Sunday, February 3, 2008
Violet-topped vanilla cupcakes for Valar
The newest member of our team, Valar, celebrates her birthday tomorrow. I don't know Valar very well, so I have chosen to play it safe and make her vanilla cupcakes topped with violet-coloured buttercream, pictured above. (You can't really see the colour of the icing too well, but it is a pale shade of violet, not white.) I love the alliteration of Valar, vanilla and violet, although this did not feature in either my selection of cupcake flavour or icing colour.
There are a gazillion recipes for cupcakes out there. This time, I chose to make the Crabapple Bakery vanilla cupcake recipe from their book, The Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Cookbook. (The Crabapple Bakery has a cupcake shop in Prahran market that I have previously mentioned.) The cupcake recipe (which makes 24 cupcakes) is as follows:
2 3/4 cups sifted plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder, sifted
200g butter, softened and cubed
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk.
Preheat your oven to 170 degrees Celsius and line 2 x 12 hole muffin tins with paper muffin cases (or in my case, 12 one muffin tin and one greased friand tin!).
Cream the butter in an electric mixer so it is soft and pale, then beat in the sugar in 3 lots, and beat the mixture until the butter and sugar are fully combined. Beat in each egg, then finally, beat in the vanilla.
Remove the batter from the mixer, and fold in the flour and milk alternately, starting and ending with flour. (If you prefer, you can use the mixer to do this on low speeed.)
Divide the cupcake batter equally between the 24 muffin holes and smooth over the tops. Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through. Cool completely on a wire rack.
This recipe makes lovely buttery cupcakes that de-tin easily, even when cupcake cases are not used.
I won't share the buttercream icing recipe, as I am sure that you have your own favourite, and I found that the recipe quantity was too large. I did not use more than half of it, and with no forseeable future use for violet buttercream, I had to throw it out. Maybe I had so much left over because I didn't pile the icing on - but I prefer not to overwhelm the cake with too much icing.
Ice the cooled cupcakes and decorate as you please - I dipped the tops of the iced cakes in violet sanding sugar, hundreds and thousands and white dollarettes.