A long overdue meme

Aside from all the "looking forward" and "starting a clean slate" that the New Year brings, I am determined to accomplish all my "unfinished business" from 2005. Ok, maybe not ALL of it (some sleeping dogs are better off, um, asleep). But definitely all the meme's that have been piling up (sorry guys!).

I will start off with the 23/5 meme that I owe Tattum. I am very, very late. She tagged me in September. So sorry Tattum! But here it is anyway...

This is how it goes:
Take a look into your blog archive.
Find your 23rd post (or closest to).
Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
Ponder it for meaning, subtext or hidden agendas...
Tag five people to do the same.

"I know that this book has very mixed reviews."

Ok. In this post I was talking about a recipe I had gotten from Mireille Guiliano's book French Women Don't Get Fat. Weight has always been a struggle for me since the day I was born. At this point, I had had enough of diet books and "organized dieting". I did my own thing. 31 years worth of on and off diets, and broken relationships with countless gyms, led me to follow my own counsel when it came to weight loss. But the book sounded intriguing, and (my shameful admission) glamorously French. So I bought it, read it, took to it like a fish to water, and have almost had my jeans fall off in the middle of grocery shopping because they were so loose. And I did it while still being able to enjoy my favorite chocolates and foie. I was a confit-eating, sashaying, oh-so-glamorous, French-woman-wannabe. I was having the time of my life. I still am :)

Now, surfing through blogs and sites, I came across many, um, let's just say, less than stellar reviews about the said book. I am not going to get into the politics of it all here. My cousin, who also bought the book, said she didn't finish it and that South Beach was more for her. South Beach?! Was the magical French wonderland I had been inhabiting just a mirage??? No, jeans still loose (check!), "thin" pants still fit (check!), exorbitant alterations bill (check!).

At the end of the day, this may just be a case of "different strokes for different folks". What works for one person, surely doesn't work for every single other person out there. So the line above was just my little disclaimer, acknowledging that not everyone agrees with the book's content, but (if you read my 23rd post) it sure has a great oatmeal recipe :)

No tags for this one...a little to late in the game for that. Thanks Tattum for being such a patient person!

Chocolate Truffle Cupcakes

A new year! What is it about a new year that can make one feel like a slate that has been wiped clean? New resolutions (yes! this is the year I get organized!), new beginnings, new everything. I can literally feel the unfinished business of 2005 slide of my back like butter off a hot knife. But wait...what to do with the leftover chocolate truffles that I made as Christmas presents? I know, I know. Leftover truffles?! Yes, a bumper crop of the little suckers left me with a load that I couldn't, with good conscience, consume all by myself. So just as I tend to reivent myself with every new year, I likewise found a new identity for my truffles...as cupcakes!

For the cupcakes, I decided to use the basic recipe for the Nutella Self Frosting Cupcakes I made a while back (a recipe I discovered on the wonderful bakingsheet). As they lent themselves so well to the Nutella, I figured they would also be a great home for my truffles. This time though I deicided to try using the original amount of butter called for (as I get drawn to more butter like a bee to honey) by Donna Hay. Could this be why they are flatter? Pro bakers out there...feel free to clue me in...

Here's the recipe:

Chocolate Truffle Cupcakes
(adapted from Donna Hay's Self Frosting Cupcakes)

- 175 grams butter, softened
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 200 grams all purpose flour, sifted
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- chocolate truffles

Here's what you do:
- Cream butter and sugar until light.
- Add eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated, then add vanilla.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt, then add to sugar/butter/egg mixture until no flour remains.
- In a muffin tin lined with cupcake papers, put a blob of batter in, filling the muffin cup about 1/3 full.
- Nestle a chocolate truffle gently onto the batter then crown with more batter until covered.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes in a 325F oven.
- Cool on a wire rack.

Let it cool a bit before trying one or you will be shocked speechless with a mouthful of scalding chocolate!

Here are the cupcakes (below) looking very innocent, giving no clues as to the dusky chocolate darkness hidden in their hearts.

Flat or no these guys were delicious! I can see how the added butter could definitely have made this too rich...but not for me. They were so moist and soft...and then the oozing chocolate decadence spilling out...woof. I had made these for a weekend trip to C's farm, but had generously offered my brother one (just one) to taste. His proposal to "wrestle me for another" leads me to think that he may have liked them too.