Saturday, December 31, 2011

White Cupcakes

Copyright 2011 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
Cupcake recipes have been requested by friends before but I'm not really a cupcake person so I referred them to the Joy of Baking website along with a few of Nigella Lawson's Fairy cake recipes. It was however a surprise to learn that my nieces and nephew actually love cupcakes so I figured, it was time to bake a couple of recipes with them. I might just be able to sway them into the dark side of baking. 

Not having a lot of cupcake recipes to try out, I figured to make do with the recipes available at the Joy of Baking blog. The choices were partially decided based on the very specific tastes of my very opinionated nephew and nieces. While browsing through the blog however, I came across a minor conundrum. What is the difference between a cupcake and a muffin? It did not take me long to find a good answer and it has nothing to do with frosting. Cupcakes are basically cakes baked in individual portions while muffins are mini breads. Anyway, to get started on this post, we practice on a simple cupcake recipe.

White Cupcakes - Adapted*

Copyright 2011 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups cake flour, 
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, 
   at room temperature
1 cup granulated white 
   sugar, divided
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/8 tsp cream of tartar

1. Preheat oven to 350°
    and lightly butter or line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

2. Separate the eggs, placing the yolks in one bowl and the whites in 
    another bowl. 

3. In a mixing bowl sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. 
    Set aside.

4. In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter 
    until soft. Add 3/4 cup of the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add 
    egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down 
    the sides of the bowl. Beat in the vanilla extract. 

5. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and 
    buttermilk,in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.

6. In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar 
    and continue beating until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 
    1/4 cup of sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. With a 
    rubber spatula gently fold a little of the whites into the batter to lighten 
    it, and then fold in the remaining whites until combined. Do not overmix.

7. Evenly fill the 12 muffin cups with the batter and bake for about 18 - 20 
    minutes or until nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake 
    comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool 

8. With a knife or offset spatula, spread frosting on each cupcake. If you 
    want to pipe the frosting, use a large star or a large plain decorating tip.

Butter Frosting: 

2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp milk or light cream 

In an bowl, cream the butter until smooth and well blended. Add the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the milk and beat on high speed until frosting is light and fluffy. Tint the frosting with desired food color if desired. 

*White Cupcakes: Joy of Baking blog

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