In our often crazy world, the notion of control can seem very far-fetched and foreign. To those indifferent, fatalistic or subservient it's probably completely unnecessary. Yet when I struggle to control even the simplest of habits, cravings or itches it makes one really question the capability to control or even manage things more serious than sweet orange cupcakes.
Is there anything quite like the simple pleasure of beating egg whites? Soft or stiff peaks, that continuous whirring of the beaters; that transformation from clear glugginess to creamy bubbles to snow white fluff; that evidence of the possibility of change. Which all comes crashing to a halt when the pavlova doesn't turn out properly. But today the fruit bowl beckons and makes an offering to the cupcake recipe where egg whites are beaten separately. Really, for cupcakes?
The mixture is obviously lighter and fluffier than usual after the egg whites are gently folded in. And the verdict? Handed down after a quick stint in the oven, the cakes are indeed light, moist and fluffy - even the next day. I can't comment about the day after because the cupcakes didn't quite make it that far.
I did notice, however, that the cake tops were not smooth as per a normal cake. They were dotted with little craters which I can only presume are the air bubbles from the beaten egg white. Which is fine if you frost the cakies - which I chose not to given the tooth aching sweetness of the cakes. Will certainly reduce that one cup of sugar for the next batch.
I don't know if it was the high sugar content or flavour mixture, I simply could not stop eating these cakes. Of course the samples from each bake, and then between meals and snacks - yes, snacking between snacks! They were somewhat reminiscent of Madeira cake in flavour (which I used to eat plenty of in younger days) but not weight or texture.
But they would just evilly draw me in from across the kitchen, smug in their patty cases and inflated sugar egos. If my self-control can disappear in the hands of a 20 gram baked item, what hope do I have in this crazy world?