Saturday, 27 September 2008

Classic Cupcakes

When my twin (not actual, but we are v.similar) and her lovely boyfriend came to stay i thought it was only right to bake some cupcakes. A heavy night of drinking lay ahead and something sweet always goes down a treat. Now, i was pondering on making yummy pistachio or rosewater cupcakes, but in light of the 'credit crunch,' which i'm sure your all sick of hearing about, i decided to make use of the ingredients i had in my store cupboard.

Using my recent purchase of 'More from Magnolia' as inspiration i decided to make vanilla cupcakes and mini chocolate cupcakes topped with yummy vanilla buttercream.

Base - 12 standard size vanilla cupcakes
125g soft butter
125g vanilla caster sugar
2 medium eggs
125g self-raising flour
2 tbsp milk

Base- 24 mini chocolate cupcakes
125g softened butter
125 g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
2 tbsp milk
100g self-raising flour
3 tbsp cocoa

For the buttercream topping (this should be enough for both batches)
175g softened butter
350g icing sugar
3 tbsp boiling water
Vanilla extract
Pink food colouring
Butterfly sprinkles

As always start with pre-heating the oven till 190c, whether you choose to do both batches or either. Purely because of space issues in my teeny-weeny kitchen i chose to do one batch at a time, but both batches only require 12-15 minutes baking time.

Add the butter and sugar together mixing till nice and fluffy. Depending on which base you choose add the reminding ingredients one at a time mixing until light and smooth in appearance. One tip i really recommend is to always use organic ingredients if you can, whether it be Green & Blacks chocolate or M&S organic vanilla. Another gem is to seperate the egg yolk and whites, adding the yolk first and adding the well whipped egg whites once the other ingredients have been mixed together. This creates a lighter sponge once the cupcakes have been baked.

Once your cupcakes have been seperated into cases and baked, its time for my all time favourite bit... the vanilla buttercream icing! I love buttercream, i could eat it on its own and I all too frequently do in my more 'Nigella' moments, it really is the best kind of cupcake topping.

For the buttercream, i really do think its best to use either unsalted or lightly salted butter, otherwise the cakes can end up far too salty! All you need to do is mix the icing sugar, butter, food colouring and boiling water together and you're done. Finally, add some pretty sprinkles, on top and you're done!

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