Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Récamier Velvet...and mutant gingerbread.

I’ve been working on this book about cupcakes for a while now. I don’t know if I will ever actually finish it (surprise), but the whole thing that started it was an idea I had about a red velvet cupcake on a Récamier couch.

Have you ever heard of a Récamier couch?  I hadn’t until I was in college and studying theatre history. I fell in love with this painting of Madame Récamier reclining on her couch:

Portrait of Madame Récamier by Jaques-Louis David
...and I filed it away in my tiny brain for future use. And like I said, one day I just had to draw a cupcake on a Récamier couch. Weird. Even weirder? I don’t actually like red velvet cupcakes. Too much food coloring. Although I believe that originally, the red color was only from the reaction of the “un-dutched” cocoa with the acidity of the vinegar and the buttermilk. It wasn’t that crazy red we see now. I make brown velvet cupcakes and just leave out the dye. I’m a rebel that way.

Know what’s even weirder still? Mutant gingerbread men.

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