Monday, 23 July 2012

Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

I found a pink Spode 'Camilla' teacup and saucer in Oxfam - what a steal! Silly silly person who decided to part with it. That said, lucky lucky me.

Ingredients for the frosting:
  • 100g cream cheese 
  • 100g unsalted butter 
  • 250g icing sugar 
  • seeds of 1/4 vanilla pod 
  • food colouring (optional) 
Ingredients for the cupcakes:
  • 100g unsalted butter 
  • 100g caster sugar 
  • pinch of salt 
  • seeds of 1/4 vanilla pod 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 100g self-raising flour 
Ingredients for the sugar syrup:
  • 75ml water 
  • 75ml caster sugar 
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract 

Method for the frosting:
  1. Using the paddle attachment of your stand mixer,  beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy.
  2. Place the unsalted butter, icing sugar and vanilla pod seeds into another mixing bowl and cream until very pale and fluffy. This may take a few minutes.
  3. Slowly add the cream cheese into the fluffy butter mixture and beat on a medium-high speed until combined. 
  4. Add food colouring and beat for another minute or so, until homogeneous. Note that this is entirely optional. (I used a few drops of lilac colouring).
  5. Move the frosting into the refrigerator.
Method for the cupcakes:
  1. Preheat the oven to 175 °C and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. Using the paddle attachment of your stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar, salt and the vanilla pod seeds until very pale and fluffy.
  3. In another bowl, beat the eggs lightly and slowly begin to add them to the butter mixture whilst beating quickly. If the mixture starts to curdle or separate, stop adding the egg and beat in 2-3 tbsp of flour in order to rebind your mixture.
  4. Once all the egg has been incorporated, sift the flour into your mixing bowl and fold the batter until just combined. This will ensure light and fluffy cupcakes. 
  5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cupcake liners until 2/3 full and bake for around 12-14 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of each cupcake emerges dry. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack and leave them to rest for around 10 minutes.
Method for the sugar syrup:
  1. Place the water, sugar and vanilla extract in a small saucepan and bring to the boil.
  2. Simmer until all the sugar crystals have dissolved.
  3. Set aside and leave to cool slightly. 
Putting all the yumness together:
  1. Using a toothpick or skewer, poke a number of holes (say, 3 or 4) into each cupcake and then use a pastry brush to soak the top of each cupcake with the sugar syrup.
  2. Leave to cool completely.
  3. Frost as you prefer! - I used a small offset spatula.
  4. Decorate if you wish. - I used small star sprinkles. 
  5. Prepare a cup of tea and enjoy!
* As in Peggy Porschen's 'Boutique Baking: Delectable Cakes, Cupcakes and Teatime Treats'. I have nothing but words of praise for this book! - Click here for a book review. 

Makes 10-12 large cupcakes. 

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