Its midnight and you’ve got the munchies. What do you do? There is a box of cold pizza from two nights ago and a few pieces of leftover sushi, but your taste buds are craving something different, something sweeter, a delectable morsel that will perfectly melt in the mouth. A commercial flashes on the television; it’s that faithful Pillsbury dough boy busy mixing up a batter of rich creamy cupcake batter! Eureka!
Essentially you know you could easily drive to the nearest supermarket and pick up a carton full of factory made cupcakes, but you’re no rookie. When you decide to indulge, there is no way you are going about it halfway. And you have the perfect cupcake in mind; now no second rated attempt will satisfy your new craving.
The perfect cupcake…in your mind you visualize it. It is moist, it is straight out of the oven and it fills the air with heavenly scents that one cannot help but submit too. It is your favorite flavor, whether it is a vanilla, white, chocolate, or other tantalizing cake base. It is decorated with your favorite toppings: flavored icing, sprinkles; the works.
It peels easy from the wrapper, but leaves a light lining of cupcake remnants on it to later be licked away. The frosting is generously applied. It covers the entire top of the cupcake a few times over. The frosting is sweet, but light. It is a decoration, but it also adds to the overall quality of the cupcake. It is not hardened or clumpy. It is smooth, sweet and easily licked off or eaten with the cupcake itself. Light sprinkles delicately adorn it as well. Giving it a simply crunchy sweet texture, one that just perfect offsets the smooth, batter of the cake base of the treat.
As you bite into the cupcake it does not crumble, but stay together firmly. It is not as tough as a fudge bar, but not as light as a piece of angel food cake. Its perfected consistency lies somewhere between the two, thick enough so that every bite can be savored meaningfully. Because it is moist each bit melts easily in the mouth and leaves a light stickiness on your fingers. It is rich, but not overpoweringly so. It is best with a tall glass of milk, maybe two, to accentuate the decadence of its flavor.
On some days, the perfect cupcake is described above. On other days, when one is starving and wants a quick treat to devour, the two day old cupcake, for some unusual reason hits the spot. It has sat on the counter top just long enough to hard a bit more giving it a more substantial feeling. Biting into it feels more like biting into a hearty piece of bread. The frosting gives you the feeling that you are biting into something similar to a chocolate bar because it has had time to harden a bit giving the cupcake still another additional dessert treat quality. It becomes more of a candy rather than a baked good giving rise to the nice flexibility its changing texture can take on, becoming just another variation of the perfect cupcake.