Saturday, January 30, 2010

Yellow Cupcakes

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I almost died of shock when I realised that people actually still read my blog- since I haven't blogged for about 7 weeks! I was on holidays but holidaying is quite tiring (or you could say, that I'm just lazy) and I could never quite find the time to crop all my (dodgy) photos, post them and write something about them. But since school has started again (*sigh*), I'm back to blogging. Because I spend more time ont he computer during the school term than in the holidays :)

I am yet to find where all my photos which I took are but until then, I have plenty of things which I hadn't found the time to blog about before. Up high on my 'to blog' list are these cupcakes I baked for Star Day at school. I hope that these yielded a large profit, because making them was not as cheap as I had thought it'd be. I've never realised how much money goes into baking until I made this relatively large batch of cupcakes (I usually make smaller quantities)

I'd actually never made proper cupcakes before- that is, the cupcakes with a buttercake base with cute fondant decorations or buttercream piped on top. I'd only ever made simple chocolate cupcakes with ganache since no one in our family particularly likes buttercakes or buttercream. I'd also never made buttercream before and was nervous about the piping. Although the youtube videos made it look simple, I was sure it was more difficult than it looked.

After searching over the internet for many buttercake recipes, I concluded that they were not all too different. In the end I confided with my own cookbook (to save the trouble of having to print of a recipe...haha). The recipe was great and the cupcakes tasted delicious- even without the icing. Actually we preferred eating them without the icing.... The cupcakes yielded more than I expected, so I had quite a bit left over to eat myself.

The buttercream however was a little more problematic. The recipe called for a large amount of icing sugar for the amount of butter used (9 cups!). I therefore ignored the recipe and just kept adding sugar until it looked like buttercream. By the time I added around half the required amount, it was already tasting too sweet so I stopped there. I think I also added too much milk as the consistency of the buttercream was softer than I had expected- it felt slightly like whipped cream?

I had intended to pipe the swirls which go upwards with a pointy tip (excuse my very bad description!)- the ones which are more popular?? After about 10 trials on a plate and still not satisfied with the results, I gave up (perhaps my tip was too small?) I decided to start from the inside and pipe outwards and make a rose like pattern as I'd seen some people do. This turned out to be much easier than the other method so I piped all of them like this. I'd always thought that this would be harder than the other way......

Finally finished with this little project, I packed them away in boxes (which turned out to be a difficult task......) to take to school. They probably got a bit deformed on the trip to school...
It turns out that many other people brought yellow cupcakes too!

Cupcake recipe
from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook
Makes approx 24

3/4 cup butter
3 eggs
2.5 cups plain flour
2.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 and 3/4 cups sugar
1.5 tsp vanilla
1 and 1/4 cups milk

1. Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutesas. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, aabout 1/4 cup at a time, beating on medium speed until well combined, scraping sides of bowl. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes more. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition (about 1 min in total). Beat in vanilla. Alternatively add flour mixture and milk to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition until just combined. Divide batter in between the cupcake cases
3. Bake in a preheated 180 degree (celcius) oven for about 12 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the centre comes out clean. Cool cupcakes and decorate with buttercream.
Buttercream Recipe
Makes 4 cups (I used half of it for 24 cupcakes)
3/4cup butter, softened
9 cups icing sugar
1/4 cups milk
2 tsp vanilla
additional milk
food colouring (optional)

1. In a very large bowl, beat butter until smooth. Gradually add 2 cups of the icing sugar, beating well. Slowly beat in the 1/4 cup milk and vanilla
2. Gradually beat in remaining powdered sugar. Beat in enough additional milk to reach spreading consistency. If desired, tint with food colouring.

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