Some facts about by: The Common Cook blog:
- The original name was Sunday Dinners.
- New posts were originally published on Sundays.
- The first post to contain a recipe was the third post about stuffed pizza — though the first blogs have been updated.
- Tuesday January 5, 2010 received 54 views – the highest in a single day.
- The search term that most often leads to the common cook is one containing “crepes”.
- The oddest search term: κρέπα. It’s a type of crepe.
- Sugar is the most oft used ingredient.
- There are 53 posts (including this one).
- Six people have been killed in Meals to Die By.
I have been looking forward to this post for quite some time. The first draft of Birthday was typed into wordpress on May 1, but that was several weeks after my anticipation started to grow. Originally, I believe, I set a one year deadline for the common cook. If I was not yet a hip success I was calling it quits. Sometimes when I have nothing planned, no food related thoughts to write, planning a Wednesday that doesn’t have to be spent cooking so on and so on, I wish I hadn’t created this obligation. Then I get excited about flambés (stay tuned) and I can’t stop myself from staying up late writing. I won’t be giving this up yet — even if I am nothing more than a recipe search that tells all to my family and friends.
Though it is not said enough, I offer my sincerest thank you to everyone who has supported me through the last year. Without your comments, praise, and word of mouth advertising I may not have reached this mark.
Though I enjoy the writing I suspect most of you are here for the food. I obsessed over this dish. Not this particular dish, but deciding on this dish. Was cake too cliché? Maybe. What about cupcakes? Absolutely moving in that direction. All the same…sometimes cliché is exactly what’s called for.
I guessed on how much lavender to include. The result was a behind-the-scenes taste that I like quite a lot. I also completely misread the amount of liquid that was supposed to be included in the cupcakes. The recipe calls for ⅓ cup plain yogurt mixed with ½ cup milk. I used ⅓ cup plus 2 tablespoons yogurt mixed with 2 tablespoons half and half (milk was spoiled). They still turned out.
Lavender cupcakes with chocolate ganache
(Adapted from recipes in Nigella Lawson’s How to be a Domestic Goddess.)
1 ⅔ cups flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup plain yogurt
½ cup low-fat milk
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
1 tablespoon dried lavender
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a small bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate small bowl mix together yogurt, milk and vanilla. Set these two bowls aside. In a mini food processor grind together sugar and lavender. Sift sugar mixture into a large bowl. Add in butter and beat until light and fluffy. Reduce speed of electric mixer and add in eggs one at a time, beating for 30 seconds between additions. Then start adding in the flour and yogurt mixtures, alternating between the two and blending well after each addition.
Line muffin tins with paper cups. Place two large spoonfuls of batter into each spot. Bake until golden brown and a tester comes out clean. I can’t say how long, because I paid no attention at all, but at a guess — 12 minutes.
Let cool completely.
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon unsalted butter
2.5 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
Combine all ingredients in the top part of a double boiler. Stirring occasionally until melted. Spoon over cupcakes.