I am currently at a place my obsessively goal-driven self does not like. There’s been a lack of my usual motivations and bouts of inspiration, not even the usual energy I give to all the things that I do. It’s strange. But maybe it’s my own fault too. Since my grandmother’s death my mind has been on overdrive. I’ve been thinking plenty about life, about living, about dying, about my fears, about the future, about what-if’s, about my regrets… It kind of feels like I suddenly had this need to figure out how to live that I seem to have forgotten to actually do so. It certainly feels like I’ve forgotten how to enjoy the things I love in the way I always have.
Lately I have become more somber, more quiet, and even more moody. I feel like I’m living inside my mind at the time being, and any good ideas I produce immediately gets washed away by a tidal wave of negative thoughts and anxiety. I haven’t written or drawn- haven’t even cooked or baked anything worthwhile- since the year started. My personal worries have sucked out the very soul of me until I can barely recognize myself, my mind even occasionally brushing with thoughts of giving up on the things I love doing. I never imagined I would ever allow myself to be stuck in a black hole for months and months without raising the red flag.
It’s funny but this cupcake reminds me of life in a way, about how sometimes you have expectations in your mind of something grand and beautiful, but by your own fault it doesn’t quite end up the way you imagined. You’re just about ready to throw in the towel, call it a day, turn your back and leave forever. But a tiny voice in your head urges you to take a step closer, to look and see if maybe it’s not as bad as you think.
Once the initial disappointment wears off you take a look- or in the case of this cupcake, a bite- and then you realize it’s not as tragic as you let yourself believe. That it appears you’ve let your mind run way ahead of what is in front of you yet again. Products of an overreacting drama queen mind. If only life was as easy to come to terms with as cupcakes are, yeah?
These cupcakes are actually quite good despite the fact that they don’t look as impressive as they should be. I ran out of sugar for the frosting. I know, I should’ve checked! But I was near prepared to abandon these to anyone who would take a second glance when I decided to take a bite. Lo and behold it was actually delicious. And it has reason to be given that it’s chocolate, it has Kahlua, and it has Bailey’s. I mean you just can’t go wrong with that combination!
The best part about these cuppie cakes of love is their lovely crumb– very soft and tender, perfect to eat with a spoon. It’s also a great way to catch the ooey gooey Bailey’s filling that drips out from the center of the cupcakes. Super yummy.
Though seemingly made of a ton of components, I can tell you they are all worth it once you get to devour the finished product. Even though my frosting was really runny because I forgot to adjust to the amount of sugar I had left, the taste of the cupcake as a whole made up for its rather unruly appearance.
A word of warning, the filling can be a messy pain to get into the cupcakes without a syringe but I used a piping tip and toothpick instead. I should’ve used a straw as a substitute tool, but we don’t use straws at home so I had to improvise with what I had.
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons instant coffee powder
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup original-flavour Bailey's Irish Cream
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 large egg yolks
- ½ stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup Kahlua liqueur
- 4 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1. Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line cupcake tin with paper liners.
- 2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder, and coffee powder.
- 3. In a separate larger bowl, mix olive oil, water, vanilla, and vinegar until well-combined. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. Stir in chocolate chips.
- 4. Transfer batter into cupcake liners until 3/4 of the way full. Bake cupcakes for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. These can be made a day ahead and stored in the fridge. Cupcakes should be fully cooled before adding the pudding filling.
- 5. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add Bailey’s and stir, allowing it to come to a simmer, about 5 minutes.
- 6. In a separate heat-safe bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Slowly ladle about half a cup of the heated Bailey’s into the yolks and whisk continuously to prevent the egg yolks from cooking.
- 7. Slowly add yolk mixture back into the pan with the Bailey’s mixture and bring to a boil. It will reduce and most likely start to separate but that's okay. Allow it to boil for about 3 minutes.
- 8. Remove from heat and continue to stir. Allow to cool to a warm temperature, then either transfer to the blender and give it a whir until well-mixed, or use a whisk and vigorously blend. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool further.
- 9. Once pudding reaches a lukewarm temperature, use a syringe to inject pudding into the cupcakes. (Drugstore syringes work too.) Make sure to push the syringe into the center of the cupcake so the filling stays inside.* Place the cupcakes in the fridge to set.
- 10. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a handheld mixer), cream butter. Alternately mix Kahlua and powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached. You may not need all of the powdered sugar. Add vanilla and salt, mix well. Spread or pipe the frosting on top of each cool cupcake and decorate as desired.**
- * I didn't have a syringe so I used piping tips to get the filling inside. Of course a syringe would be the perfect tool, but you can also use a straw. I think it's a better idea than a piping tip.
- ** My frosting was runny because I ran out of sugar. I also decided to top my cupcakes with leftover pudding and a sprinkling of coffee powder.
For every hump on the road I encounter, I have always believed that I’m going to be okay at the end of it. I’m a fighter you see, but I guess I hadn’t noticed it was taking me a little longer this time around to get past this rut. I have to look past all my worries and find myself again. It’s about time I leave this rather lethargic mood permeating the blog behind!