Two things tend to rule my life. Food and Art. Any type of art, and I often define art as simply the creation of something that stands on its own. I’ve always been involved in an art in someway. It’s what keeps me busy as I’m not a TV person, a cinema person, a club person and to be honest, I have no idea how other people spend their time. For most of my life I’ve spent my evenings, mornings and any time I don’t know what to do writing.

Today, it’s November 2nd. Since October I’ve been waiting to start National Novel Writing Month, or NaNo, which I’m unusually excited about. Yesterday was a national holiday in France and I had the day off from work. I could have slept in. Instead I was awake and writing at 7am.

3,000 words, one 10 km run, and a shower later, the husband and I went to buy a new TV.

But that isn’t exciting.

These cupcakes are exciting.

I’ve always wanted to make Red Velvet cupcakes and decided that yesterday, in honor of NaNo, I’d try my hand at it. I used a recipe by Joy the Baker, who has never steered me wrong.

Ok, these aren’t red. They are a chocolatey brown. I’m not sure where I went wrong here. Perhaps I didn’t add enough food coloring. But that doesn’t matter because they are still velvety.

The key to success for a light, velvet, airy cupcake is the batter. Follow Joy’s directions and mix until everything is smooth and fluffy. Some people might prefer a rich, dense cupcake, but these are so light and smooth that they melt in your mouth. The buttermilk, cocoa powder combined with the fact that there’s less sugar in these cupcakes than a cookie gives the dough a nice tang to it. It’s sweet, but not overwhelming.

The frosting is melted white chocolate combined with light cream that was simple to do. Put the cream in a bain marie to heat it up and then add the chocolate. Wait until it melts and stir until the mixture is smooth and shiny. Immediately drizzle over the cupcakes and let cool.

I could have made the cream cheese frosting but decided against it.


Because on Sunday, the husband and I had these:

They may not look like much but they were deadly, butter cream, chocolate, mousse pastries. We had three each. I couldn’t bring myself to make something else so rich.

Since my cupcakes don’t have a red color, I can’t call them Red Velvet. Instead, I’m calling them NaNo Velvet Cupcakes. In honor of NaNoWriMo.

I considered making them blue, since the NaNo website is blue, but I don’t think it would have worked out any better.

As of today, I have just over 5500 words, and I’m taking a break to tell my writing friends, my foodie friends, and anyone else who stumbles upon this page about these fabulous cupcakes. Because there are two things that you need to get you through NaNo: a desire to write and snacks.

And rewards. I’m still considering what I’ll cook or bake when I hit 25,000 or 50,000 words.

Maybe duck?