I can’t wait for the summer. I think part of the reason is because there’s no school, but another reason is because of church. This summer I’ll be participating in two major church activities: a week-long missions trip to Arizona and a stations leader/admin for an arts academy at our church. It’ll take a lot of planning and work, but I’m excited to get more involved in serving at church and serving others and our wonderful Creator! I think that’s something I’ve been lacking in this past quarter–serving others and serving God. I have a problem with breaking out of my comfort zone, and because of that I’ve become a lazy and introverted. But being introverted doesn’t give me an excuse to not meet up with others and invest in their lives. I think introversion has become more of an excuse recently, and that is no bueno. I recently read an article about viewing introversion biblically from The Gospel Coalition, and the closing paragraph stuck out the most:
Accepting the realities of my God-given personality has been a process of sanctification. I’ve had to repent of people-pleasing and trying to be someone I’m not. I’ve had to humbly acknowledge my limits and weaknesses and to live in God’s strength rather than my own. Ultimately, this process has been about God and his kingdom, not me. The more I rest in his gracious acceptance of me in Jesus, the more free I become to be myself for his glory. And that’s a place where joy and contentment abound.
Food for thought. And since summer is still a few weeks away, I’ll have to stick with spring, all the while remaining content and willing to love and invest in others, being patient with school, and being thankful that I can still receive an education.
In the food world, I think this is spring–vanilla cupcakes with a lemon curd filling and strawberry frosting. I made these kind of on a whim because I had leftover strawberry frosting and lemon curd fillings from my macarons this past weekend, which, by the way, I will blog about soon! I wanted to go for a “strawberry lemonade” type cupcake, so I even added some lemon zest in the cupcake batter, but the results weren’t exactly what I was looking for, so I probably need to try it with a lemon cupcake next time. The flavors in the cupcake were good, though. The tart, lemon flavor and creamy strawberry frosting paired well with the cupcakes. The cupcakes rose with a nice domed top, but I think I was looking for a cupcake that was a little fluffier. That’s just my preference though, and it’s totally up to you. It’s definitely still a good vanilla cupcake =). (And I do like how there’s no butter in the batter!)
For the cupcakes:
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup oil (vegetable/canola)
1/2 cup buttermilk
(or 1/2 cup milk + 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar/lemon juice.
Mix together and let sit for 5 minutes before using)
For the Lemon Curd:
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
Fresh lemon juice from 1/2 large lemon (about 2-3 tbsp)
zest from 1/2 large lemon
1/2 stick cold unsalted butter, sliced
For the Strawberry Frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon strawberry puree (from 1-2 strawberries)
Place the metal bowl on top of the saucepan and stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. The mixture will begin to thicken in about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat; whisk in the sliced butter. Wait for the slice to completely melt before adding the next one.
Pour the lemon curd into a glass jar/container, and allow it to cool. Refrigerate over night before using.
For the Cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In another bowl, beat eggs for 20 seconds. Add sugar and continue to beat for 30 seconds. Add vanilla and oil; beat. Stir in half of the flour mixture, then add half of the milk. Add the rest of the flour and then the rest of the milk, and mix until just combined. The batter will be very thin.
Pour the batter into a cupcake pan lined with paper liners, and fill the liners about 2/3 full. The cupcakes will rise a lot during baking!
Bake cupcake in preheated oven for 12-14 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 1-2 minutes, then remove cupcakes from pan and finish cooling on a wire rack.
For the Strawberry Frosting:
Place butter in a mixing bowl; beat until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and strawberry puree (which is just strawberries blended in a food processor/blender/coffee grinder); beat until combined.
When the cupcakes are cool, core out the middle of each cupcake and fill generously with lemon curd. Frost each cupcake with the strawberry frosting. Top with strawberries, if desired.
Until next time,
Soli Deo Gloria, and Happy reading, eating, and baking!