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My very least favourite interview question is ‘where do you see yourself in five or ten years time?’

I don’t think there’s really a good answer to this question – you either end up suggesting that this job would just be a stepping stone to bigger and better things or that your master plan is to steal the job of the person who is interviewing you.

And, more to the point, I’ve never been one of those people who really knows where they’re going in life or has a clear vision of what their future self looks like.

If you’d asked me on my 20th birthday, or even my 25th birthday, what I would be doing today, my 30th birthday, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have had a clue.

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Well, I might have been able to guess that my day would start with a (slightly stale) chocolate cupcake but that would probably be about as far as I would have got. I definitely wouldn’t have guessed that said cupcake would be liberally smothered in peanut butter whipped cream as I only discovered that I didn’t detest peanut butter about a year ago.

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I feel like I should have some deep and profound thoughts about turning thirty; I don’t have any whatsoever.  As with so many similar milestones,  you get there and then shrug your shoulders and wonder what all the fuss was about.

A few days ago, I read an article online by Elizabeth Wurtzel called ‘I Refuse to be a Grown Up‘. When I was a teenager, all those years ago, Elizabeth Wurtzel was impossibly glamorous in the way that can only an angst-ridden fourteen year old girl can understand.  I don’t agree with all, or even most, of the article but this paragraph:

“Sometimes, maybe even a lot, I say things that are ridiculous. Sometimes I am ridiculous. There are worse things.”

This is pretty much how I want to live my life whether I’m in my twenties, thirties or eighties.

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I don’t really have any concept of what the next few years will bring.  Unlike when I turned 20, I at least have a few ideas of what I’d like them to bring but life so rarely unfolds in the way that you expect that it seems pointless to waste too much time worrying about it today.

Especially when there are birthday cupcakes to be eaten.

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chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter whipped cream

Yield: 12 cupcakes

This is my usual chocolate cupcake recipe; it's produces a pretty firm and sturdy base with a nice rounded chocolatey flavour. The whipped cream frosting, adapted from a recipe in the Sprouted Kitchen book, is a bit lighter than traditional buttercream and far less sickly which, clearly, means that it's perfectly possible, if not encouraged, to eat more than one.

Ingredients

    For the cupcakes:
  • 50g (6 tablespoons) cocoa powder
  • 190ml (2/3 cup + 2 tablespoons) boiling water
  • 150g (1 stick + 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 225g (1 cup) golden caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 200g (approx 1 1/2 cups) einkorn flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda/bicarbonate of sida
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • For the whipped cream:
  • 240ml (1 cup) whipping cream
  • 75g (1/3 cup) icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 150g (2/3 cup) peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F (fan) and line a baking tray with paper liners. Mix together the cocoa powder and boiling water and stir until smooth. Set aside until cool.
  2. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add the chocolate mixture and the eggs and continue beat for a couple of minutes until incorporated. Fold in all of the dry ingredients and pour the mixture into the cupcake cases.
  3. Bake for about 20 - 25 minutes until risen and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool while you make the frosting.
  4. Whip up the cream either with a stand mixer or an electric whisk (or by hand if you're feeling energetic). When you've got soft peaks of cream add the sugar, to taste, the vanilla and the salt. Continue to peat until you have firm peaks and then gradually add the peanut butter - this will deflate the cream a little.
  5. When the cupcakes have cooled, pipe your whipped cream onto the top. The frosting won't stay as firm as traditional buttercream so you probably don't want to ice your cupcakes too far in advance. Saying that, the one I ate this morning had been made and frosted on Sunday...

Notes

Cupcakes adapted from these chocolate curry cupcakes

Peanut butter whipped cream adapted from The Sprouted Kitchen

http://londonbakes.com/2013/11/chocolate-cupcakes-with-peanut-butter-whipped-cream.html
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38 Responses to "chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter whipped cream"
  1. Kezia says:

    Happy Birthday! Chocolate and peanut butter are so good together, I’ll definitely have to try this recipe.

  2. Happy Birthday Kathryn!!! Have a lovely day and an amazing year ahead! And enjoy your cupcakes, which, btw look very delicious.

  3. Pru says:

    Happy birthday Kathryn! I hope you have a very jolly start to being 30 – I’ve found it to be a lot of fun!

    xx

  4. The happiest of birthdays to you! :) xx

  5. Jenny @ BAKE says:

    Happy Birthday Kathryn! hope you have a fantastic day! this cupcake looks like a brilliant way to start off this new decade.

  6. Angharad says:

    Hear hear! I’m going to try and remember this post and avoid too many deep thoughts / any kind of existential crisis on my own 30th in a few months :)

    Wishing you a very happy birthday! xx

  7. Tieghan says:

    Happy, Happy Birthday! Hope you a awesome day and enjoy lots of cakes and cupcake and pies! :)

    Oh and the chocolate peanut butter cupcake kind of rule!

  8. Happy happy birthday!!! Hope it’s a great one. And I totally feel you on that question. I’ve always HATED it. Life changes so much every year and it’s best to be open for anything, if you ask me ;) Strive for happiness and the rest will figure itself out.

  9. Happy Birthday! I am so very with you on much of what you shared in this post. I always hated that question, too. Profess you’d like to be with the same company for the next 10 years [what if they hold me to it?!] or admit that you have sights elsewhere and this position would be a great step towards that goal. Eep. I’m currently in between jobs myself and am answering that question all too often. With a different response each time, too!
    I love that you topped the delicious chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter whipped cream! I’ve never ever thought of doing that but know instantly that it must be a most delicious creation.
    Hope you’ve had a fantastic day!

  10. Erin says:

    Happy birthday! May the coming years bring you so many wonderful adventures and experiences! :)

  11. Erika says:

    Happy Birthday!! I’d say chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter whipped cream topping is a great way to celebrate.

  12. Peanut butter whipped cream frosting is THE BEST. I could eat it by the spoonful, no joke. I celebrate my 30th next July…bring on the cupcakes!

  13. Ashley says:

    Happy birthday. I think it’s a sign of true wisdom when you able to admit and be okay with not having everything planned and figured out.

  14. Skye says:

    I’ve never made a whipped icing with cream before – I’ve only ever used butter or cream cheese. Will have to give it a try…
    Hope that you’re having a fab birthday! :)

  15. Urgh, I hate that question too. I recently had a performance review at work in which my boss asked me that same question and confessed that he was nervous that I would leave my job for blogging full-time. I was slightly miffed — the thought had never occurred to me. But honestly, I’ve never had too much foresight about the future, so who really knows at the end of the day.

    In any case, happy birthday! These cupcakes look delicious.

  16. Erin says:

    I always tell the story of when the college newspaper asked a few seniors where they saw themselves in five years. Everyone had such detailed answers and mine was, “I don’t even know where I’ll be in five months, let alone five years.” I honestly think that’s the best answer I could have picked because I couldn’t have ever predicted any of what has happened (and that’s kind of cool.)

    A very happy birthday, Kathryn!

  17. Einkorn birthday cupcakes are my idea of a good time. : ) Happy birthday, beautiful Kathryn. You have added so much kindness and life to my world this year. I am thankful for you.

  18. happy birthday kathryn! i can so relate to everything you say in this post. the only thing i’d say about thirty is that at least for me, it was the year i stopped worrying about not having a plan. i think the subliminal pressure of living in a society that has all these prescriptions about age. the wonderful thing about thirty for me is that i really just don’t care any more about what other people think. it’s liberating in a very wonderful way.

  19. em says:

    Happy Birthday Katherine,
    73g of icing sugar in buttercream tells me its going to be a tasty one.

  20. em says:

    I definitely just spelt your name wrong,
    Oh dear lord,
    Happy birthday Kathryn!!!!
    x

  21. This sounds sooo lovely! Awesome idea!

  22. Alice says:

    Happy birthday lovely! I once answered that interview question by saying “Well in complete honesty, not here.”- in my defence, it was a retail job which I took alongside my university studies, and clearly they didn’t mind as they offered me the job…! I like not knowing what’s coming though- yes, it’s a bit weird, but I think those who plan out for every eventuality must have slightly dull lives… xx

  23. Kasey says:

    Happy birthday my lovely across-the-pond friend! Yay for 30. I also felt very odd about 30 – not quite sure what my big goals list should look like, or how I should feel. I hear our 30s are some of our best years, so chin chin to that, and delicious cupcakes, and beautiful blog friends. xoxo

  24. Happiest of birthdays to you my friend! Amen a million times. You can only plan so much because tomorrow has a mind of it’s own. Cupcakes today sounds like a genius plan. xox

  25. Happy birthday Kathryn! Welcome to the dirty thirties – you’re gonna love it here :)

  26. Joanne says:

    Happy birthday chica!! Five years ago and definitely ten years ago, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been able to guess I am where I am now. It’s funny where life takes you. But there is always room for cupcakes, no matter where that is.

  27. Teffy says:

    Happy Birthday!
    I was the same, didn’t realise I loved peanut butter until about 1 year ago! Now I’m addicted.
    looks delicious btw.

    { Teffys Perks Blog } X

  28. Happy birthday! And I completely agree with that quote. As for the interview question, I think it’s nearly impossible to know what life will bring in a few years from now and hard to imagine, but sometimes asking yourself where you’d like to be in 10 years makes you think about working towards a particular goal and taking the steps to get there.

  29. Happy Birthday! Turning 30 was completely anti-climactic for me too. So many people had told me that when they turned 30, that’s when they finally understood themselves, the world, etc., so I was waiting for that, but nope, didn’t happen. Cupcakes are always good though. :)

  30. Beth says:

    Hope you had a wonderful birthday. I’m not a huge peanut butter fan, but paired with chocolate it’s pretty special.

  31. Happy Happy Birthday!!! I can’t believe you didn’t used to like peanut butter, I’m so happy you changed your ways:-)

    I also never could have predicted where I am now. It is actually crazy to think how different things were five and ten years ago and how unexpectedly life can change!

  32. Natasha says:

    That’s my least favorite interview question too. Because the person asking it never wants the answer to be “I’m not really sure. That’s like 5 (or 10) years from now.” Which is always what I am thinking.

    Anyway, happy birthday!! These cupcakes look like a delicious way to celebrate!

  33. Happy birthday, you gorgeous lady!!! I wish we could eat these (AMAZING) cupcakes together :) xo

  34. Happy belated birthday! I just realized we were born on the same day, two years apart! These birthday cupcakes sure are a good way to start off the day, and you know what, I hate those “how do you see yourself in 5 years” interview questions too!!! So glad to have found your space!

    love from argentina!

  35. Dom says:

    Happy Birthday ? Hate interviews anyway. I always fluff them up. Love the peanut butter icing x

  36. Happy belated birthday, sweet friend! I seriously hate that question during interviews too and questionnaires in general. It’s hard enough trying to live for the present ;) haha …beautiful cupcakes and the frosting – I could just lick the bowl!

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