I have always had a very difficult time with jet lag. It was a struggle for Jeff and I early in our relationship. We both love to travel and took several international trips together before getting married. He’s the type of traveler I always wanted to be; he can hop off a red eye flight, force himself to stay awake after we land and then wake up the next day energized and ready see the sights. Me, not so much.
My entire body seems to rebel during the first few days of an overseas trip. It can take me up to a week to completely recover and feel like myself. It’s difficult enough when I lose a night of sleep (I am terrible at sleeping on flights). But the combination of that plus turning the clock ahead 6 hours or more sets off a chain reaction in my body that involves exhaustion and sometimes even stomach issues (which I will not detail in a cupcake post). Japan was the worst. My body had no idea how to process an 11 hour time difference after a 17 hour flight.
We’re headed to Germany and the Czech Republic on Wednesday and for the first time ever, I have a plan of attack against the jet lag. I think it’s brilliant but everyone else keeps telling me I’m crazy. They are wrong. I’m a freaking genius.
I’ve been slowly adjusting my internal clock (EST) to align with Germany time (CET). Melatonin has been a huge help. I take it a bit earlier every evening. This morning I woke up at 4:45am. Tomorrow I’m waking up at 4:15am. The morning of our flight I’m aiming for some time between 3:30am and 4:00am. Brilliant, right? Or crazy.
Whether all of this effort will work or not remains to be seen. But I am very optimistic! I’ve been falling asleep very early. I think it will help me pass out on the plane and will hopefully make the transition easier than it has been on previous journeys. Fingers crossed.
I have a few recipes lined up for while I’m away but not much. It’s time to try and unplug for a bit, at least slightly. I think these cupcakes will more than make up for any lag in new posts. They’re really amazing if you love summer peaches as much as I do. The bourbon is very complimentary and adds a real kick to the buttercream.
- 3½ ounces (3/4 cups) all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons bourbon
- 3 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup chopped ripe peaches (approximately 1½ peaches)
- 1 ripe peach, pitted
- ⅓ cup (2½ ounces) granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons water
- 3 egg whites
- 8 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- optional: 1-2 drops orange food coloring
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place an oven rack in the middle position. Lightly spray a cupcake pan with cooking spray or fill it with cupcake liners first and then lightly spray them with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and cornstarch. In a separate bowl, whisk together the heavy cream and bourbon.
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together on low speed for 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, allowing each egg to incorporate before adding the next one. Use a spatula to scrape down the side of the bowl. With the mixer still on low, quickly alternate between adding the flour mixture and liquid ingredients over approximately 30-60 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl all the way to the bottom and then turn the mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Stir in the chopped peaches by hand.
- Evenly distribute the batter between the 12 cupcake tins. Bake for approximately 22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool for 5-10 minutes, then carefully remove them from the pan to a cooling rack. The cupcakes can stay in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours before frosting, if desired.
- Place the pitted peach in a sturdy blender and puree until smooth. Peeling it first is optional but recommended if using an older blender.
- Add sugar and water to a medium sized sauce pot. Cover and turn the heat to high. Once the liquid begins to simmer and steam has developed, remove the cover (this helps prevent crystallization). Using a candy thermometer, cook the sugar to the soft boil stage, 235-240 degrees F.
- While the sugar is simmering, whisk the eggs on high speed in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment until they reach a soft peak.
- Turn the mixer speed down to medium low and very slowly pour the syrup down the side of the bowl into the egg whites. Don’t pour the hot syrup directly into the meringue or the eggs might scramble.
- Once the syrup is incorporated, turn the mixer to high speed and allow the mixture to continue forming a stiff peak while cooling down. Mix on high until the meringue has reached room temperature. Optionally, ice packs can be placed around the bowl to speed up this 15-20 minute process.
- Once the meringue is room temperature, very slowly begin incorporating the soft butter on medium speed. Once all of the butter has been incorporated, turn the mixer up to high high and very slowly add ¼ cup of the peach puree, bourbon and food coloring, if using. If the mixture starts to curdle at any point, microwave 2 tablespoons of it for 5-7 seconds and then incorporate it back into the buttercream on high speed. That should bring it back together.
- Pipe the buttercream frosting onto the cupcakes and serve.
All granulated sugar may be used in the cupcakes as opposed to 50% granulated sugar and 50% brown sugar. The cupcakes will be slightly paler in appearance but will still taste excellent.