Life is Like a Cupcake
I love fluffy, melt-in-the mouth cupcakes. It doesn’t take a lot to make them either. A few basic ingredients (flour, sugar, butter, eggs, milk, vanilla extract), mixed together in the right proportions, all baked at the correct temperature, can turn into a lot of satisfied ooh’s and aah’s. That’s what life is like sometimes.
When I read about Jon Morrow’s story it confirmed my thoughts on this. Jon was born with muscular dystrophy. The only things he can move are his mouth and eyes. Despite overwhelming odds, he worked hard to change his life for better. He had fewer things in his favour than most people, yet he is now a millionaire. He took what life threw at him and turned it in his favour.
Life is a lot like cupcakes. You don’t need a lot of things, or money to be happy or make your life beautiful. What you need is a good recipe that works well for you, so you can make the most of the ingredients you have. Jon had his intelligence, sight, speech and the support of his family. That’s what helped him turn his life around.
Quality of Ingredients
You can’t use stale flour with weavils, or rotten eggs and expect to bake prize-winning cupcakes. The quality as well as the freshness of ingredients matter. In life there are always new things to learn and do. Technology upgrades are keeping us on our toes.
When I first joined Medium I took a couple of courses. The platform has changed a lot in the few months I have been on it. I realised that if I didn’t keep up with current training material my knowledge would be out of date.
Staying fresh and relevant is a key ingredient to success.
You Can’t Ice Them Whilst They’re Still Hot
When you take them out of the oven cupcakes have that inviting freshly-baked smell. I usually pop one in my mouth whilst they are still nice and hot. They taste lovely but this is not the time to ice them. If you do, the icing will just melt and won’t look good. It’s best to let them cool down first.
The same principle applies to life. When you are working on fresh ideas or projects don’t rush to show them to people before they are ready. Make sure your idea is sound, test it out, then when you’re ready present it to the world. The first time you bake cupcakes, they may not turn out perfectly, despite following the recipe. That’s why you need time to learn in private.
Icing Makes Them Look Good
Well made cupcakes taste good but the icing on them is what makes them look good.
Your life may be wonderful. What makes it complete is the icing on top. The icing includes having good friends, good family relationships, health, and a positive outlook.
When one of my friends got married she chose to have a cupcake wedding cake. I wasn’t so sure about the idea. At the time I couldn’t visualise how a whole lot of cupcakes could be arranged to look as good as a wedding cake. The wedding planner did not disappoint. Seeing the live version convinced me. It also made sharing the cake with guests a piece of cake — no messy cutting, or squashed cake slices in bags.
How you show up in the world matters. You may not think you have much to offer but if you align yourself with the right people you will learn new ways of thinking, new strategies that will showcase your skills in the best possible way.
Here’s a cupcake recipe for you to try out.
110g softened butter
110g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract
110g self-raising flour
For the butter cream
150g softened butter
300g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp milk
food colouring paste of your choice (optional)
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and fill a 12 cupcake tray with cases.
Using an electric whisk beat 110g softened butter and 110g golden caster sugar together until pale and fluffy then whisk in 2 large eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
Add ½ tsp vanilla extract, 110g self-raising flour and a pinch of salt, whisk until just combined then spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases.
Bake for 15 mins until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle of each cake comes out clean. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
To make the buttercream, whisk 150g softened butter until super soft then add 300g icing sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.
Whisk together until smooth (start off slowly to avoid an icing sugar cloud) then beat in 3 tbsp milk.
If wanting to colour, stir in the food colouring now. Spoon or pipe onto the cooled cupcakes.
Recipe from BBC Good Food.