On Saturday night, I let go of some finals stress by taking a break and watching Pacific Northwest Ballet’s production of Coppélia. It now ranks #1 in my favorite story ballets. The pas de deux between Swanilda and Franz at the end made me smile a big, cheesy grin.
I really wish life were like a ballet. Act I: I am introduced to the jolly stage and I do some graceful moves that are finished with the audience’s applause. Act II: I am in love, but things are complicated. Yet, I continue to dance my way through it with mazurkas. Act III: It all ends beautifully, but simply,with a pas de deux between the one I truly love and myself.
Besides Odette from Swan Lake (poor girl), they all have such happy fates. Too happy to be true. And so they’re not true, but still, our minds take journeys into the world of unreality.
If all I needed to do was dance mazurkas and waltzes till my feet blistered, I wouldn’t mind because I would know that there is that beautiful pas de deux waiting for me right before the curtains close.
And just as dreamy were the raspberry almond cupcakes with chocolate ganache that I decided to make today.
Raspberry Almond Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache
(Slightly Adapted from Joy the Baker)
makes 12 cupcakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup fresh raspberries, roughly chopped
Put a rack in the middle of the oen and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin cups with paper liners.
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt inside a bowl.
Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg and almond extract. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture and milk alternately in 3 batches, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and beating just until incorporated. Fold in the raspberries.
Divide the batter among lined muffin cups. Bake until pale golden and a wooden pick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Turn cupcakes out onto a rack to cool completely.
3/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips (I used chocolate chunks)
1/4 cup milk
Put chocolate chips in a small bowl. Heat milk in microwave for about 60 seconds. Pour milk evenly over chocolate. Let stand for one minute to soften, then stir until smooth. If frosting is too loose to spread, let it sit at room temperature for 10 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, frosting will continue to thicken as it stands.
These cupcakes were delicious bite-sized treats. Be careful not to let the ganache sit too long before you put it on the cupcakes for it will harden and become very hard to spread. My sister loved the ganache and kept walking into the kitchen just to dip that little finger of hers into the bowl of leftover ganache. Oh, and my pug. How he longed for some cupcakes…