Sunday, 3 February 2013

Cupcake baking frenzy!

My son announced on Friday he needed enough cakes for his entire office to be taken in the following Monday! His 'treat' because it was his birthday :)  So I set about looking for ideas to create something a bit more than the usual cupcake.  I particularly like the promise of summer days of these little beauties...

Ice-cream '99 style vanilla cupcakes...

Makes 12 cupcakes (double up for 24 and so on...)

125g softened unsalted butter
125g white caster sugar
2 medium eggs
125g Self raising flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (not essence)
2 tablespoons of milk (you may require more to achieve an easy dropping consistency)

1. Heat oven to 170 c (Fan) - please use a dependable conversion for oven temps if you have gas
2. Line a muffin tin with 12 muffin paper cases
3. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy (with an electric whistk is best)
4. Add eggs, vanilla extract, and milk, beat to a smooth consistency
5.  Add flour and stir this is gently (by hand)
6.  Raise the spoon above the batter, if it doesn't drop easily from spoon, add a little more milk until you     achieve this
7.  Spoon the batter into the paper cases, about one third full
8.  Bake on middle shelf for 18-20 minutes (check after 18 mins and they should be a light golden colour, spring back to the touch, and if in doubt insert a cocktail stick into centre of a few to test)

For the butter cream frosting: (for 12 cupcakes)  

125g softened unsalted butter
250g icing sugar (sieved)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a splash of milk (or a bit more if you prefer a softer frosting)

1.  Beat the butter (with an electric whisk is best) until pale and fluffy
2.  sift in the icing sugar (be prepared for an icing sugar cloud to descend over you, so go easy with the speed of the beater until it's all absorbed by the butter)
3. Add the vanilla extract and milk, and continue to beat until a small piece placed on the roof of your mouth does not feel gritty)
4.  If you want to achieve a firmer frosting for piping, add less milk, or to achieve a softer texture a little more milk
5. To achieve the ice-cream 99 effect in the photo, use a large star nozzle on the piping bag, and start at the outer edge working your way to the centre, finish with a flourish!
6.  Place a small piece of Flake at a jaunty angle to complete the look :)
7. These will store for around 2 days in an airtight container

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