blogging and my real job. Perhaps when I become famous, I will have people to take care of the mundane tasks currently occupying my time, and I will bake and sell needle felted crap on the interweb. Fingers crossed.
17. If you had the opportunity to cook at any famous restaurant for a day where would it be and why?
My brother and his family live in France. I wouldn’t mind kickin’ it at a French boulangerie or pâtisserie for a day. Imagine all of the cool stuff you could eat. Oh, and learn.
18. Apron or no apron?
When company is over, I’ll put on an apron. Mostly so they’ll be intimidated. When alone, I let stuff fly all over my outdated, gym inspired wardrobe.
19. You are famous for your sense of humour. Where does that come from? Are you this funny at home with the fam cuz seriously I'd get nothing done with you around. I'd just sit and laugh all day.
I’ve always been surrounded by funny people - my family, friends, 2.0. Basically, if you don’t keep up, you’ll be destroyed. It makes for a very happy life. (And relatively strong abs.) Let's just assume that you'd be totally useless at my house.
20. You are headed to real, live, professional baking school in the fall, so what inspired you to do that? Are you nervous?
Yes, I’m nervous, Kim, thanks for bringing it up. I’m petrified. I’m turning 40 next month, so I figured it was time to take a leap - even if it meant putting myself into a completely new and terrifying situation. Though I’ve enjoyed my career as a ballet teacher immensely, I’m ready to consider some new options. I’d like to do more writing. Perhaps become a baking guru. Getting some credentials could help me work toward a new, bigger-than-Kanye-West career. I’m kind of excited to see what comes next. Also, I’ve really missed buying school supplies.
Take a pic of your kitchen mid baking or cooking extravaganza!
I don't know about you but I am feeling so much better now that I know Movita cannot whistle or do a cart-wheel or snap. It's like a huge relief to me. I will let the fact that she can't draw slide. I mean considering how hot she looks in that bathing suit we should forgive her I think.
So I made Movita's Classic Cupcakes for this feature. I also used her buttercream icing and her notes say this: adapted slightly from i am baker, who adapted it from Rick Mazzuca (icing colour inspired by Chocolate Chili Mango). So she was inspired by many. Props to those who inspire. I love that Movita gives credit to those who deserve it.
I shall share a photo of Movita's cupcakes with you first. Then show you my version. Hers is prettier. Makes me want to just reach in the screen and grab it. Personally I think this photo is magazine worthy. It just looks so decadent.
The only thing I changed was the fact that I used my vanilla salt and vanilla sugar. I just love the flavour it adds. Also I was out of almond extract so I just used extra vanilla extract in its place.
- Recipe for the cupcakes:
- 3 cups cake flour divided into 1 cup measurements
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla salt
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1 cup of butter at room temperature
- 2 cups of vanilla sugar
- ½ cup of milk
- ½ cup of hot water
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- Recipe for the icing:
- 1 cup of butter or you can use shortening
- 4 cups of confectioner's sugar icing sugar
- ¼ teaspoon of vanilla salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoons of heavy cream
- Black gel food colouring adjust to desired shade you want
- Instructions for the cupcakes:
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. (F)
- Line muffin tins with cupcake liners.
- In a small bowl whisk together 1 cup of the flour, the vanilla salt and the baking powder. Set aside.
- Using your stand mixer on medium speed, combine your butter and sugar until fluffy. (about 3 to 5 minutes)
- Add milk, hot water, 1 cup of flour, and 1 egg. Mix on medium speed until combined then scrape sides.
- Add 1 cup of flour and 1 egg, mix again until well combined. Scrape sides.
- Now add the flour/vanilla salt/baking powder mixture to the mixer and 1 remaining egg. Mix on medium until well combined. Scrape sides.
- Add the vanilla and mix again until well combined.
- Now fill each cupcake liner so it's about ⅔ or ¾ full. Tap on the counter. Place in your preheated oven and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. Or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Instructions for the buttercream icing:
- In your stand mixer cream the butter until it's fluffy.
- Add 2 cups of the confectioner's sugar and mix. Start slow so you don't make a mess.
- Once well combined add the other 2 cups of confectioner's sugar and mix well.
- If mixture is too thick and mixer struggles add 1 tablespoon of heavy cream now, but remember to subtract that later.
- Add the vanilla salt, vanilla and heavy cream and beat until fluffy.
- Add your black food colouring now and mix on slow to combine.
- If you need to adjust add a small amount of either cream or confectioner's sugar until the consistency is just right.
- Place in a piping bag and pipe onto the cupcakes.
- Serve with a big old blueish smile!
I went back and asked Movita another question. It is the same one I asked David Leite at the Food Blog Forum Conference. So here's the bonus question.
How do you write for a G or PG audience if you don't necessarily live or talk PG? I know you push the envelope a bit as do I. How do you decide where to draw the line and how real to be? Most readers are PG so how do you balance your style with the reader?