My son requested a Three Musketeers’ flavored birthday cake for his family birthday dinner tonight. He’s turning sixteen this week…that is absolutely one of the craziest things I have heard in awhile.
Where has the time gone? Most of us find ourselves saying that now and again, especially as we watch our children grow. That is the running theme in my head like a song that is stuck playing over and over again. Tears almost trickle down, but yet I am happy. Everything is good. Really good.
But yesterday was preschool, I am sure of it—when he was pushing his new sister in her stroller shouting to everyone to come see her. He did this for a year, exclaiming, “This is Zoie…she’s my new baby sister!” New is a relative word it seemed.
Who knew he had it all together right from the get go? Family is IT and hopefully, with a little luck, he has taken that early bit of knowledge to heart even though the crazy teen years are upon him.
One of the most important things I have tried to teach my kids is that we stick by each other through absolutely everything. It’s not always going to be smooth sailing, and sometimes the rough patches seem to outweigh the blue skies, but if we can at least face it together that is something….actually that is everything.
As parents, we are their true rock or lighthouse in a storm. We can choose to let them know that we will help see them through anything and love them for exactly who they are even if it’s not who we imagined they would be. Alternately, we can teach them that our love is conditional…if they score a goal, if they get straight A’s, if they are popular…that somehow we love them more fore these things. Scary, isn’t it? How easy it is to teach them that our love is conditional. Of course, we all fall prey to that.
Where is the balance between helping to boost their self-esteem when they succeed and yet letting them know that they can’t always be the best, but that it is OK? Although some questions seem to have no answers, I do believe there is one true parenting rule that holds fast…just love them through it all, the bad, the good and the ugly. And anyone with a teen can tell you, there will be days that are UGLY. I believe if they know that you will ALWAYS be there without fail, even when they have let you down that somehow they will make it through.
It turns out The Three Musketeers may have a message for us that still rings true…All for One and One for All. I think my son’s favorite candy bar is quite apropos tonight as I sit here contemplating parenthood and the last sixteen crazy years.
As my extended family (all 11 of us) sat around the dining table, I thought how lucky we all are to have each other. There have been great times and almost unbearable times, but yet we have stood by each other and will continue to—All for One and One for All.
—By the way, I decided to turn the cake into cupcakes so I could place pieces of the actual candy bar within each cupcake for a delicious surprise. My son said the cupcakes were awesome! He couldn’t believe how much they tasted like a Three Musketeers Bar. Both the light and airy, creamy frosting and the rich moist cake are melt-in-your mouth delicious so go ahead and make these. I will even put a 100% money back guarantee on these recipes!
Three Musketeers Cupcakes
Makes approximately 18 – 20 cupcakes
7 oz (just less than a cup) vegetable oil
1 c. buttermilk
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
2 c. granulated sugar
2 c. all purpose flour
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa
1 T. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 c. boiling water
1 bag of mini Three Musketeers Bars
Creamy Whipped Chocolate Frosting
Adapted from Death By Chocolate by Marcel Desaulniers
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c. unsweetened natural cocoa powder (good quality makes a huge difference)
1/4 t. salt
4 c. confectioners’ sugar
1/3 c. heavy cream
1 t. pure vanilla extract
Cake: Prepare pan by placing cupcake liners in muffin pan. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a stand mixer or mixing bowl, combine oil, buttermilk, yolks, and vanilla. Beat 2 minutes with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer at medium speed. In another bowl, sift together (or use a wire whisk like I do to avoid sifting) sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. With mixer on LOW speed, add one third of the sifted dry ingredients to oil mixture and beat until blended. Then add one third of the hot water and slowly combine these (you don’t want the hot water to splatter on you…ouch!). Continue this process, scraping down the bowl often until all ingredients have been add and mixed.
Chop 12 mini candy bars in thirds.
Pour batter into prepared liners, 1/2 full. Place one of the 1/3 pieces of the candy bars in the batter, pushing down just slightly. Do not submerge the candybar in the batter completely. If you do, the bar sticks to the bottom of the liner and it tastes great but it does not allow the cupcake to come out of the liner entirely. If you just gently press down on the bar and then put a small spoonful of batter over the top so that the cupcake liner is about 2/3 full, that will make sure to cover the bar, but allow it to float in the batter instead of sink to the bottom.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the cake is spongy to the touch. It should bounce back when touched lightly and look firm. A toothpick test will not work here since there is a candy bar in the middle and it will always look gooey when you put the toothpick in. Cool completely before frosting.
To prepare the frosting, place 1/2 lb. of butter, the cocoa and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Cream the mixture on low until thoroughly combined, about 3 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar, cream and vanilla. Combine on low for 10 seconds, then increase to medium and beat for 10 more seconds. Increase to high and beat until the icing is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for an additional minute. Remove from mixer and keep at room temperature until needed.
Frost the cupcakes generously and use the left over pieces of the candy bars to garnish atop. Enjoy!
This recipe was linked to:
This Chick Cooks’ Link Party
And Featured on Food Gawker