Peanut Butter & Chocolate
When I served these cupcakes last night – they are chocolate with a peanut butter filling, topped with a chocolate ganache glaze – I served half portions with the cut of the cupcake down on the plate and sauce drizzled over it. Now, it might seem kind of cruel to go with the half portion, but it was following quite a large Italian feast and there were seconds for anyone who wanted them. Don’t get me wrong, I love desserts – but let’s eat responsibly! The next time I make these, I might do the peanut butter less as a filling and more as a swirl throughout the cupcake, and maybe with a lighter cake to provide more of a balance – the one pictured above is almost a brownie. These definitely do not need a full-on frosting – they are quite rich.
It’s been quite a few weeks of focusing on food, and probably the number one highlight was visiting Swanton Berry Farm, on Highway 1 north of Santa Cruz, California. During the spring and summer they have pick-your-own berries as well as a store. So, not only is the farm union and organic, but their store is kind of the old-style honor system where they have a cash box where you put in your money and take your change. On top of all that, their strawberry preserves are seriously the best I have ever had, even better than homemade (and that is saying a lot). The jam is perfect for all your baking needs – though the first thing that comes to mind is thumprint cookies. Or peanut butter and jelly scones (or muffins… or cupcakes…). You can also buy their jam online or at SF Bay Area farmer’s markets.
This week I’ll be meeting with the awesome cookie-maker Keri from Grand Avenue Bakeshop to talk about helping each other out. And, I’ll be baking for a wedding shower and preparing tasting menus for two weddings, so there will be quite a bit going on.