Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Berry Mascarpone Filled Cupcakes & Our Wedding

When we were planning our wedding we hired a young and talented photographer whose business has since exploded, which meant we had a really long wait for our photos. On the morning of our one year anniversary, we got our photos - along with a very classy apology. Yes, there is a recipe at the bottom of the page so go ahead and scroll if that's what you came for. I won't be offended.

If you have had to wait a year for something, and it was 4x longer than you were expecting, you tend to experience a few emotions. For my mom it was steeling herself in case our photos were lost forever. She cried when we surprised her with them. I went through shades of anger, disappointment, concern, sadness, hope, and finally joy.

There will be a gratuitous number of pictures in this post. Sorry, not sorry. This is by far the easiest way to share with friends and family, because believe it or not, the whole world isn't on Facebook! It was hard to pick and choose. I happen to think all of our friends are curiously good looking and we truly had the most photogenic flower girls and ring bearer.

I didn't particularly want a big wedding, maybe I did when I was younger but the realities of life have helped pare my tastes down over the years. My mom had other plans - she booked our venue two weeks before we were engaged. And no, she didn't even know Paul was ring shopping at the time.

When my mom's health was in jeopardy and she was forced to retire suddenly, the big wedding was threatened. I would pick my mom over a big wedding any day, so it didn't bother me too much, but I could tell she was heartbroken.

Can I just tell you... I have the most amazing church community. They rallied. I'm going to cry on my keyboard as I think back on it. I decided that I would make our centerpieces out of wine bottles and within two months church members scrounged up 12 dozen for me to work with. A woman from the church that I had only met a few times, but have since fallen in love with, volunteered to do the flowers. I cried when I saw my bouquet. It was better than anything I could have dreamed of. I stood in the sanctuary looking at the two giant arrangements she made in awe, saying over and over, "What have I ever done to deserve this?" Folks were constantly dropping off little things to use, giving good advice on things that worked for them, and offering to help out where they could.

We invited the whole church to the ceremony and the mom of one of my best friends made 300+ cupcakes for everyone to feast on afterward. They were incredible. I would have been happy with one flavor but she went all out. She knew some of my favorite flavors and recipes and indulged us with chocolate, lemon, and vanilla cakes, some filled with berry mascarpone, some topped with homemade italian buttercream, all completely delicious. Coworkers and former youth under my care teamed up to decorate the church hall and cater these amazing confections.

There are so many moments that slip away over time but now with pictures I can savor them all over again: Discovering with the flower girls that we all have tutu's under our dresses, the ring bearer digging for gold halfway up the aisle, Paul jumping the gun and saying "I Do" early and making the whole building laugh, the way our friends who stood beside us came together to always keep it funny when the 95ยบ day threatened to ruin a mood, my grandparents winning the longest marriage dance-off, and the smiles on everyones faces throughout the day.

It was truly the most amazing day and I have never felt so loved in my life. I am thrilled to be able to share it with you.

I got so caught up in reminiscing that I almost forgot this is a food blog! Let me introduce you to Patrice, our chef today:

And these are the cupcakes she made for everyone:

She took one of my favorite cupcake recipes and incorporated the flavors into her own treats. She didn't follow the recipe exactly because it uses - gasp! - boxed cake mix! I've made these cupcakes at least a dozen times for various occasions and am feeling kind of strange that now everyone will know my secret. It's a recipe that Giada De Laurentiis seems to be making every time I turn on the TV. I think you will love it as much as I do.

Berry Mascarpone Filled Cupcakes
Yield: 12 cupcakes
Total Time: 1 hr 25 min (30 inactive)

  • 1 box french vanilla cake mix (and the eggs and oil required on the box)
  • 1 8 oz. package mascarpone cheese, chilled
  • 1/2 cup thawed and drained frozen berries of choice
  • 1/4 cup sugar, plus 1/2 cup
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • optional: fresh berries for topping
Bake cupcakes according to package directions and let cool.

Combine mascarpone cheese, berries, 1/4 cup sugar, and lemon juice in a food processor and process until smooth. Transfer mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a small tip. Push the tip gently into the top or bottom of a cupcake and gently squeeze in the berry mixture until the cupcake plumps but doesn't break. Fill all cupcakes.

In a small sauce pan bring the 1/2 cup sugar, water, and vanilla to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer until the sugar is dissolved. In a medium bowl combine the sauce pan contents with the confectioners sugar. Whisk until smooth. Working quickly before the icing hardens, use a spatula to spread the icing on top of the cupcakes. (You can soften the icing in the microwave for a few seconds if needed.) 

Place a fresh berry in the center of the icing on each cupcake, and voila! Absolutely magical cupcakes.

My gown is Rivini and veil is Kleinfeld, both purchased second hand at Sabrina Ann's Once Worn and Never Worn Bridals in Ardmore, PA. My jewelry is from Nordstrom. My hair piece is made from $2 shoe clips I found at a flea market. The bridesmaids are in Bill Levkoff. Groom and groomsmen's ties are from Kohls. Groomsmen's suits are their own. (One of them was purchased at a thrift store - can you guess which one?) Flower girls dresses and ring bearer's tux from Kohls. A big thank you to Pastore Events for taking the stress of the day away. And a million thank you's to our friends and family and all of the people that went above and beyond to make our wedding day so special and filled with love.


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