It made me think about the weird stuff that happens to me while out on my runs.
I've seen a man who walks around with no shoes or shirt in the summer, just casually like it's normal (whoe we aptly nicknamed "shirtless shoeless tanned man" or SST man). I've seen a guy passed out on the grass (possibly too much alcohol the night before), a guy passed out on the concrete (possibly too much running), someone carrying an office chair on their head, an old man dancing by himself in the park and I've even seen car crashes (nothing severe, don't worry). I've seen a lot and I'm not even in a dodgy neighbourhood!
Don't let anyone ever tell you running is boring!
On my runs I tend to fill my head up with baking ideas and recipes to take my mind off the fact that I'm actually doing physical exercise and my body doesn't like it.
These particular cupcakes were a running-concoction I thought up that I think looked better in my endorphin-filled head.
My idea was to make some naked funfetti cupcakes, fill them with pink icing, top them with more icing, cover them in sprinkles and top them with mini Hundreds and Thousands biscuits.
The reality of the cupcakes was a little underwhelming. I should state that it wasn't entirely my fault. The biscuits let me down. Even though they were the mini versions of my favourite biscuits, they were too big and the sprinkles weren't the same colour and the full sized ones. How dare they?!
Luckily they still tasted good so I had to eat them to get rid of them (can you see why I need to do all this running?)
Luckily the cupcakes also tasted delicious and the icing was a fun alternative to my usual so I was happy with them.
If you've never made Swiss Meringue Buttercream before please don't be put off by all the steps involved, it's actually very easy. All you need is a candy thermometer and lots of patience!
Sorry about the photo overload but I feel that it's important to see each stage of the buttercream, just in case you're freaking out when it goes all sloppy like mine did at one stage!
Funfetti Cupcakes with Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Recipe adapted from Glorious Treats
1 1/4 C Cake Flour (see below for instructions on how to make this)
1 1/4 t Baking Powder
1/2 t Baking Soda
1/2 t Salt
3/4 C Sugar
1 1/2 t Vanilla Extract
1/2 C Oil (vegetable or canola)
1/2 C Buttermilk (or 1 cup milk with 1T white vinegar or lemon juice)
30g Long Sprinkles (Jimmies) or more if desired
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and line a muffin tin with cupcake cases.
- Mix up buttermilk (if you're making your own like I always do) and set aside, this will look funny and chunky when you go to use it later.
- Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl, stir together and set aside.
- Beat eggs for about 20 seconds and gradually add sugar. Beat for another 30 seconds.
- Add vanilla and oil to egg mixture and beat.
- Add a third of the flour mix to the eggy mixture (make sure your beater is on a low setting or the flour will fly everywhere!) and beat.
- Add half the buttermilk and beat then add another third of the flour. Add the remaining buttermilk and then the flour and beat until combined.
- Stir in the sprinkles until they are evenly distributed.
- Pour the cake batter in to cupcake cases about 2/3 full and bake for 12-14 minutes.
- Cool in tin for five minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Wait for them to cool down completely before icing.
Cake Flour Recipe (for one cup):
- Place 2 T of cornflour in a measuring cup
- Spoon normal flour into the measuring cup, use a knife to scoop away the extra on top of the cup.
- Sift the cup of flours atleast 3 or 4 times to mix them together.
Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Recipe adapted from Sweetapolita
5 large, fresh egg whites (150 g)
1-1/4 cups (250 g) sugar
1-1/2 cups (3 sticks)(340 g) butter, cut into cubes and cool, but not cold
2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 C Frozen raspberries, thawed and pressed through a sieve
2 T Raspberry jam or more to taste
Pink food colouring
- Make sure all your equipment is oil free by washing in boiling water and soap.
- In a double boiler, combine egg whites and sugar and simmer over a pot of water (not boiling).
- Whisk the mixture gently until the sugar has dissolved and temperature is 71 degrees C (160 F).
- Transfer mixture to a stand-alone mixer with the whisk attachment and whip until the egg whites become thick and glossy like a meringue, the bowl should be neutral to the touch and this takes approx. 10 – 15 minutes (actually, mine never cooled completely!)
- Switch the mixer attachment to the paddle and mix on a low speed.
- Gradually add butter, one cube at a time, making sure to mix well after each addition.
- Mix until icing is silky smooth. If mixture is curdled, keep mixing until it reaches a smooth consistency, if it is too runny refrigerate for 15-20 minutes then mix until it reaches a smooth consistency.
- Add the vanilla and salt and mix until well combined.
- Add raspberry puree and jam to taste or mix until well combined.
- Add the pink food colouring until you reach the desired colour.
I'll be training for this years Auckland Half Marathon again very soon so I'm sure I'll have lots more fun tales to tell after all that running!
Have you had any exciting run-ins while out on your run? I'd love to hear your funny stories!