Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Little Revamping and Michelle's Baby Shower Cupcakes

My dear followers, if you've been with me from the beginning, you may have noticed that my recent posts have strayed away from my original "mission statement". Consequently, it is now time for me to revamp to my CURRENT purpose.
The intent of this blog will be to share to you my journey as I venture and explore the world of baking. I anticipate some sprinkles of cooking and other tidbits of my life, but there will probably be more oven usage than anything else. I simply get inspired to bake more than I get inspired to do anything else. My creativity, the little I have of it, usually channels toward improving cakes, cupcakes, etc.
With that said, take a look at Michelle's baby shower cupcakes.
Michelle, a co-worker, was about to leave for maternity leave and the department threw a baby shower for her little girl that was about to grace us with her presence in a few weeks. It was a potluck shower and I saw it as an opportunity to bake something (doesn't everyone see it that way?).

I baked cupcakes, but instead of using regular liners, I used condiment cups that you could find at a fast food restaurant (no, I did not raid fast food restaurants for these cups). I found that they held well and I was able to make a good amount at the same time, because, unlike cupcake pans, I was able to bake as many cups as I could fit on a cookie sheet at a time. They were not limited by a pan. I just needed to fill and pop in the oven.

I used my favorite vanilla buttermilk cake (I promise, new recipes soon) recipe and a swiss buttercream frosting. I tinted the frosting pink and used a star tip for the piping.

Vanilla buttermilk cake
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

3 3/4 cups cake flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon plus 2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 sticks (10 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups plus 1/3 cup buttermilk
5 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners or, if you would like to go without the liners, grease the pans with shortening, butter, or non-stick cooking spray

2. Combine the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixer bowl. With the mixer on low speed, blend for 30 seconds. Add the butter and 1 1/4 cup of the buttermilk. Mix on low speed briefly to blend; then raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.

3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the whole eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, and the remaining 1/3 cup buttermilk until well blended. Pour one-third of the egg mixture into the cake batter at a time, folding it in completely after each addition.

4. Fill the cups 2/3 full with the batter.

5. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Swiss Buttercream Frosting
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 cup sugar
4 large egg whites
26 tablespoons butter, softened (3 sticks plus 2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk egg whites and sugar together in a big metal bowl over a pot of simmering water. Whisk occasionally until you can’t feel the sugar granules when you rub the mixture between your fingers.

Transfer mixture into the mixer and whip until it turns white and about doubles in size. (Here’s a tip: when you transfer to the mixer, make sure you wipe the condensation off the bottom of the bowl so that no water gets into the egg whites. This can keep them from whipping up properly.)

Add the vanilla.

Finally, add the butter a stick at a time and whip, whip, whip.

I tinted the frosting with a few drops of red food coloring. You could do the same with food coloring gel or powder. Just add the tiniest amount of coloring incrementally, until the desired color is achieved, making sure to allow for a complete mixture after each addition.

1 comment:

  1. this is my favorite food blog... or should i say PHood blog?... hmmm... curious.