*EOWTTA: V is for Vanilla

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

*EOWTTA = Eating our way through the alphabet

Yes, I am still going with this EOWTTA thing. Sure, I have been somewhat vague and vacillating on actual posting times. But I cannot give up now that I’m so close to the end can I?

So I give you the letter V for Vanilla.

I could wax lyrical about this fragrant “bean”, or rather the seed capsule of a flowering vine, however I wouldn’t want to vex by offering information you probably already know.

Instead, let me offer up some Vanilla Cupcakes instead.

Not just any cupcakes, but cupcakes made from the Magnolia Bakery recipe (found here, my adjustments appear further along this post).

See, I have a bit of an ulterior motive. I need your help. Or rather advice on New York – do you have a must see/must do/must eat thing to recommend a visitor to this fair city?

Mr. Kitchen Hand is heading over soon and would appreciate recommendations of a variety of vantage points to take in the view. Suggest some vivid visions to observe, or where to sate a voracious appetite to leave him filled with renewed vim and vigour.

Sadly, I shall be living vicariously through his emails as there is no vacancy on this trip for a hanger-on.

Actually, scrap the above list. I would prefer instead a list of presents that he can bring home. Gifts speak volumes when it comes to saying “I missed you”, don’t you agree? (Don’t vilify me for being shallow!).

Oh, you’d prefer if we could get back to the cupcakes? We found that they vanished surprisingly fast. If you look at the recipe, there are a few commentators venting their spleen, pronouncing the cupcakes vile. Don’t believe them.

The cakes* came out velvety and not too sweet. The frosting on the other hand, is very sugary but this is easily adjusted. How? Don’t use the ½ cup milk as suggested, instead, start with about 1 tablespoon milk and add enough icing sugar to form the required consistency. For me, this took just over 3 cups of icing sugar (it’s winter over here, so the icing stays a little firmer). Adjust the milk and sugar levels accordingly.

(Note: I had to make ¾ of the cupcake recipe as I realised I only had 3 eggs when I started to bake. Then one egg broke in the carton and I couldn’t salvage it, so I used a heaped tablespoon of yoghurt and a spare leftover egg white to compensate. I also used the scraped seeds from 1 vanilla bean to add some va-va-voom. Oh yes, I also made my own SR flour).

Both the mini-critics were very happy little vegemites when they found these cupcakes packed in their lunchboxes. Mr. Kitchen Hand distributed the rest at his vocational depot (that’s office if you’re not trying to make it start with a V).

Thank you for reading this slightly verbose and voluminous post. You may now return to your regular viewing, especially if it contains vuvuzelas.

There were 28 V words in this post although that has not been independently verified. (Make that 29).


Marcellina said...

So, I'm curious, are these Magnolia Bakery cupcakes as good as they a supposed to be? They look beautiful, that for sure!

chocolatesuze said...

hehe i love your EOWTTA posts! the only v word i can think of right now is the vuvuzela haha

delicieux said...

The cakes look gorgeous and I absolutely ADORE vanilla. A lot of people think vanilla is boring, but they couldn't be more wrong.

shaz said...

Thanks Marcellina - I'm a bit ambivalent. They were nice, I enjoyed them but they didn't make me want to do cartwheels or anything. I prefer the texture of my regular cupcake recipe (which is really a pound cake). Having said that, I have had some quite atrocious cupcakes in generic Sydney bakeries, so if I were to buy this cake in a bakery, I would be quite impressed because they tasted really home-made.

chocolatesuze - :) I HAD to include that somewhere otherwise I would have been kicking myself.

delicieux - I know what you mean, I love vanilla in food. However, I cannot stand the fake cloying vanilla scent in bath products and candles.

Anh said...

I tried Magnolia cupcake recipe once - they were okay :) I like my cakes a bit more of pound cake as well hehe :D

trissalicious.com said...

I would say Le Bernardin for Mr Kitchenhand!

adriene said...

so much to see and do in NYC :D

- Times Square, look out for the Naked Cowboy and Naked Cowgirl sometimes
- walk on Brooklyn Bridge
- walk through Central Park
- Museum of Modern Art
- a Broadway show. Wicked was great! but v expensive though because it sells out every night
- East Village is cool bohemian place
- The Strand bookstore if MKH likes books
- I love their Korean chicken wings, but maybe u have them in Syd already

shaz said...

he he Anh - same wavelenght

Thanks Trissa, will pass that tip on

Cheers Adriene - Naked Cowpeople ?? :)

And don't forget people - present list! ;P

Heavenly Housewife said...

Ooooh NY:
bagels, bagels and more bagels :). I recommend a sandwich from Russ & Daughters with some of their coconut dipped macaroons.
I also love the giant Nutter Butters at Bouchon bakery.
Blintzes at Edison Cafe.
My goodness, there are just so much goodies there. NY is a foodie paradise.
Never tried a magnolia cupcake. I hear that they are really sugary (not that that would bother me LOL).

3 hungry tummies said...

Oh lucky him! Have you given him a list things to bring home?

shaz said...

Thank you HH - Mr. Kitchen Hand is a bit of a bagel head, so he is looking forward to those :)

He he 3 Hungry Tummies - all the stuff I actually want probably won't make it back through customs :(

grace said...

i wondered if the prolific use of v-words was intentional. clever, you, and great choice for the focus ingredient!

Barbara said...

Love all your V's, Shaz! Cute post. And I'm with you. A vanilla bean pod is the be-all, end-all!

shaz said...

Thanks Grace and BArbara :)

shaz said...

PS HUngry Dog - thank you for your lovely comment, I cannot seem to publish it, some problems with blogger! I do wish Mr.KH could take ne on this trip :)