03 May 2009
I don't know about your little corner of the globe but in Paris, the mercury is rising, the flowers are in bloom, the natives are starting to bare it all and Spring has sprung here in the most romantic city in the world. For me, Spring usually signals a return to simple living -- time spent outdoors, cultivating my window boxes (this year I am growing basil, parsley, mint, tomatoes and cucumbers), clearing out the clutter and stuff accumulated over the long cold winter hibernation....and of course, simple eating.
One of my favorite things about living in Paris is the abundance of open-air markets you find in every area of the city. If you plan on visiting Paris in the Spring, I highly recommend a tour of your local market. In addition to the colors and aromas of all the fresh vegetables, fruits, meats, fish and flowers, you'll be entranced by the sounds of the vendors hawking their goods like auction house callers -- "Les Fraises, les Fraises, les Gariguettes. Une barquette 4 euros, 3 barquettes pour 10." This list is certainly not exhaustive (in fact, my two local markets in the 17th don't appear) but this will give you a good idea on where to start if you want to experience the markets first-hand.
I've been baking lots of Spring flavored cupcakes recently using the freshest produce I can find at my local market -- guess Paris cupcake fans are also feeling the Spring fever! Like my Berry Berry Good cupcake (available in raspberry or strawberry). This is a vanilla cake with a simple strawberry buttercream.
My I Love You Honey Bunny carrot cake cupcake with the obligatory tangy cream cheese frosting is always a crowd-pleaser.
Lemon Tart pairs a moist vanilla cake with a fresh lemon buttercream.
And here's a flavor combination I'll be taking with me to next week's Shopping & Bubbles. If you happen to be in Paris, please do stop by for free cupcakes and champagne and tell me what you think. The Sweet Thai O' Mine pairs a coconut sponge cupcake (thanks to my friend, Leah, for the delicious recipe) and a lime zest/Malibu buttercream (thanks to my friend, Peg, for suggesting lime!).
Last but not least, here's my best-selling Storm cupcake (chocolate cake with vanilla bean buttercream) dressed up as a sheep. These were for a 30 year-old's birthday party. I have no idea why they requested sheep - I guess it's a private joke -- but it made me feel Spring-y nonetheless!
For Every Occasion, a Cupcake. Mark this one a refreshingly sweet way to savor the return of Spring!
* Party Cupcake Ideas
* Cupcakes Take The Cake