Monday, 28 November 2011

Happy Birthday Dee!!!!

Today is Dee's birthday!

I made her a batch of these...
Oreo Cupcake with Oreo Frosting.  Yum.  Uh - we call it the Dirty Oreo.  We're sickos.

Dee and I have known each other for ages and ages.  I actually went to school with her brother, and Dee and MY brother were two years behind us.  Dee's brother and I met in Grade 8.  So.  Um.  Yeah.  We're all old.

It wasn't until Dee moved to the big city a block and a half from my old apartment that we started hanging out together.

That was 11 years ago.

And she has since become one of my most nearest and dearest friends.  She is always willing to be my guinea pig and never worries when I say "Here, try this".  She is always there to listen when I need her and she does her best to make me smile when I'm sad.  She is always there to share a joke and a laugh.

She knows my secrets and has seen many of my flaws, but she obviously still likes me - she's still taking my phone calls.

To my Dee Dee.  I know that sometimes you think that things aren't the way they should be at this point in your life - but you and I both know that there are likely reasons for that.  But for today, and every day after that, just ENJOY what the world and the universe throws your way.  I believe completely that you will wind up getting EVERYTHING you have ever dreamed of.  I'm so proud to call you my friend and I look forward to sharing many MANY more birthdays (and just regular old days) with you.

Wishing you the happiest of happiest - the Cane Girl.

Sunday, 27 November 2011


No really - this post is about garbage.  My garbage situation.  My ABUNDANT garbage situation.

Let's set the record straight.  I'm am NOT a dirty person.  Nor is my HOME dirty.  Everything has a place and when things are not in their places it makes me crazy.  See a speck of fluff on the carpet?  The vacuum comes out.  A little flour falls on the floor in the kitchen?  The Swiffer vac (I love that thing) comes out and the whole floor gets done.

Moving on.  I've always heard that two things are certain in life.  Death and taxes.  But I propose that GARBAGE be added to that list.  I don't care WHO YOU ARE, you will in some way create garbage.

I heard about this couple who are completely garbage free.  They compost and recycle and use cloth diapers and all that other junk.  And while I applaud them and completely believe that you can greatly reduce the amount of garbage coming out of your home, I have a seriously hard time believing that you can be COMPLETELY garbage free.

Trust me - I'm the crazy woman who forces you to recycle the cardboard roll at the end of your toilet paper.  Right Dee?

With my schedule, I'm often not home on garbage day.

And you might say "well, Heather, just put your garbage out the night before!  Duh."  But that doesn't work either.  Because if garbage days happen on a day that I'm not home, I'm generally not home the night before.  Therein creating my problem.

Where I live, if you put your garbage out more than 24 hours before pickup, the "ruling factions" of my community get real ornery.  And they have spies everywhere.  Trust me I know.

Also - the varmints (magpies, cats, etc.) get into the bags if they're left out too long.

In the summer it's not much of a problem, because pickup is every week, but once the city switches to their fall program, sometimes I miss two, or three, or FOUR pickups because of the days they fall.  And to be perfectly honest, sometimes I only have one or two small garbage bags and I don't feel that it constitutes putting out a big bag to be picked up.

But then I forget actually how much I have and this happens...

That was at Halloween.

This is what I've resorted to since coming home on the 16th.
Yes - that's garbage on the left, recycling on the right.  My pantry couldn't hold it any more.
Gross - but necessary.  And I've been putting stinky scraps (like garlic) into Ziploc bags.  It totally works.

Last year, I went through drive-throughs just so I could stick garbage in their cans.  I got into crap once or twice because I got caught, but then I learned to be sneaky.

This year - I'm staving off the midnight McDonald's trips.  Also because the only time you should eat McD's at midnight is after you've been having wobbly pops.

I'm also kind of freaked out because the LAST time (this was this past summer) I had an over-abundance of garbage and the day finally came, I pulled out the "kitchen" bags to put in a big black bag and heard a weird squishy noise on the front step outside.  There were MAGGOTS!!!  YES.  MAGGOTS.

Just FYI.  To kill a maggot, pour boiling water on them.  I also proceeded to scour my house for hours and hours for intruders of the maggot variety.  Thankfully, no-one else alive was in the house but me.  I also spent the entire next morning cleaning out the can.  With boiling water.  And bleach.  And then scoured my house for an hour.  (Don't worry, it was maggot-free) 

But to be honest?  I really just wanted to set the can on fire and get a new one.

Why am I telling you this?  Because that's my world.  Welcome to it.

I'm so glad garbage day is tomorrow.

This is the Cane Girl, soon to be garbage free - signing off.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

I Totally Scored.....

On this sweet purse.  Sicko.....

30% off at the "Black Friday in Canada" sale.

Check out the gorgeous lining.

I'm kind of jealous of myself.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Cupcakes A to Z: Apple Pie Cupcakes

They say there is nothing as American as apple pie.  And even though I'm a Canadian, I still love apple pie. 

The same day as the Lobster Soup, I made Apple Pie Cupcakes.  And I couldn't decide so I made two versions.

Let me start by saying that I HATE peeling apples.  Especially after I proceeding to ram a serrated paring knife into my palm, which was really fun by the way.  If, in the future, I'm ever making apple pie and applesauce in large quantities, I'm totally getting one of those do-hickeys that you stick the apple on a skewer and turn a handle and there's a little peeler thingy.  Totally getting one of those.

Apple Peeler - Gardening
Yeah - one of these.  I love tools.  Especially funky ones that have only one use.  But maybe one that peels only.
My Dad says that "it's not a project until someone bleeds".  Yeah - I bled for these cupcakes - that's how committed I am people.  I'm seriously not messing around here.


So the first version is a cupcake with cinnamon in it, cooked apples baked onto the top, and a cinnamon buttercream.

The second version is a vanilla cupcake with cooked apples in a cut-out and a vanilla buttercream.  I was really excited about this one because it was my very first "cored" cupcake.

I started out by doing both sets of apples so they'd be just ready to go as soon as the cupcake were.

Peeled and blood free.

Apples for Version 1
Apples for Version 2

All the junk for Version 1.  Um.  I kinda noticed that the yolks were two different colors.  I'm sure they're fine.  But that's weird right?  I'm not the only one thinking that?
 During the first version of these cupcakes, I accidentally sifted the sugar with the flour and the cinnamon.  I knew something was weird, but didn't discover what I'd done until I put the butter in the mixer.  Oops.  And it totally didn't help that my Mom called and I was busy talking to her instead of paying attention to what I was doing.  After I stuck the cupcakes in the oven I turned around and realized I forgot to put the apples on top.  But the cupcakes had only been in for like 30 seconds, so I ripped them out and topped them with the apples and put them back in.

Rescued from the oven and properly topped.

The recipe says to bake at 325F for 15-20 minutes, but they were in for quite a bit longer than that (like 25 minutes or so), and I'm slightly concerned that there's one floating around that's not totally cooked.  Gak.

Version 1 "baked"

Then top with a smooth and decadent cinnamon buttercream.  I kind of loved the cinnamon buttercream.  It tasted great, but the little flecks of cinnamon upped the cute quotient a whole bunch.

See the cinnamon speckles?  Cute right?

I did think that the cupcake was a little dry - but that's to be expected because it was in the oven for so freaking long.  And the frosting kind of slid around on the apples when I bit into them so I had to be a little careful to not drop it all over myself.

In the second version, you bake a vanilla cupcake and then cut a core out of it.
All the fixin's to make Version 2.  At least those two egg yolks are the same color.  Freak out factor is much smaller.

After the cupcakes are cored, you fill those empty wells with apples that were cooked in cinnamon and sugar.

Coring the cupcakes.  That's the dirty rotten scoundrel knife that "got" me earlier.  I'm keeping my eyes on that one.
All the cupcakes cored and filled.

Then you top with a vanilla buttercream.  I wanted to hide the apples so it was kind of like getting a little surprise!

What's with the weird lighting in this picture?  Oh well - here's a yummy treat.  Try not to jam it down your throat all at once.

And it was really delicious - you got all the lovely vanilla and the you got the burst of apple and cinnamon.  Yum, yum, yum.

So I was wondering, what if I put the cinnamon frosting on the version two cupcake?  But, I do think it might be a little too much cinnamon.

I guess if I had to choose, I would choose version two.

Once I had an apple pie that had maple syrup baked into the crust.  It was dang delightful.  I bet the apple filling would be awesome baked into a maple cupcake and topped with vanilla frosting.

Oh - and just so you know.  Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 was SO FREAKING AWESOME!!!!!

This is the Cane Girl - signing off.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Lobster Soup

On a very, very cold (-25 degrees C) Sunday, my Dad stopped by before heading back to Calgary.  I knew he would be coming, so I planned to make a lobster soup.

The stars of the show - 'cept for the cream because apparently he partied all night long and could not be reached.  And never mind the dirty dishcloths.  And the two apples peeking out from behind the milk - they were for later.

The only thing I have to say is that I was completely distracted with trying to entertain him, and there are only a couple of pictures.  And I forgot one of the ingredients....  I had hoped he would show up a little later than he actually did and that the soup would be simmering by the time he got to my house, but - the best laid plans never work out the way they should.

But before I start, I need to backtrack a little bit.  This recipe calls for celery flakes.  And I SCOURED my grocery store looking for celery flakes.  I know that McCormick's carries it cause I saw it on their website, and I'm sure it's available in the States, but not here in Canada.  And I didn't want to leave it out or substitute, so I googled celery flakes when I got home.

Turns out, it's pretty simple to do.  Strip some of the leaves of a bunch of celery, rinse them up, pat dry, and toss on a baking sheet and into the oven at 180 degrees F for a few hours or until the leaves are crispy.  I'm not gonna lie - they smelled GREAT!  And it's just CELERY.  The leaves smelled earthy and peppery and I was really excited to use them.
Fresh and ready to go in the oven.
Dried and crushed celery leaves.  Now - celery flakes!

Have you ever made a roux?  Just flour and butter and cook it a little while, and mix in milk or whatever and it helps the soup (or whatever) thicken.  And I think the "make a roux" - if you don't know how - can really freak a person out.  You'll see that in the recipe, it doesn't SAY "make a roux with the flour and butter".  Which I think in some small way helped me because I wasn't intimidated, I didn't think about it, I just did it.  And it WORKED.
The makings of a roux.  How fancy schmancy am I?

So you melt the butter, stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and celery flakes into the butter until well mixed.  I used about 1/2 a teaspoon of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper.  Or maybe it was an 1/8.  Now I can't remember, because the recipe just said to taste - so I just eyeballed it.  I actually thought I'd wrecked it, but I knew there was still a lot of liquid to go in, so I didn't worry about it.

Then you slowly pour in the milk and chicken broth.  I let this heat up a little bit until it started to steam and then added the lobster, onion, and parsley.  The instructions are to let it cook for about 10 minutes, but I let it lightly simmer for about 1/2 an hour - I would have liked to let it go longer, but I really didn't have time. 

I'm calling this picture "Distracted".  Because that's what I was.

After it had simmered for a little while, I took out a whole bunch of it and pureed it in the blender.  The recipe doesn't say to do this, but I thought it would be fun.  Now, I kinda wish that I had pureed a lot less - maybe less than half of the batch.  Then I added it backed to the pot and let it come to heat again.

Just before you serve, you're supposed to add cream and reheat - but I forgot.  And it was still REALLY good!

My Dad proceeded to have two bowls, even though he "ate a whole bunch of fruit at Cora's at breakfast and was stuffed".  And after he took one bite, he looked at me and said - "do you know what we're missing?"  And I knew exactly what he was going to say.  Buns.  Actually, this would be awesome in a bread bowl.
A scraped clean bowl for your viewing pleasure.  Enjoy.

I have just enough for dinner tonight, so if you're feeding a few people I would make the whole recipe as it states.  As it was I halved this recipe.

Also, the recipe says to cook everything over medium heat for about 10 minutes.  If you like crunchy onions that's fine, but if you want soft onions you might want to cook them in a little butter for a few minutes and then add them to the soup.

And I have a confession - I used FAKE lobster.  Real lobster is EXPENSIVE as all get out in the Prairies and usually frozen (ick).  So fake it had to be.  Don't judge me.

As written - the recipe is really great - the celery flakes imparted that earthy peppery flavour without being too much. 

Who's scoffing NOW Mom?

This is the Cane Girl - signing off.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Boiled Raisin Cake

So, we're all sitting in the office one day and one of the guys I work with turns to me and says:

Guy: "You should Google Boiled Raisin Cake."
Me: "Is that a joke?"
Guy: "No, just Google it."
Me: "Are you sure it's not something dirty?"
Guy: "No, it's my favorite cake.  Just Google it."
Me:  "If it's something dirty I'm gonna be really mad."
Guy: "Just Google."

Just to be on the safe side, I put "Recipe" in front of "Boiled Raisin Cake". 

And it turns out it's an actual thing and not a cruel joke.  I found a recipe on Allrecipes that I thought should work.  I also looked up Guy's birthday in our files and conveniently he mentioned this cake a week before his birthday.


Here's the sitch.

You boil some raisins in water, then add it to a mixture of flour, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, baking soda and salt.

Guess I shoulda taken this picture BEFORE it started to boil

And then you're supposed to pour it into a 9x13 pan and bake for 1 hour.  Well, my mixture didn't pour.  It was more the consistency of cookie dough.  So I spread it in the pan and baked away.

It probably could have been taken out of the oven up to 10 minutes before it was done.  The edges were rock hard and the top was pretty crusty - which I don't think is the point.

Obviously - I can't give it away, especially to Guy At Work.  I'd never live it down.  In the garbage it went.

Although I think it might have been a mistake on my end.  Remember how I told you that my pots get really really hot?  I think I should have reduced the heat on the burner and boiled the raisins at a lower temperature.  Because there should have been some liquid left.  So - I don't think it was the recipe's fault

Also - I really love Allrecipes, but I feel like there's essential information missing sometimes.  And you can't contact the recipe submitter and ask questions.  Like this recipe - maybe it should have mentioned that there should be some liquid left in the raisins, just reduced.  I don't know.  I'm starting to like the bloggers I follow more and more for that particular reason!

So, on my last day off, I started over - not typically something I'd do.  But I seriously need a win - after my failed attempt at Angel Food Cupcakes, the gross-bland soup, not being able to taste the Amaretto in that buttercream, and turning a cake into a rock.

I searched on and a recipe from Brown-Eyed Baker came up.... And I thought, "why the heck not".  I follow Michelle's blog and I have yet to make something that she's posted - so that was going to be the day.

And I even had 1 1/2 cups of raisins....  I'm so glad I got extra the morning before I made this.  And when I got back home - I realized that I forgot to pick up vegetable oil.  So I had to go BACK to the grocery store the NEXT morning.

It was starting to be ridiculous.

So, in the afternoon - I started all over again.

I have decided that the reason people were skinny in the olden days is because making baked goods was a giant pain in the butt and people didn't do it very much.  Stirring thick batters and whipping meringue's is the stuff of nightmares.  I can imagine that women before the invention of the electric mixer had fantastic arm strength.  That said - if you know who invented the electric mixer, let me know - I would love to send that person flowers.  Okay - that person is probably no longer around, but my point is, mixing things by hand SUCKS.  That's 100% of the reason I didn't bake before I got a few key tools.  I will say again that I'm not lazy, but I don't have the patience for it.

Sorry about that little segue.  But everything was done by hand and I've discovered muscles that I never knew existed, or maybe just forgot about.

Anyway - back to Michelle's recipe.  She said that she came across the recipe in her Grandmother's files and her Aunt also used to make this cake all the time - old school - should be good.

Same idea as the recipe before, but add in two eggs, reduce the spices, and a few other changes.

Bake to a deep golden brown and let cool to room temperature.

I will admit - this one smelled so so much better than the previous.

And the result? 
I'm pretty sure this picture is from the "garbage" batch.  But - for my own sanity, let's pretend it was the good one.

Mmmmm - moist and chewy with a little bit of a crust.  I was totally surprised.  I completely expected it to be something I wouldn't like - but I did!  Though honestly I wouldn't make it all the time for myself.

And - incredibly terrified I presented Guy with a container full of Boiled Raisin Cake.  And he smiled and the next day told me that my cake was pretty good - he ate two pieces of it the night before.  And continued to eat it even though he was sick and couldn't taste anything anyway.

So - Happy Birthday to the guy I work with!  I'm glad you liked your cake!

This is the Cane Girl - signing off.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Peanut Butter Bread

In an effort to keep myself awake at night while I'm at work, I need projects.  When I get up at 5am to go to the gym, I work all day, and then my evenings are spent plunked in front of the tv or a book.

The problem is that I fall asleep - usually between 6 and 7.  But, if I manage to keep myself awake between 6 and 7, then I sleep between 7 and 8, or it's 8 and 9.  In order to get up at 5am (and not barf on myself from the pain of being awake at such an unearthly hour), I need to be asleep around 9pm or slightly after.

The best movie or book in the WORLD couldn't keep me awake.

I need options.  I need to move around - I DON'T need to spend a couple more hours in the gym - by 5 in the evening I've pretty much had it with physical activity.  And I spend 10 hours a day in front of a computer - who needs to spend an extra 3 in the evening?

So - I decided to bake.  The kitchen were I work is free in the evenings and.  well.  I am not likely to fall asleep sticking something in the oven.  And it would be an interesting day if I did.

Let me make some clarifications (excuses) for you before we move along to the recipe.  Or recipes as it would turn out to be.

1.  The oven is one of those big darn industrial jobs.  It has no temperature display, and no thermometer inside.  And it's gas.  Every oven is different and it's going to take me a couple of tries before I get it right.
2.  This is not my kitchen at home.  I want my kitchen tools so badly I can taste it.  Or maybe I just have to pee.
3.  There is no room for sub-par baked goods with the guys I work with.  Either it's perfect or you never live it down.

As I was looking through the recipes in my E-mail Recipe Box, I came across a Peanut Butter Bread recipe.  It's kind of the same idea as Banana Bread, but different.  And I thought - mmmm, that would be good!  It went in the pile.

The first night of baking was somewhat of a disaster.  I couldn't tell for sure what the temperature was set at and I just had to guess - besides the fact that I couldn't even tell if the oven was ON was also a problem. 

The bread seemed to come together well - but it was not terribly liquidy and I had to spread it in the pan as opposed to pouring it in the pan like the recipe said.  (On a side note - why has this suddenly become a theme for me?)  While I was putting it together, a couple of guys came in to see what I was up to and they were quite excited about the bread.... 

While it was baking, it smelled pretty good and I was pretty excited about it myself.

And when I pulled it out, the top had a lovely brown colour, even though a couple of bits were dark brown, at that point I wasn't worried.

Then I pulled the bread out of the pan.  The sides and bottom were CLEARLY over-browned.  But I let it cool and cut into it anyway.

Result: the edges and bottom were hard and tough, the inside edges of the bread were nicely done, but the middle was slightly under-cooked. 

There are no pictures of any of this since I left my camera behind, but then remembered a few days later that we have a camera here and I can use that one.  Working makes you forget things.

I thought about leaving it for our cook to sample in the morning, but after 5 minutes of humming and hawing about it while getting ready for bed, I returned to the kitchen (in my pyjamas) and tossed it in the garbage.

The next morning, one of the guys asked me where the bread went as he had slipped in to the kitchen after I went to bed.  He said he was disappointed that it was gone and figured I had hidden it somewhere.  He was sad to find out it didn't work out.

That evening I tried something else (read my post about White Chocolate Brownies), but the Peanut Butter Bread had turned into an obsession.  I pulled a couple more recipes off the internet and headed back into the kitchen for a "Best Of" round.

And in order to help me with the temperature issue - I ordered a couple of oven thermometers from a supplier and insisted they needed to make our grocery plane that day.  Cause I can do that.

It was ON - I was going to master this bread or be instituted into a padded room.  My failures of late have been making me crazy and I can't figure out the heck is going on!

I had a "Best Of" challenge and baked up four different recipes.  And bless my heart I figured they were perfect.  But only one out of three were baked all the way through the top center.  For whatever reason - along the top center of three loaves was totally undercooked!  Weird right?  I just can't figure it out.

I wrangled one of my guys to be a guinea pig (this was well before I realized I had an under-cooked issue) and we cut into the four loaves.  Now - on all four loaves, this part was perfectly cooked - so we had four wonderful pieces to try. 

Here are the results: 
Two of the loaves turned out quite heavy and dense - but not without a lovely peanut butter flavour.  I wasn't really in love with the prep on these loaves, and I knew they'd be really dense because the "batter" wasn't really a batter, it was more like a cookie dough and I had to press it into the pans.

The third loaf rose beautifully, it was nice and moist and had terrific texture, and while I was eating it, it kinda stuck to my mouth just like I was eating a spoonful of peanut butter.  Oh really - we're all friends here - everyone's done it, don't be shy.  So that loaf was a definite contender for the top spot. 

But then we broke into the fourth loaf.  It was so light and fluffy and moist I almost died.  It has a mild peanut butter flavour that's just perfect.

That was my definite winner and I will make it again at home to see if I have the same issues.  (Seriously - what the heck is going ON!)

This is the Cane Girl - signing off.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Cupcakes A to Z: Angel Food Cupcakes

Ever since the beginning of this project, all those ages ago, I've dreaded the Angel Food section. 

I've dreaded it because I've heard over and over that Angel Food is a real challenge and not for the faint of heart.  So, in preparation - I watched all kinds of videos, read articles, read blogs, etc so that I would know what to look for.  And because I have a tendency to get myself all freaked out - I decided just to follow the recipes and maybe I would have been surprised.

And now - I can honestly say that all I've heard is TRUE. 

The "Angel Food Day" was the biggest bust I've ever had in the kitchen (except for that time when I was 17 and gave myself food poisoning after consuming undercooked chicken burgers - you know those frozen ones that you bake and then eat?  Yeah.  Ick.)

I had four recipes to try - and then I ended up making the executive decision to cut out one of the recipes because it was exactly like another one in the list, but less two egg whites. 

So the first batch.  I thought it went pretty well.  And figured it would just work out.

It didn't.  My "cupcakes" came out in the shape of 1/2 inch disks.  Not light and fluffy and wonderful Angel Food as we know it.

The second batch I had higher hopes for.  And probably would have maybe worked out, but I wasn't sure how much batter to put in the cups and wound up again with little discus pucks.  Nope.  Not Angel Food.

The third batch I had the highest hopes for.  And because my brain went all screwy from two fails, I really made sure those liners were FULL.  And they looked like they were done when I pulled them out.  DEFINITELY. NOT.  But the top was all golden and lovely.

And really - I don't think I can blame the recipes on this one.  Especially when 3 out of 3 are a major fail - it's definitely my inexperience.

So sadly - I have no Angel Food cupcake recipe to add to my repetoire today.  Maybe in the future I'll come back to it and see if I can make it work.

The only GOOD thing that came out of today is that I know I can make meringue!  Look out Lemon Meringue Pie!

This is the Cane Girl - signing off.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Creamy Shrimp Soup

This isn't actually the name of this recipe - but I thought it was somewhat more appropriate.

It has butter, cream cheese, green onions, cream of potato soup, shrimp, corn, and milk in it. 

Did you feel your arteries just harden?  I did.

So you start out by melting together the cream cheese and the butter, then you add in the green onions and simmer for 15 minutes.

Man it smelled so so good.  And this is the part where I thought it was going to be something special.

Then you add in the cream of potato soup and the corn and simmer for 15 minutes more.

At this point I realized that it might not be something special.
After that you stir in the milk - the recipe says to add more milk until it reaches your desired consistency.

Then add in the shrimp - heat through and serve.

Because I halved the recipe, I thought about using a whole 1/2 cup of milk, but didn't get there because I still like my soups thick.

And I was totally and completely prepared to be blown away by this soup and give up all other soups for this one.

And honestly?  It was kind of bland.  I added salt and pepper to my bowl - but it didn't seem to help.  It definitely needs some help - but I wanted to base my review and opinion on the recipe as written.

I wouldn't make it again.  I didn't even finish my bowl....  Blech.  (My dinner was a cupcake.  For realz)

I guess they can't all be winners.

You can tell by my lack of enthusiasm how much I enjoyed it hey?
This is the Cane Girl - signing off.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Cupcakes A to Z: Amaretto Cupcakes

My very first boozy cupcake!  I was very excited about this one.

And the recipe where it came from I decided to just simplify and change up a little bit.  Kate from Grin and Bake it took a chocolate cupcake recipe, cut a well into it, and filled it with cherries soaked in Amaretto and a little bit of buttercream.  She then topped it with an Amaretto buttercream.
So I took the chocolate cupcake recipe that I had made before, but I subbed in a tablespoon of Amaretto in the milk.  To be perfectly honest - you could NOT taste the Amaretto in the cupcake - which I sort of knew would happen, but decided just to roll with it anyway.

And then to the buttercream.  At first I was pretty hesitant because there isn't a ton of butter in it.  And it seemed like it wouldn't come together, then the heavy cream went in - and it came together beautifully!

So after all that is said and done, you add in a tablespoon of Amaretto.  Of course, I like to taste-test.  But I couldn't taste the Amaretto.  I added in more Amaretto, but it still couldn't taste it.  And I decided it would have to do.  I also coloured the buttercream a light pink just to dress it up.

I WAS somewhat disappointed.  The POINT is to really taste the Amaretto.  And while I was thinking about it, I thought that maybe if I made a reduction and then added the Amaretto that way it might work.  And then I was reading Heather at Sprinkle Bakes post about her Chianti Chocolate Cupcakes and she did a reduction of Chianti and the added additional Chianti from the bottle.  So I think my idea would work.  Eventually I'll try it Heather B's way and see if it works!

But in the end - the cupcake was decadant, the buttercream was wonderful so I don't have too much to complain about.

And I will try to make it again....

This is the Cane Girl - signing off.