Today is a big day!
Cupcakes and Showtunes has reached 10,000 hits!!!!!
I’ve been planning the 10,000-iversary cupcake for about a week, and it really turned out just incredibly. Here in the UK and in Australia, the little round rainbow sprinkles are called hundreds and thousands. So, to celebrate this amazing occasion, I’ve made this cupcake…
Hundreds and Thousands White Hot Chocolate Cupcake
Funfetti White Chocolate Chunk Vanilla Cake
Warm White Chocolate
White Chocolate Sprinkle Handle
Hundreds and Thousands
You’ll wish you had that many.
This cupcake is also perfect for the friend who doesn’t like frosting, and it is super easy to make.
I decided to make this cupcake for three reasons. First, hundreds and thousands. 10,000-iversary. Clever, eh? Second, buttercream is pretty difficult for me to make over here, considering I don’t have a hand mixer or such, so I thought whipped cream (yes, from a can, don’t judge me) would be great. Third, I wanted to make a cupcake version of a white hot chocolate. You can’t make this cupcake far in advance, because you really do want the chocolate to be warm, and the whipped cream will melt slightly over a couple minutes. Assemble these right when you’re going to serve them.
I adapted the How Sweet It Is 2 serving vanilla cupcake recipe for this creation. I used olive oil instead of butter, and put in a bunch of white chocolate chunks and sprinkles. Now, as you can see, I made three cupcakes. I was concerned about overflow, but realized after that I really could have just done two, as these cupcakes are very stable and weren’t even close to over-rising and spilling over the sides. So, really, just do two. The beauty of this recipe isn’t just the fantastic flavor, moisture, and texture, but the fact that it requires just a bowl and a fork.
I’d never had this stuff until today. It is SO GOOD.
One Bowl Vanilla Cupcakes for Two
1 egg white
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla (yes, a full teaspoon – they are super vanilla-y!)
1/4 cup flour
1/4 heaping teaspoon of baking powder
pinch of salt
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
¼ cup white chocolate chunks
1 tbsp hundreds and thousands
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with 2 liners.
In a bowl, add egg white and sugar and mix until combined. Add in vanilla and melted butter and stir until mixed. Add flour, baking powder and salt and stir until smooth. Stir in milk. Stir in white chocolate and sprinkles. Divide batter equally between the 2 cupcake liners.
Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, or until cake is set. Let cool completely, then frost as desired.
As a note, I rarely eat my own cupcakes (I’m quite health conscious). This time, I ate TWO. I’m not kidding around here, make these cupcakes. They are so decadent and the chunks of white chocolate make it ridiculously addicting. I couldn’t help myself.
Anywho, while the cupcakes are baking, make your white chocolate handles. Melt a couple of squares of white chocolate in the microwave (being very careful not to let it burn, as it can happen quickly!). Then place the chocolate in a ziplock bag, cut off a very small tip, and pipe handles onto parchment paper. Sprinkle with hundreds and thousands and put in the fridge to set. When ready to use, gently peel the handles away from the paper.
To assemble the cupcake, I melted 2 squares of white chocolate and poured it over the cupcake base, spreading with a spoon a bit so it dripped over the sides. If you’re doing more than 1 or 2 cupcakes, I would suggest using a white chocolate ganache to get more distance out of the chocolate you’re using.
Hook on the handle, top with whipped cream and hundreds and thousands, and eat! These are so much fun, will be loved by anyone, and are really, really easy. Trust me. It took maybe an hour from start to finish, including doing the dishes.
Happy 10,000 hit Anniversary, Cupcakes and Showtunes.
Making mama proud :)
I’ll keep today brief and interesting. Look! Bullets!
- I booked my hotel in PARIS. Ah, mes rêves deviennent réalité! Nous logerons à un hôtel charmant, et je suis vraiment excitée! Il faut que je parler le français souvent pendant la semaine prochaine.
- I’m in the midst of planning other European adventures, and thus have absolutely no motivation to do my homework at all. But alas, I am in fact here to study…
- I bought a ticket for a trip to Stonehenge! Woo history!
- I watched Despicable Me for the first time. It was absolutely adorable. It’s so fluffy I could die!!
- I scooted on over to the flat next door to celebrate a friend’s birthday—happy 20th!!
Today was a really, really packed day. Amazing and tiring and wonderful.
Before I begin, I have some rather tragic news. I was given a role as a chorus girl in How to Succeed in Business Withouth Really Trying, which would have been amazing if I didn’t have to give it up because the rehearsals are only on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and I’m already traveling or otherwise engaged on 7 of my Saturdays. Boo. Well, we can’t get everything can we? I’ve already got the dream opportunity to travel Europe. I think I can deal with that ;)
I got up bright and early to meet a new friend at a coffee shop I’d never been to! We met online when I posted in a group of people in my major asking if anyone would be planning on traveling to Italy during reading week. Apparently we get a week in the middle of the semester to just read. Yes. “Read”. Translation: travel time for Amanda! Anywho, we met at this café I found on Timeout called Tapped and Packed. I was especially excited to try it because they serve filter coffee, which I’ve been hard-pressed to find around these parts, except at Starbucks. Europeans and their espresso. Sheesh. Well, we met there, and the place was SO ADORABLE. Very rustic and cozy. They brought my cup and a cute little bottle of milk right to the table I was sitting at. The coffee was nice and strong and the croissants were crispy and fluffy. Croissants are really my once-in-a-while treat nowadays. They’re just so freaking good. Here’s the coffee I enjoyed, and the cute little spoon that came with it.
On the table there was a newspaper with Obama and Mitt Romney right on the front page. Apparently the British are rather interested in American politics. I wish I had been able to see the debates, but I didn’t want to stay up until 3am watching it. Jon Stewart can tell me how it went later on.
So I met with this fellow student, and we talked about travel and just sort of got all caught up—it would be a bit odd to travel with someone you had never met before, yes? It was very nice, and an hour or so later we parted ways so that I could go get a book at the library. I will admit that my intention was to actually read this book at the library.
I went on an 11 MILE WALK instead.
Okay, okay, in my defense, although I knew that I walked a long distance, I only thought that I walked about half that. With the books in my bag and just some canvas shoes, I figured I was just tired. Oops. Let me take you along to all the places I went. I walked down Oxford Street to Hyde Park. On the corner is the Marble Arch, where I took this photo:
I then walked along the edge, passing areas that rather resembled a desert. I was not impressed. But eventually I did get to a more lush area, where there were rose gardens and flowers abounding. Also a couple making out (or, snogging) behind one of the garden walls. Good for you, guys. Good for you.
I then made my way out of the park through a little miniature park, where I took a picture with this elegant arch:
It’s probably famous and I have no idea what it is. It’s gorgeous. I then continued on (all the while looking for a restroom) and happened to stumble upon Buckingham Palace. No big deal. It’s a funny sight, with the guards doing their little march and all of the tourists poking their noses and their cameras through the bars of the gate. My mother keeps telling me I have to hang around here if I want to marry the prince. I have never expressed any desire to do so, but she never fails to mention it. Well, here you go, Mommy! Proof I was there:
Onward! I had been expecting to visit the Palace, but only after having visited Harrod’s. So, I endeavored to make my way North a wee bit to find the famous superstore. It took a little bit of time and some map examining, but I did find it and it was amazing. A picture I took along the way, and then at the store!
I had a better picture, but I must have accidentally deleted it. Ah well. Harrod’s is HUGE. There are five floors of almost anything you could desire, from clothes to food, an Egyptian themed stairwell, a memorial to Princess Diana, and a pet spa. I of course adored the food and kitchen sections. Look at me with some mixers! I miss my Kitchenaid so much when I’m away from home. That’s coming to New York with me, let me tell you.
But anyway, Harrods is incredible. There were some rooms where I was afraid to touch things because they were so expensive. There was a room with Salvador Dali sculptures, and the most expensive chess table I have ever and probably will ever see, and then a dress that I thought was adorable until I saw the price tag of £1500. Awkward.
Finishing up, I strolled down the street only to realize I was going the wrong way, and then I turned around and went up through Piccadilly Circus and back home. On the way I found this store called Fortnum & Mason, which is this fairly large home goods type of store with the most adorable shop front. There are animals on the front that look like they were taken right off of a carousel. I of course explored the food and Christmas sections. Few things in this world make me as consistently happy as the thought of Christmas.
I then finished the last part of my walk, with only a little bit of rain at the end. During much of the walk it was too warm for me to wear my coat—imagine no snow in October! Shocking! Well, when I got home I was thoroughly exhausted and ate my meal, relaxed with some friends for a bit, and then retreated to relax my legs for the rest of the evening. A day well spent, I think.
Saturday and Sunday
These last two days have been spent doing errands, attempting to get into the swing of doing homework for the first time in four months, trying to rid myself of an annoying dry cough, and generally enjoying not doing much of anything at all. I really loved doing my laundry last night (oh how I adore the smell of fresh laundry!!) and doing my groceries today (3 for 2 granola anyone, yes?).
I’ve also decided that in lieu of doing musical theatre, I am going to do the sign language club! I’ve always wanted to learn, and although I know that I can’t do very much in just 8 classes, it’s a start and I can continue to learn when I get back home! It’s also a much lower commitment and won’t clash with my travels. Because that really is my number one priority.
Given that these days were so brief in description, I’m going to make up the extra length with some more observations and thoughts that I’ve had on my walks through the city.
- Have you ever noticed how much more of the world you see if you just look up? Most of us look down, or perhaps forward when we walk, and we miss so much! I would have never gone into Fortnum & Mason if this thought hadn’t occurred to me only moments before passing it. I saw the cute animals on the outside of the building and new I had to visit! Funny how these things work out, isn’t it?
- I have a schpeel on travel pictures. I think it’s a bit silly to take pictures of landmarks. I see tourists doing it all the time. Here’s a picture of the Eiffel Tower! Big Ben! The London Eye! The Statue of Liberty! Whatever it may be, I don’t understand the appeal. My rule is generally, if I could Google it, I’m not going to take a picture of it. Whenever I look in other people’s albums, I always skip to the ones that they are in. I don’t care what the Eiffel Tower looks like. I’ve seen better pictures online. I care about how happy you look standing in front of it, and I certainly can’t Google a picture of you in front of it. So, you will almost never see me post a picture of a landmark. If you want a picture of the London sites, go Google it. That’s it.
- Alrighty. Money. The problem with being in London is that American money is only worth about 2/3 of a British pound. Sucks to suck. So, everthing seems insanely expensive if you convert it in your head. The thing is, you can’t really do that. If coffee and a pastry is £3 here, it’s like $3 in America. You’re actually paying $5, but spending £3 to a British person feels like spending $3 does to an American. It’s a weird situation, because you do need to budget for the actual money spent, but you can’t curl up in your room weeping because everything seems so much more expensive. Facts of life.
- I don’t know if anyone else feels this, but walking is really cathartic for me. I have so many thoughts and see so many people and hear so many beautiful sounds, that I can hardly help but love every moment of it no matter how tired I am. It’s perfect.
- I am bringing afternoon tea back to America. I haven’t had one here yet, but I’m going to this week and it looks like the coolest thing ever.
- My mother always says this when I start to get sick, but really, salt water gargling has got to be one of the best medicines out there when you get a twinge of pain in your throat. My throat soreness (which was pretty severe on Friday night) was gone in a single day, no joke.
- I have discovered why I am so unmotivated to do my work. There are three main reasons. (1) I have not done homework in about 4 months (2) I am too distracted by all the wonders of London and Europe (3) I have senioritis hard core.
- I love peanut butter and it is my comfort food. I don’t eat it in large doses, but when I can have my peanut butter banana sandwich, I am in heaven.
- On a slightly related note, I had forgotten how good Nutella is. I know, I know, how could I forget? Well I did. But it’s just so glorious.
- There is a song in I Love You Because called “Coffee” in which the lead female proclaims that she never goes to the same [coffee] place twice. I want to be like that. Here, in London, and later, in NYC.
- Last but not least, I have a bit of a sad note. I love fall. So much. But the problem is, the British don’t really seem to care about fall all that much. In America it’s all pumpkin and sweet potato and apple and changing leaves. Here, there are nearly barely any changing leaves, unless you count when they go from green to brown after falling on the road. I tried the pumpkin loaf at Starbucks in an attempt to get some semblance of fall into my system, and found that it was far inferior to the ones in America. I have yet to see a pastry or a dish or anything at all that celebrates the harvest or fall itself. It’s a very upsetting thing for me, as fall is usually my favorite season. I need to go buy myself a new sweater and bake myself some sweet potatoes or pumpkin muffins or something. I will not let fall pass by without its proper celebration.
Another busy day, as usual! I decided last night that I wanted to get a student ticket to Wicked, which is either insanely expensive or insanely difficult to get into back in New York. Here, all you have to do is line up at the box office and wait your turn. Super simple. So that’s what I did! Hopped on the train this morning to Victoria, and got my ticket. 5th row ticket to see Wicked for less than £30. Crazy, I know. While I was waiting in line I heard some American tourists talking to a girl visiting from Korea. I actually heard this uttered by the man in line: “Are you good at golf? All the women champions are from Korea. I thought everyone in Korea played golf!” I wanted to slap my forehead so hard. The girl was very sweet about it, but really? Do you know what the culture and environment are like in Korea? Last time I knew, not everyone was living on an estate bordering a country club. Sorry, I won’t go on a rampage. It’s just that people who say that kind of stuff are the ones who give Americans a bad name.
Well, after getting my (AWESOME) tickets, I went back to uni for a meeting of the British Sign Language club!! With the extra time freed up from not doing the musical, I thought I would take up something new. BSL is quite different from American Sign Language, but I’ve always wanted to learn ASL and I’m sure learning any sign language will at least get me more comfortable with using and learning it. Everyone was super nice and I’m really excited to be more involved!
Unfortunately, various afflictions have started cropping up, such as a very mild case of red eye, a dry cough, runny nose, some nausea, and so forth. But a few good meals and lots of sleep should cure them really fast. Relaxation is key, my friend. After class I caught dinner quickly at Planet Organic’s vegetarian bar before scooting off to the theatre! I have to take the tube to get there, and you never know if there will be a delay or not, so leaving an hour before curtain was my plan. Planet Organic’s food isn’t half as good as Whole Food’s, but it was still warm and satisfying and I got my vegetarian lasagna fix :)
Arriving at the theatre, I waited in the lobby a bit—the lobby is lit with a green light, very appropriately. The little booth wasn’t selling any pins, which was sad (my collection is growing, though!), but soon we were all allowed to sit down. I was a bit put off by the sound of instruments warming up in the distance—it seems to me that they could have done so before the house was opened. Oh well.
So, the show. I’ve been waiting to see this for a really long time. Most of the cast was really good. The one flop? Fiyero. His acting was mediocre, and his singing was fairly horrendous. He sounded like he had lost his voice or something. He couldn’t belt any of the upper notes in As Long As You’re Mine, which, for the record, is my favorite song in the show. Disappointing. However, the show as a whole was marvelous and Elphaba and Glinda were tremendously talented singers. I always leave musicals wanting to sing :)
I got home fairly quickly, and then spent the rest of the night trying to decide which classes I’m going to take in my LAST SEMESTER AT CORNELL. Holy fudgicle. I can’t believe I’m a senior. It’s really insane. And I have no idea what courses to take. I don’t want to take any hard ones—I think I’ve worked hard enough to give myself an easy last semester. So we’ll see how it goes! I only have one more class that I’m required to do, so I have plenty of flexibility. If anyone has suggestions, let me know.
Well that’s that!