Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Akshat Singh and a Selfie

It's amazing how celebrities have a hold of our senses. If we're out somewhere and a 'celeb' passes by, our antennas immediately perk up and beeps into alert mode. Now for many of us, especially those of us with elevated egos and snob value (not that I am egoistic or snobbish mind you), we don't really want to go gaga over a supposed celebrity and so we act cool and composed even if our minds and hearts are in silent squeal mode.
For example, this one time I was on the same flight as Sachin Tendulkar.
He was seated a few rows ahead of me and I could see his curly head bobbing about as the air-hostess blushed and served him some orange juice.

So what did I do you ask?

I sipped on my orange juice and flipped through a magazine like the fact that one of the sporting greats of the world and my favourite cricketer of all time wasn't seated five feet away. I was way cooler than a cucumber; I was probably way cooler than a polar icecap. But despite all that arctic coolness my heart, mind and quite possibly my soul as well squealed 'OMG! Sachin and I are having orange juice together! I looooove you Sachin!' - Internal Heart/Mind Squeal Syndrome.
Now my latest celebrity encounter is a tad bit different.
Last week, as part of my job working with a media magazine I attended a convention hosted by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) called Frames. It's an annual media extravaganza with the who's who of the media and entertainment industry speaking up in wise and witty panel discussions. Walking through the convention centre you would get to rub shoulders (literally!) with intimidating corporate leaders, advertising geniuses, glitzy actors and so forth. If Internal Squeal Syndrome was mapped on a Richter scale at the point when one traverses through FICCI Frames, it would be a quake off the charts for sure.
But, you know, I'm a cool cucumber.
A polar icecap.
A poised penguin.
I waddled through, interviewed a bunch of people, listened to some interesting discussions, had some coffee with a butter biscuit and skipped along nodding here and nodding there until suddenly my happy feet came to a screeching halt. My eyes detected a little someone and my heart skipped a beat. He was wearing a bright yellow T-shirt and had on a pair of sunglasses even though we were within the cool confines of the convention centre.
Akshat Singh!
Who Akshat Singh? (Shame on you!)
He Akshat Singh...

He seemed like a pro at the celebrity thing as he curtly nodded at onlooking bystanders with just the right hint of a smile or maybe it was a smiling smirk. Imagine a young Salman Khan with a portly belly instead of six pack abs cruising through a roomful of besotted people. In today's terms - #swag #likeaboss #superstar

So what did I do you ask?

I bolted across the room like a giddy teenager, ran to him and begged him to click a picture with me.
Selfie time! - External Shameless Squeal Syndrome

I got barely 2 minutes with the little star but it was 2 wonderful minutes. He said he loves to dance and that he had fun in Los Angeles with Ellen. #sigh
Such a cute little cupcake.

In his honour, here's a chocolate cupcake from the Hummingbird Bakery. It is quite a rustic version of a traditional chocolate cupcake with a soft cake base and an intensely buttery icing.
  • Ingriedients:
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 1 1/2tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 40g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 120ml whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • ¼tsp vanilla extract
  • chocolate vermicelli or edible silver balls, to decorate
  • Chocolate Frosting
  • 300g icing sugar, sifted
  • 100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 40g cocoa powder, sifted
  • 40ml whole milk

Put the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.
Whisk the milk, egg and vanilla extract together in a jug, then slowly pour about half into the flour mixture, beat to combine and turn the mixer up to high speed to get rid of any lumps.
Turn the mixer down to a slower speed and slowly pour in the remaining milk mixture (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Continue mixing for a couple more minutes until the mixture is smooth. Do not overmix.
Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the center should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
When the cupcakes are cold, spoon the Chocolate Frosting on top and decorate with chocolate vermicelli or silver balls.
For the chocolate frosting
Beat the icing sugar, butter and cocoa powder together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.
Turn the mixer down to slow speed. Add the milk to the butter mixture a couple of tablespoons at a time. Once all the milk has been incorporated, turn the mixer up to high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
The longer the frosting is beaten, the fluffier and lighter it becomes. 

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