This is a difficult post to write.
Last Thursday was my birthday. My 25th birthday.
I had heard and read about a phenomenon called “Quarterlife Crisis” a few years ago and I had this weird gut feeling I might experience it myself one day, perhaps because I was already experiencing it. A Quarterlife Crisis is defined as a period of anxiety and uncertainty in many twenty-something to thirty-something individuals. The problem: not knowing what we’re doing next in life.
And here I am today, living a life very different from the one I imagined I’d be living at 25 and self-diagnosing myself with the “Quaterlife Crisis” syndrome (?). Unemployed, itching for more education, hungry for more adventure, afraid of failure and yet not sure about what to do next I celebrated my 25th birthday.
Yet, despite everything I described above, I had an amazing birthday. I am lucky enough to have people in my life that love me enough so as to make me forget about everything that bugs me. On Thursday night, I enjoyed a delicious dinner at Naoe (review coming soon) with the boy and on Friday we had a Martini & Dumplings cocktail party hosted and organized by no one else but the boy.
Check out Notable Nibbles review of our Hendricks Gin Martinis that night — an absolute favorite of mine!
Of course, when I found out I was having a birthday party I knew I had to bake some cupcakes. There’s so many recipes I want to try and not enough reasons to make them all. I just can’t keep baking and eating everything myself. Perhaps, setting up my very own cupcake stand in front of my apartment building will solve the problem.
And because it was my birthday, I decided to make Ghirardelli chocolate cupcakes with Baileys buttercream frosting– yet another baking success. Well, except for the fact that the buttercream frosting melted on the way to the party because it was 101°F that day thus, ruining my presentation.
Nonetheless, they were very yummy. Chocolate cake and Baileys shot all-in-one.
Ghirardelli Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes 12 standard-size cupcakes
Recipe adapted from Ghirardelli website.
- 1/2 cup Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1 1/8 cup King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour or all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
- 5/8 cup whole milk
- 1/3 cup strong brewed coffee or espresso, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (or 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cupcake pan with liners.
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder , baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl and using an electric mixer, blend the egg, brown sugar, and white sugar. Incorporate the milk, coffee, vanilla extract and melted butter. Add the dry ingredients in increments making sure the batter becomes a homogeneous mix of all the ingredients. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake molds, filling them about three-quarters full with an ice cream scoop.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool for about 10 minutes and then carefully transfer to a wire rack.
Baileys Buttercream Frosting
- 3 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3-4 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*Double the recipe if using pastry bag to ice the cupcakes
Sift confectioner’s sugar. Using an electric mixer, cream butter until it becomes pale in color. Add confectioner’s sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Once almost all sugar has been added, incorporate Bailey’s Irish Cream little by little until the buttercream reaches the icing consistency. You can always add more sugar and Baileys Irish Cream to taste.