The Break (C)Upcake

I'm about to blow your minds dear readers.

Ready?

...


Breakups suck.

On the Suck-Meter I think I would place them somewhere in between losing your metro pass a week before the end of the month, and being forced to watch a neverending marathon of Jersey Shore ... while on fire, and surviving purely on a diet of Thrills gum for all eternity (mmm ... chewy soap pellets).

I'm sure you get the picture, friends; it isn't pretty. And whether you're the "dumper" or the "dumpee" the fact still remains: you were with someone, be it for two long years or two magical hours, and now it's just you, yourself, and, well, you. Cue the dreaded facebook relationship status change, followed by a barrage of concerned questions with exaggerated punctuation (how could this happen?! are you okay?!!), the occasional feminist-flavoured comments of support (screw men! who needs them?) and sometimes your friend with the mafia-ties comes out of the woodwork (I know a guy ...).

But despite all of the concern, support, and hitman connections, the process of getting over a breakup is not an easy one. You may find that your way of life has changed temporarily: where once you were thriving, you are now simply surviving. You may find that your personal hygiene has changed: where once you were constantly flat-ironing your hair to glossy perfection, it is now a miracle if you've washed it in the last 4 days. You may even find that, in your misery, a name change is appropriate: "Hi you've reached Helga the Hermit. Since no one loves me, you're probably a telemarketer or have dialled the wrong number and won't leave a message anyway. But on the off chance that you are trying to contact me, leave a message after the beep. and I'll get back to you ... if I haven't died of heartache, or been mauled to death by the 26 cats I'll inevitably purchase". (For the record, dear readers, this particular shade of self-pity looks good on no one and will just incite worry, and drop-in visits from friends ... and probably the humane society).

It is important to remember, friends, that you are not alone in this. Everyone goes through it sometime or another, and we always come out the other side. How do we do it? There's no magical cure for a broken heart, but there are things, and people, that make the process a lot more bearable. For instance:

1) You know those people that hold you while you cry, and never once mention the fact that you've slobbered all over their favourite sweater? Those people that forcefully shove you into the shower as they ring out your tear-soaked pillow and dispose of the landfill of tissues on your bedroom floor? The ones that ignore your protestations and declarations of a "heart-broken hunger strike" and bring a plate of food up to your room because they don't want you to starve to death? Those people are your family and friends and they love you no matter what.

2) You know those movies that are so saccharine you get a cavity just by watching them? The ones that make you cry for some inexplicable reason? The first fifteen minutes of Up? Buy stock in Kleenex, lock yourself in your room for the day, turn on these movies, and cry your eyes out. "You want me to cry more, you heartless woman?" I hear you cry in dismay, possibly. Crying is actually cathartic, so you'll feel better when you're done. Also, this way you're using up all of your tears so there'll be none left to cry for your loser ex. Bonus!

3) You know that magical thing called junk food? ...

Calories be hanged! C'mon, you know as well as I that sweets were practically created for breakups. Aside from maybe pregnancy, this is the only time you can stroll into your local grocery store wearing pyjama pants and a hoodie sweater, make a beeline for the freezer section, and slam those two pints of Ben and Jerry's down on the counter, giving Doreen, your friendly neighbourhood cashier, "the look". Fair warning, this look is something that can only be mastered if you've had your heart broken, or if there is a child growing inside of you; it's a look that says "don't judge me, yes I intend to eat both of these myself [today], no I do not have air miles, yes I would like a plastic bag, and you have yourself a nice day" all in one. "The look" is pretty much a science, and as I said, if you do not meet the above criteria, do not try it at home.

But as good as our friends Ben and Jerry are to us in our times of woe, we can certainly do better. Think about it: it's out of the freezer for less than ten minutes and it dissolves into a drippy mess (kind of like us during the first fifteen minutes of Up! ...). There's only so many times a girl's Chunky Monkey can turn into a Soupy Snoopy before she begins to develop trust issues. So ladies and gents, I believe that we deserve something much more stable in our time of great instability. Something temperature resistant. Something sweet, satisfying, and bite-sized. Something like, say, a cupcake.

**I know dear readers, I am about as subtle as a train wreck. But I think we've now reached the point where we can gather ourselves together and head into the kitchen**

I've said many times that I bake for every occasion, and I was willing to give it a shot to get me through my own share of heart ache. I knew that getting out of bed, getting into the kitchen and being creative would take my mind off of my woes, and would keep me busy doing something that I love. Having gotten myself into this frame of mind, deciding to come up with a cupcake was a no-brainer for me. The flavour of said cupcake? Not so much.

Like many going through this hard time, I wanted something sweet and indulgent to lighten my spirits (though perhaps not my waistline). But let any heartbroken girl, let alone this one, loose in a grocery store and you have opened your doors to a weepy hurricane on the path of sugary destruction; aisles of cookies, cakes, chocolate and candy, and we turn into Freddy Mercury (we want it all, and we want it now). Well, this certainly was not the time for a plain old chocolate cupcake but did I dare combine all of those indulgences into one little package? ... You bet I did.

So how did I do it? Well, it's a little bit of a franken-cake of sorts, keyword: indulgence. I used my chocolate cake recipe from here and my peanut butter marshmallow frosting from here, but as decadent as this combination is already, we're talking heartbreak here people! So what else could I add to up the theme of the day? Well, I remember many blissful afternoons with my grandmother making cookies in our cottage kitchen, more cookie dough ending up in my stomach than on the baking sheet, and to this day raw cookie dough is to me a nostalgic indulgence. All I had to do was make a "safe" version of that cookie dough (egg free), and bam! Delicious filling. With the addition of a Skor bar garnish as the figurative cherry on top (this is no time for fruit!) I knew I'd done it: indulgence personified.

Was it a dainty process? Heck no. Did it cure my heartache completely? No. But as I looked at my finished product, and especially when I took that first bite, smiling, I knew: I deserve this indulgence, this feeling of happiness, and I don't need another person to make that happen. And neither do you dear readers.

So whether it's baking, or crocheting, or even taxidermy (yikes), do what you love, and take the time to indulge. The journey back to happiness, and to the old you, won't be an easy one, and it isn't something that can be found in the bottom of a cupcake liner. But, my loves, I guarantee that the spark of happiness and pleasure that you'll feel will remind you of what's to come; you will get through this. Trust me.

Much Love, and Happy Baking.





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"A party without cake is just a meeting."

-- Julia Child