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Vanilla Cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcakes

Ingredients:

Makes about 12 -

100 gms unsalted butter

120 gms self raising flour

2 tbsp corn flour

110 gms caster sugar

1tsp baking powder

3 small eggs or 2 large eggs

1 tsp good quality vanilla extract

Method:

Preheat oven to 150C Fan or 160C otherwise.

Ensure that the butter is very soft. You can either leave the butter out of the fridge overnight, or zap it 20 seconds at a time in a microwave. The butter should be as soft as possible without melting. Put all measured ingredients in a kitchen mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix until light and fluffy. If you do not have a kitchen mixer, put all measured ingredients in a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon, briskly, until your arms ache. Around one minute. Yep, no "fold in flour" or "cream butter and sugar" or any other such nonsense. If you are an aspiring kitchen mixer owner, and lets face it, we have all been there, then use a hand held mixer. What you DON'T want is to mix it for more than a minute or so. Then you will be in trouble and there will be a slight risk of the cupcakes baking into tough little rebels. The consistency of the mixture should be a bit like heavy custard and it should plop nicely from a spoon. This mixture is enough for about 12 cupcakes, depending on the size of your cupcake liners. Fill cupcake liners between ½ and ¾ the way up. Fill ½ way up to get an even flat shape, fill ¾ way up to get a nice dome shape. Use a muffin pan, otherwise the liners spread into ghastly shapes.

Bake for 20 minutes in the middle of the oven, but check after 15 by inserting a little cocktail stick.

If there is anything stuck to the stick, then bake for the full 20 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for around 5 minutes and then take them out carefully and allow to cool outside the pan. Let 11 cupcakes cool completely before icing. Eat one while still warm. Enjoy!

Buttercream Recipe

Ingredients:

Makes more than enough for 24 cupcakes -

250gms (1 block) of unsalted butter

500gms sifted icing sugar

1tsp vanilla extract

That is it. Really.

Method:

Ensure that the butter is very soft. You can either leave the butter out of the fridge overnight, or zap it 20 seconds at a time in a microwave. The butter should be as soft as possible without melting. Using a paddle attachment in a kitchen mixer, whip the butter until it is pale in colour. This takes about 2 minutes. You can also use a hand held mixer for this job. Sift the icing sugar. While sifting the icing sugar, you will notice that your are inhaling icing sugar. This is perfectly normal. You will also notice that your kitchen workspaces are being draped in a thin film of icing sugar. Enjoy the process, it doesn't happen everyday. Add around a third of the icing sugar to the butter on low speed. Mix well. Add another third and then add the vanilla extract. Finally add the remaining icing sugar. Keep mixing until a uniform consistency is achieved. Depending on the brand of butter and the temperature in your kitchen, you might need a couple of tablespoons of milk to loosen the buttercream. Colour the buttercream using gel or paste colours rather than liquid colours. Slather generously on cupcakes. Enjoy!

 

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© 2008 Paul Kavanagh. All rights reserved.