It’s my birthday today and another year has gone by, and I’m now 35. Eek!
While today is officially my birthday it doesn’t really feel like my birthday yet, mainly because my boyfriend is away with work – he gets back tomorrow night. Also, the last few days haven’t been the best because my position at the IT company I worked for was made redundant on Thursday.
I seriously debated whether to say anything about my job being redundant. I’m one of those people that worries far too much about what other people think about me and while you can’t help it if your role at a company is made redundant, I worried people would think badly of me when they heard the news. However I know there are many people in this economy who have, sadly, gone through the same thing. It can’t but knock your confidence around.
My boyfriend was happy and excited when I called him in tears shortly after being told my job was made redundant. He knew I had been unhappy at the company for some time. He pointed out that this provides a great opportunity and should be looked at as a positive as it also gives me time to have a break from work for a while to relax and de-stress.
Over the last few days, after the initial shock wore off, I’ve come to see things in the same positive light as him. Thanks to my redundancy payment I can now relax for a while before working out what I want to do next without feeling pressured to find a job ASAP. This situation also gives me the opportunity to spend some time doing something I enjoy – working on Delicieux.
Being a typical Piscean, I love the creativity that comes with working on Delicieux, and I love challenging myself each week by cooking something new and learning new techniques. Since working on Delicieux I’ve noticed my confidence and skills grow. While I’m nowhere near as talented as some of the other wonderful food bloggers out there, I really enjoy the time I spend on Delicieux.
One of the things I’ve also noticed is that where in the past I might have looked at a recipe and thought I’d like to cook it but it looked too complicated, that only serves to excite me now. Now I spend hours flipping through cookbooks and food magazines or browsing online for recipes for inspiration on what to cook next. Despite my enthusiasm, or perhaps because of it, I have learned to not try and cook 4 or 5 different things at once. I have often had so many recipes I couldn’t wait to try, that while I was working, I would cram as much cooking into the weekend as possible and inevitably because I was cooking 4 dishes at the same time something would go wrong. Now I will have the time to take my time.
Another positive in all of this, is that my boyfriend is going to take his Long Service Leave from work so we can spend time together and we are going to go on a 3 week holiday to the United States. So if you have any suggestions of things to do and see in New York, San Francisco and Las Vegas, please leave a comment or send me an email as I’d love to hear from you. By the way, you can look forward to posts of our wonderful foodie finds while we are away on holiday.
Now, back to the cupcakes. While I’ve made these chocolate mint cupcakes to celebrate my birthday, they are also to celebrate the wonderful love and support my boyfriend has provided me, not only over the last few days, but since we’ve been together, hence the heart decorations. His wonderful support and encouragement never cease to amaze me.
I find mint to be both a soothing and energizing scent, and chocolate and mint is a winning combination in my books. Not quite as good as chocolate and orange, but definitely up there.
I would also like to share my love and say thank you, to you, my dear readers, for reading Delicieux and leaving such lovely comments. Each and every comment and wonderful email you send means so much. Thank you!!
Chocolate Mint Cupcakes with molten Lindt Lindor Mint chocolate ball centre
- 85g butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups of plain flour,sifted
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- a pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup of buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar
- 2/3 cup of good quality cocoa
- 1/2 teaspoon of mint extract
- Lindt Lindor Mint chocolate balls
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a muffin/cupcake tin with cupcake wrappers.
2. In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream the butter and sugar.
3. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition.
4. Switch the mixer to a low speed and in a bowl or cup combine the sifted flour, salt, cocoa and baking powder and add to the batter alternately with the buttermilk and mix until well combined.
5. Add the mint extract. In a small cup mix the vinegar and baking soda together and add to the batter mixing on a medium speed for 10 seconds.
6. Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake papers and press the Lindt Lindor Mint balls into the centre and ensure the balls are covered by the cake batter.
7. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Chocolate Mint Ganache
3 ounces of dark chocolate
1/2 cup of thickened cream
1/4 teaspoon of mint extract
1. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place into a bowl.
2. Pour the cream into a saucepan and heat until almost boiling and then pour over the chocolate pieces. Let it stand for 5 minutes before stirring until smooth and adding the mint extract. Let it stand for 10 minutes before decorating the cake.