Spring has finally sprung! This past week or so I’ve been enjoying the rare (and record breaking) 80 degree temperatures for Wisconsin!!! It is only March! Each day as I drive to work I see the grass turning a brighter green, the trees blossoming, and all the spring creatures out and about! I started working at Period Paper, an incredible company which is the world’s leader in antique and vintage prints. CHECK THEM OUT!!! I photograph the documents they put up for sale on their dot-com, eBay, and amazon sites. I currently work from 3pm-11pm and I work mostly by myself in a smaller office that we call the “cave” to do my photographing, so being able to spent time outside before work helps me to feel refreshed and motivated. I’ve been trying to get my dogs out for walks everyday too, because between my husband’s 3rd shift schedule, and my 2nd shift, they spend a lot of time with sleeping people, or alone.
I work full time but I’ve been trying to be good and continue to create personal work during my free time and on weekends. All this wonderful weather and the beautiful aspects of the start of spring has revived my cupcake thumb. I decided to work with an ingredient I’ve never used before. Lavender was never something that I associated with cooking, but when browsing my go to food blogs I started noticing it popping up. I thought I would give it a whirl. I wanted to use the delicious whipped cream cheese frosting I made and infuse the cream with a hint of lavender. Turns out making lavender whipped cream is not on my list of culinary accomplishments. Instead I made runny lavender cream 3 times over, wasting roughly 6 hours total only for the cream to fail to whip EVERY time. I still don’t know what the hell I did wrong. I even researched the matter at hand but that damn cream just would not whip. Don’t get me wrong, what I made tasted delicious and very much like lavender. However, I tend to have a specific idea of how I want a food shoot to turn out and when I can’t seem to execute my ideas I get VERY frustrated.
Anyways, the process was definitely a learning experience. I’ll briefly describe my technique in case any of you cooks out there can enlighten me. I heated 1 cup of heavy whipping cream along with 3 TB of honey and 1/4 TB of lavender buds to a simmer. Then I removed the cream from the heat and let it steep for 30 mins. I strained the cream and then let it cool (for 6 hours). Then I began making the whipped cream cheese frosting recipe which worked wonderfully before. The only thing that was different was that I infused the cream with lavender and honey, and thus my problem–it would never whip. Sigh. So, I begrudgingly present to you, my flawed but still very delicious spring inspired vanilla cupcakes with lavender cream.