I spent Sunday morning baking chocolate cake, Sunday afternoon making a raspberrry Swiss-meringue buttercream (it's easy, just follow this video), then filling said cake and covering it in fondant. This morning was spent painting, followed by making raspberry-filled muffins, icing them and figuring out what to do with the leftover meringue buttercream. I had been eating it by the spoon, and I am sure the boy would have been happy to continue, but I remembered ever-creative Marcela once made cupcakes out of a failed swiss-meringue buttercream and I decided to make some. It must be healthier than directly eating the frosting right?
All of this reminded me how much I enjoy baking. It's just too sad that it would be unhealthy to bake and eat all-the-baked-goods on a daily basis. Let me take a moment to say how much I love my KitchenAid. Oh yes. You see, I made the buttercream yesterday and it turned out all silky, beautiful, smooth and perfect. I put it in the fridge for the night, planning to use it today and frost the muffins. I took it out, let it gradually come to room temperature. All good. Except, when I started beating it, disaster, I watched it curdle before my eyes. I found a few tutorials, all saying to: "take about 1/4 of the frosting out of the bowl and transfer it to a microwave safe bowl. Pop it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds and then stream it back into the bowl while the mixer is running on low. Increase the speed and whip it into a big bowl of fluffy magicalness". Well, I don't have a microwave and I did not want to risk melting the buttercream on the stove, even au-bain-marie. So what did I do? I beat the heck out of it. I patiently waited, and after a while my dear stand mixer did its magic and it all came back together again. It did take a few minutes, but I trusted it was going to happen, as with Swiss Meringue Buttercream the trick is to beat and beat and beat until getting it together. (Maybe play this classic while you're at it).
On a related random note, on Saturday we went to the local market and we got some fresh biological eggs. Well, out of a box of 10, I have opened 4 and they ALL have been double-yolks.
Normally, an "egg is 'assembled' in the hen's oviduct, a process in which the ovum, which consists of the hen's genes plus the yolk, is surrounded by the egg white and the shell. The process is controlled by a series of hormones that tell the hen's body when to make the parts of the egg and in which order.
Double-yolk eggs result from an error in this process, caused by yolk production becoming unsynchronised with that of the rest of the egg. Double-yolked eggs are often laid by young hens, whose hormones are not yet fully 'in tune'. A double-yolked egg results when two ova are released at the same time." (source).
There are all kinds of superstitions surrounding double-yolk eggs, our ancestors thought they were an omen that could predict pregnancies, specially twin pregnancies, marriages and lots of good fortune. Anyhow, as in a given flock, hens are normally of the same age, and since this seems to be an age-related phenomenon, and knowing that eggs are classified per size, I guess it is not that weird of a finding. And still, I am in a bit of a shock. I have tried to figure out if genetic selection and breeding has resulted in producing a particular line of hens that lay only two-yolked eggs, but I haven't found a consistent answer to that, and even if twins do run in families, I am not sure it is a trait that could easily be selected for. Or were these hens, supposedly biologically-bred, on hormones? I don't think so, as it wouldn't be legal, specially for organic products, but I could not help but think of Gonal-F (welcome to my brain, this is just a sample of what fertility struggles and a veterinary degree can do to your grey matter).
How were your weekends? What have you been up to?
|The cupcakes I made with leftover Swiss-meringue buttercream. .|