Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Pistachio & Eggnog

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So, first of all, is "eggnog" one word or two? Egg nog? Or Eggnog? Does it matter? Do you care? Anyway. The latest cupcake creation is my Pistachio Eggnog (yeah, I'm going w/ 1 word) cupcake. It. Was. Good. I don't really like eggnog. My mom LOOOOOVES eggnog. Also, it's worth noting that my mom loves eggnog, drinks eggnog during the holiday season a lot, and cannot drink alcohol due to certain medication so it's not just for fun & booze. Oh no. It's a real LOVE of the stuff. You would think this would somehow be hereditary and I too would hit the nog-bottle on occasion. But do I? No. I can handle it. I don't mind it. But I don't LOVE it. I don't search it out, for sure. For booze? Well, that might be another story ;-) but otherwise, no. Not on my list.

I did, however, feel strongly about eggnog frosting. How could that be BAD?!?! My vanilla malt frosting is a winner and a half, and this is in similar vain. I struggled with the pairing--what cake do I match it with? Vanilla is fine, but it's just so sweet and strong that I don't like pairing it with certain frostings. This is like wine & food, people. It's serious business! Chocolate could be a good contrast and it's not super sweet, so it would be good. But it wouldn't enhance any eggnog flavor really. I considered brown sugar cake. I actually came very close to making brown sugar cake. But no. In my heart, in my big, fat, cupcake-filled heart, I was feeling "Pistachio!!!! Specifically, Pistachio + Cardamom!!!" (I can't take full credit for the genius pairing of pistachio & cardamom—I was inspired by Duff from Ace of Cakes.)

Here's why. First, I love pistachio flavored stuff. No scientific thinking there. 2. Pistachio can be exotic. Pistachio & cardamom has a very Eastern Europe/Middle Eastern kind of feel. Eggnog is flavored with cinnamon and nutmeg. While the roots of eggnog seem to be English or Middle European, nutmeg also pairs well w/ pistachio, cardamom, and other flavors/desserts of Eastern European inspiration. It'd be a wonderful pairing of flavors instead of a mish-mash of sugar piles. See, like I said—it's serious business.
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So here we are, pistachio-cardamom cupcakes topped with eggnog frosting & graced with a light sprinkling of freshly grated nutmeg. And those cupcake wrappers—aren't they just ADORABLE? They're from Bake It Pretty. One of my friends bought them for me as a gift. She's very supportive of my cupcake business and she sent me a care-package of several different cupcake wrappers in the following CUUUUUTE designs:
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I know, can you even handle the cuteness?? I couldn't. I've been saving them to use for the perfect moment when they'll be fully appreciated. What better time than Christmas to break out some red & green polka dotted wrappers, am I right?

So that's my story. Pistachio. Cardamom. Eggnog. Nutmeg. It's delicious. They were well-received at work and I fully-approve of my own work (I am my harshest critic usually) so they're a seasonal winner. Want some? Let me know. They're only available for as long as eggnog season lasts. ;-)

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