A couple of weeks ago, I started to experience a constant, throbbing pain in my jaw. I quickly realized that this was due to a wisdom tooth which has, over the years, been commented on by several dentists and oral surgeons, including one who told me I should undergo a cosmetic procedure to correct my "oddly-shaped head." Perhaps you can see, now, why I've gone so long with these extra teeth in my pie hole.
The above is a photo I took of the x-ray of my mouth (I was bored, jittery and in pain, and I decided to get creative) taken by the loudest, most distracted doctor I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. So here I am guys, letting ya'll in, inviting you to see right through me. Do you feel that connection? Do you...FEEL it?
Now, I won't go into all the gory details of what the hell the problem was, but let's just say I walked out of that office feeling awesome, and leave it at that. Also, my spirits have lifted just a tiny bit since my last crazy-emo post, mostly due to the fact that this very blog got a tiny little mention in Serious Eats, a site that I absolutely love. Hooray for Sad Shibow!
That little tip o' the hat encouraged me to get to work on a new creation. Armed with a new electronic icing decorator, an amazing-sounding recipe and way more basil than two people really need in one apartment, I started on my Basil-Olive Oil Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Icing. Just a little tidbit to get all of you grown-ups excited: there's wine in this recipe! WINE! Don't believe me? Well, ADULTS, let me show you the exact brand that I used (if you haven't already, you might want to avert the eyes of any children whom you are trying to shield from the cruel, profane world I inhabit):
Basil Olive Oil Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Icing (makes 12 cupcakes)
1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 ounces of fresh basil leaves
Juice and zest of one lemon
1 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 cup of sweet white wine (And a few little sips for you, my dear 21+ readers)
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
big pinch of salt
In a large bowl, combine olive oil and basil, and let sit for at least an hour. Then strain out as much of the oil as you can-- you should be left with about 2/3 cup-- through a sieve. Discard the basil leaves (or save them and make basil-infused olive oil!) and combine olive oil with sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. Then beat in eggs, one at a time, and set aside.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Add 1/3 of this dry mixture to the oil mixture, mixing until fully incorporated. Then add half of the wine, continue mixing, and continue alternating between adding dry mixture and adding wine until all of the ingredients are in one big happy bowl. Scoop mixture into prepared muffin tins, and bake at 350º F for about 25 minutes, until the cupcakes are golden and spring back when touched. Let cool, then make your icing.
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting (enough to gently frost a dozen cupcakes)
4 ounces of cream cheese or Neufchâtel cheese
1 cup of confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon of lemon zest
With a hand mixer on medium speed, combine all ingredients until fluffy and fully mixed. Using a rubber spatula, piping bag or super-fantastic electronic icing decorator given to you by Sylvapotamus for Christmas, pipe frosting out onto each cupcake.
So, verdict? Delicious. Really, really good, especially when warm. Also, these were not too sweet, which I appreciated. The only real downside was that I wasn't able to detect very much basil. I would still, and probably WILL still, make these again, perhaps infusing a different fruit next time around. Though I guess I should probably take a break from the sweets for a while, given my recent tooth ailment...
...yeah. Fat chance of that.