Remember the movie Sabrina? Both versions: one with Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart, and the remake with Julia Ormond and Harrison Ford? The awkward, painfully shy and clinically obsessed Sabrina Fairchild finds herself in the middle of a love triangle between the two Larrabee brothers, all taking place amongst the landscape of rich New York?
Keep this to yourself, but I secretly like the remake better. There’s something beautiful about Harrison Ford playing a swoon-ridden workaholic alongside the perfection that was Greg Kinnear in the 90s. And Julia Ormond? A jewel.
I was eating one of these cupcakes during a girl’s night where we were watching the classic Sabrina with Hepburn and Bogart. I convinced these girlfriends that this was the perfect ladies night movie, but having not seen it in about a decade, I had forgotten that in the first 10 minutes (spoiler!!!) she tries to kill herself by turning on half a dozen cars in an enclosed garage. Woops. Some of the ladies had their doubts about the movie from then on, but good old Bogie dove in and swept us all off of our feet like we were Lauren Bacall.
That’s a lie – we spent most of the time marveling at their dramatic age difference.
Sidenote: I’ve been reading Lauren Bacall’s memoir, By Myself and Then Some. To quote a good friend, “What a dame.” I recommend it.
Despite the shaky start of the classic movie in the eyes of modern women, we had cupcakes. These cupcakes, to be exact. And dirty Shirley Temples courtesy of one incredible former bartender, but I digress.
As I was munching on one of these cupcakes during the movie, I realized that cupcakes are the Audrey Hepburn of dessert. Petite, undeniably adorable, and filled with unlimited wow potential. Wow-tential. I felt like I was eating the essence of Audrey Hepburn in dessert, particularly herself in Funny Face. Simple, covered in black from head to toe, topped with a “Think Pink!” number that is surprisingly tart and flavorful, and quick to impress the most unsuspecting passerby.
And something about the nip of the raspberries dancing on your tongue like Fred Astaire…. yeah something like that.
Fortunately, Audrey Hepburn cupcakes are delicious and easy to make. I took a classic chocolate cake recipe from dearest Martha Stewart and tweaked it just slightly by adding instant coffee to the batter. Because coffee and chocolate.
Then, a basic buttercream that at its base is butter AND shortening. Because I’m trying to shorten all of your lives by 3 years… Actually, it’s because while I find buttercream made with solely butter to be delicious, buttercream made with both is more stable and less prone to sweating or losing its consistency in a climate similar, oh, I don’t know…. to the deep pits of hell that can be Texas heat. Trust me, this was my go to when I made wedding cakes once upon a time. Nary a cake slipped and fell apart on my watch when this delicious, sugary glue was holding it together.
It’s made beautiful and sophisticated by simply whipping in your favorite raspberry jam. Fudgy and dense. Topped with creamy and tart. It’s beautiful. And your mouth will be elated.
But while it may encompass the essence of Audrey Hepburn, it will send you running in the opposite direction of her waistline.