We have too many parties during the holidays. By too many, I mean "two", but that is many by my standards. And by parties I do not mean the sequined slips, pointed stilettos,dancing in smoky room kind of parties. That would be cool and I could have then put up pics of such dos on FB but I am never invited to such parties and I don't even have a personal account on FB or a sequined slip for that matter.
No, ours is very un-snazzy Jhumpa Lahiri-ish Bong party. The kind where the kids play in the basement, the female folks gravitate around the kitchen and family room, the men folk drink wine and discuss Sodepur vs Obama and umpteen trays of food warm in the oven. I would say "desi" but there is a difference.
"Desi" parties have games, lots of them. Till date, I have been forced to identify 20 pictures of unknown buildings and memorize 10 random objects on a tray, two of which were safety pins, all while I waited for the hostess to serve Dahi Vada. The husband was once asked to put a bindi on my forehead, blindfolded. He fled.We are yet to return the hostess's dupatta, the one used as blindfold.
Bong parties have no such pressure.No showcasing of talent is necessary.No one is expected to do anything except eat, lots of it. You can get by without saying a single word other than, "Chop ta darun hoyeche(The chop is delicious)" or "Doi ta byapok(Yogurt is great)" and still be re-invited. Ask the Husband.He is the king of no liners.
I love games though, especially dumb charade. Maybe I will return the dupatta next week and see if I can get back in.
Yesterday night BS & I baked some Chocolate cup cakes for our Christmas Party.Our very own.
It is what some of us close friends throw together to provide the kids some entertainment and a Santa. Gifts bought by parents are distributed, kids play games, sing songs, play the piano and then everyone eats food.An immature attempt to warm up an otherwise cold Christmas Night. The kids might actually cringe at the thought of such parties in their adolescence but we like to think otherwise.
Now to these chocolate cup cakes which are hands down better than anything ever. Every chocolate cake is but these are rich, moist, chocolate-y and perfect. BS has loved them earlier and of all the things I have baked so far this and the Chocolate brownies are her only favorites. My search for the perfect chocolate cup cake recipe came to a stop once I found these and I have already baked them a couple of times.
I love chocolate cakes with a gooey center but wasn't brave enough to do the mousse filling. So I put a single Hershey Kiss at the center of each of the cup cakes and baked them. The result was not exactly a gooey center but a slightly soft, more chocolate center. The next time I will put in half of a Lindt truffle and see how that works.
These cakes are pretty rich and perfect sweet by themselves but for some I did a nutellaa frosting just because I had a Nutella jar itching to be opened.and for some BS did a icing just because she loves doing those. Also since these are pretty rich, I think it is better to do mini cupcakes instead of 16 regular ones. That way you can indulge without guilt. These go to Nupur's Holiday Buffet and thanks Stef of Cupcake Project for the awesome original recipe.
And we have already demolished 4 of the 16 cupcakes.If at least 12 survive for the 14 kids coming tomorrow, hail Santa. BS also plans to play " I want a Hippopotamus..." tomorrow. If we survive the hardly rehearsed rendition, we will have a Happy Holiday. You have one too.
Chocolate Cup Cake
What You Need
Butter ~ 1/2 cup (1 stick) at room temperature
Sugar ~ 1-1/4 cups
Eggs ~ 2 large at room temperature
AP Flour ~ 3/4 cup
Baking powder ~ 1/2 tsp
Baking soda ~ 1/4 tsp
Salt ~ 1/4 tsp
Unsweetened cocoa powder ~ 1/2 cup
Milk ~ 1/2 cup
Vanilla ~ 1 tsp
Mini semi-sweet chocolate chips ~ 2/3 cup. Instead I used a regular Hershey
Kiss for each cup cake, 16 sweet kisses.
How I Did It
Beat butter until softened.
Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Check my post to understand how much to beat.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined.
Pre-heat oven to 350F
cocoa powder into a small sized bowl and whisk to combine.
In a cup add the milk and vanilla and stir to combine.
Add about a third of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar and beat to combine. Add about a half of the milk/vanilla and beat to combine. Beat gently, I mostly do this with my rubber spatula.
Continue adding, alternating between dry and wet and finishing with the dry.
Stir in chocolate chips. I did not do this, instead I added a Hershey kiss to each of the cups.
Scoop batter into cupcake cups about 1/2 full.
Bake at 350F for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Mine were done at 18 mins.
Frost or ice or decorate according to your wish.
If you want to create yummy chocolate cupcakes like this one, pastry schools offer classes on baking and pastry arts.