Paulchen and

Paulchen and “Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines”

Every year since 1955 some brave men fly down the walls of Citta Alta in their self constructed soapboxes. The first run is a speed challenge, the second one includes obstacles like a little jump, a water jump and a foam gun (2nd row left in the background). Unfortunately these “cars” are so fast-they flash by-taking pictures with an eclectic cat and crazy soap boxes was a bit difficult.

The Grappa Mobile was our favorite.

The Grappa Mobile was our favorite.

Take a look here: a fab video with all the special effects. As already mentioned: there is a foam gun. And some water. Enjoy.

And a second video from Polar TV.

Paulchen loved it. But I could not take him closer to the water or the foam. He preferred to stay next to the Salsiccia-Foodtruck. Enough said right?!


Paulchen attending the Soap Box Rally in Bergamo

Happiness in Pink


Fruity Vanilla CC

The Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

Yield: 16 cupcakes

  • (225 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • (175 grams) cake flour, not self-rising
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • (57 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 75 grams full-fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup canola oil or vegetable oil (60 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon pure (not imitation) vanilla extract
  • 160 ml whole milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C).
  2. In a small bowl, combine sugar and seeds from the vanilla bean.
  3. Using the back of a spoon, move around the bowl and apply pressure to break up any clumps of seeds and to better infuse the vanilla flavor into the sugar. Set aside.
  4. In a medium-sized mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Add the vanilla bean sugar and mix until well combined.
  6. Add butter and mix on medium-low speed for three minutes.  Because there is so little butter, you’ll end up with a very fine crumb texture.
  7. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, oil, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  8. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.
  9. Slowly add milk and mix on low speed until just combined.  The batter will be liquid.  (Don’t worry, you didn’t do anything wrong.  It’s supposed to be that way.)
  10. Fill cupcake liners just over 1/2 full.
  11. Bake for 14 minutes and then test to see if they are done. They are done when a toothpick comes out without wet batter stuck to it.  The cupcakes should appear white with specks of vanilla bean. They should not turn a golden brown.  If they are not done, test again in two minutes.  If they are still not done, test again in another two minutes.
  12. When the cupcakes are done, remove them immediately from the tins and leave them on a cooling rack (or just on your counter if you don’t own a cooling rack) to cool.