Audrey Tautou, shopping in Paris!

Rue Henry Monnier © chicsetera 2010

Rue Henry Monnier © chicsetera 2010

Audrey Tautou can be spotted here! Find out why rue Henry Monnier is one of the hottest new places to shop and dine in Paris!



Nothing says I love you like cupcakes

Sprinkles Cupcakes

If I’m in an indulgent mood there’s nothing that can bring so much pleasure, or equally cause as much anguish, as cupcakes! Visits to the Magnolia Bakery in New York, Sprinkles in Los Angeles, or the Hummingbird in London, are remembered and replayed with an almost orgasmic fervour: all of the flavours, all of the colours, and not to mention the sprinkles! On the other hand, hearing of a friends visit to said cities and the knowledge that they may soon be gobbling their baker’s dozen at Bleeker and 11th is enough to bring one to the depths of despair!

Reading Mots de Mode’s blog yesterday about her visit to the Hummingbird Bakery (and I remember Géraldine from Café Mode blogged and visited too) made me decide to take action – it’s time the Parisian cupcake drought came to an end! In fact that is my project this weekend, and yours, if you’d like to participate too!

A super delicious cupcake recipe below! Let’s bake!

The Magnolia Bakery’s Vanilla Cupcakes: 

1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Vanilla Buttercream, recipe follows –
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (1/2 cup-12 capacity) muffin tins with cupcake papers. In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.Cool the cupcakes in tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.Vanilla Buttercream:
The vanilla buttercream used at the Magnolia Bakery is technically not a buttercream but actually an old-fashioned confectioners’ sugar and butter frosting. Be sure to beat the icing for the amount of time called for in the recipe to achieve the desired creamy texture.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly. (Use and store the icing at room temperature because icing will set if chilled.) Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.Yields: enough for 2 dozen cupcakes or 1 (9-inch) layer cake

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