What present do you get when you haven't a bean to rub together? Very Vanilla cupcakes!!
Since hubby and I got back from honeymoon the purse strings have been extremely tight, so cupcakes were the perfect present solution for my Aunt & Uncle's recent 50th Wedding Anniversary.
To play it safe, i opted for cupcakes with a vanilla base and topping. To make 12 standard Very Vanilla cupcakes you will need:
Base 125g soft butter 125g vanilla caster sugar 2 medium eggs 125g self-raising flour 2 tbsp milk Topping vanilla extract icing sugar blue food colouring 1/2 tbsp boiling water
First-off if you want to make the vanilla caster sugar, put one vanilla pod into a jar of caster sugar for at least 2 weeks before using. If you don't have the time or the inclination to do this, you can easily use ordinary caster sugar with a tablespoon of vanilla extract.
Now down to the business of baking! Preheat the oven to 190c and prepare the ingredients.
Mix the vanilla sugar in a large mixing bowl along with the butter. Then crack open the eggs and seperate the whites and yolk, whisking the whites until stiff. Add the self-raising flour, egg yolk and milk into the bowl and whisk until creamy. Then fold the stiffened whites into the mixture - this will make a lovely light sponge.
Evenly place the mixture into the cupcake tin and bake for 12-15 minutes until the sponge is firm and golden.
Once the cupcakes have cooled you can start on the thick glace icing.
Mix the caster sugar along with the powder blue food colouring and a teeny bit of water. To make the cupcakes extra vanilla-y i used some posh vanilla extract from M&S' new basics range.
I find it much easier to decorate the cupcakes if the icing is almost cement like in texture, so use as little water as possible. Smooth the icing on with a knife to get an even topping, then to prettify place a sugared flower decoration in the centre. As these Very Vanilla Cupcakes were a present, i choose a cheap but pretty cake tin from Tesco rather than dull old tupperware.