Saturday, June 22, 2013

Quick and easy vanilla cupcakes

I have to preface this post by saying I am not a cupcake sort of girl.  I like a big BIG cake and like many layers and thick icing and a plate and a fork. Then I like another piece!

I don't understand the big cupcake push.  Most of them are merely tasteless, woolly, methods to transport overly thick and sweet icing that looks pretty.  I'm a taste fan.  Oh look at me trashing the cupcake industry.  HAHA  What I mean is I find most cupcakes to be on the bland side.  The texture is too light and airy, yeah, it can be TOO light.

I'm STILL eating the chocolate custard Italian meringue pie I made the other day and even though it's starting to get weepy, I'll still take a slice, or two, of that over any cupcake, any day of the week.

THAT being said *sigh*  I jumped on the cupcake bandwagon this morning.  Ridiculously, I was working on a new method for my ciabatta this morning and while standing in the middle of the kitchen waiting for things to rise I was suddenly struck by the notion, and realization, that I don't DO cupcakes.

I grabbed my Cuisinart, all the bowls to the kitchen aid were occupied, and then I grabbed my scale and thought, how hard can this be?  I had a general high maintenance recipe but was not the slightest bit interested in going there.

I futzed with it and since I know the general rules for cake baking and I make a mean biscuit and I bake more bread than any one soul really should, seriously, how hard could this be?  I wanted a fast, easy, fool proof, no fuss, no muss, vanilla cupcake that was light, airy and a little eggy.

First time out, I think these are it!!  I've sent the recipe to my International Tester and am waiting for results.

I didn't take play by play pictures because I was winging it and just dumped and blitzed.  I WILL take play by plays next time I make these which will be the next time I am invited ANYwhere!

OH and I weighed everything so that I could be accurate and so that I could reproduce it and so that my International visitors could make it just as easily.

This is a combination of a recipe and a method and some regular cooking, sometimes the instruction "add milk until it's a lovely consistency" is the best I can do.

Tracy's Quick Vanilla Cakettes (because I loathe cupcakes)

Preheat oven to 375.  Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.

IN the bowl of a Cuisinart or whatever food processor you have, combine:
*use a scale, don't convert this, I don't know if it will work the same*

125 grams sugar
125 grams self raising flour**
125 grams room temperature butter (I use unsalted)
pinch of salt
3 eggs (I was shootoing for 125 grams of eggs and 2 was too light and 3 took it to 150 grams so I stuck with the 3 you CAN only use 2 eggs if you want a less "eggy" sponge cupcake)
2 tsp of vanilla bean paste or plain PURE vanilla extract
A little bit of milk (! sorry but I didn't measure and I think it will be different depending on the day with the flour so trust me and just add a little, you know what cake batter looks like!!)

**REMEMBER:  to make self raising flour, add 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt to every cup of flour.  Make a bunch and keep it in a sealed container so you can have it whenever you need it and you don't have to fuss about making just the right amount every time.  

Throw it all in the Cuisinart, except the milk.

Whirr it up for a moment then add a little bit of milk to make a smooth batter.  I think I added 3 tablespoons, just a little while the motor is running.  You want dropable consistency but smooth and soft.

Spoon the batter as evenly as you can into the 12 liners and bake about 15 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.  These stay beautifully pale on top and are light and airy and tender and delicious.

I combined equal amounts of dark chocolate and warm cream, then I dipped/swirled each cakette when they'd cooled to room temperature.  You can ice these with whatever you love.

*I DID take one of them and poke holes in it with a fork while it was still hot then dropped a tablespoon of Lyle's Golden Syrup on it to soak in, that one was my favorite and I'll be taking that kind to my next function, with a dollop of unsweetened cream on top, I'm going to be a rock star!!

Here's the pictures and commentary

*Yes, I did rush back into the kitchen to make another batch.  These I drizzled with lemon glaze, just to see if they could handle lemon as well as chocolate.  They can.  I only used 2 eggs and one yolk this time to bring the weight to 125 grams and there was no discernible difference from the 3 egg batch I made previously.

See, just dump it all in. This is before I added a little milk
Adding a little milk, about a tablespoon or two, softens the batter and lightens it a bit.
In the mean time, I have about a cup of powdered (confectioners) sugar and some fresh lemon in a green bottle!  (don't judge) ready to make a pour-able glaze.  I poked the cakettes with a skewer a bunch of times, right out of the oven.  Then I moved them to a rack over some wax paper.  I mixed the sugar and lemon to make a pourable glaze and then I went to town, covering them LIBERALLY
I had to leave the room to wait for them to set up and cool down.
So, here they are.  Ridiculous.  They are TART!!! and delicious.  The texture of the cake is more like a pound cake, dense and light at the same time.  

Make these, ice them with icing or frosting or glaze.  I think they're a keeper recipe, super fast, super easy and a definite go-to. 

Next, I'll add chocolate to them ;) then we'll be unstoppable! 



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