Thursday, May 6, 2010

Success Cupcakes

I am a day later on this one, but, yes, I made it after all! The cupcakes passed the quality control and I am now ready to give you the recipe. I cannot even explain how thrilled I am that they turned out not only normal but, actually, amazing. It is vital that I crystallise the recipe on here, else I will most certainly forget it, and I am happy to share it for your enjoyment as these are particularly soft and moist without having a ton of butter in them, which always guarantees immense culinary delights and very, very hard slogs at the gym.

You'll need:

225g golden caster sugar
2 tablespoons of Golden Syrup
170g flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 eggs
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
100ml of skimmed milk
110g unsalted butter (for the cakes)
110g soft, unsalted butter (for the icing)
110g cream cheese
450g sieved icing sugar
colouring pastes and sprinkles

a 12-hole muffin tin and 12 paper cases

You'll do them like so:

1- Pre-heat the oven to 180C and prepare your muffin tin with the paper cases. Melt the butter and then remove from the heat and set aside.

2- Whisk the golden caster sugar with the eggs for a good five minutes, then add the melted butter and give it a quick (and slow) whisk.

3- Measure the flour, ground cinnamon, salt and baking powder into a bowl and add to the egg mixture you've whisked in 2 above. Whisk it well, then add the skimmed milk, Golden Syrup and vanilla extract. Whisk away until everything is nicely combined and feels soft and, admittedly, just a tad too wet and sloppy. Don't stress though, they will bake just fine.

4- Divide this mixture in the 12 paper cases. You've got enough to fill them by 3/4 or so. Now stick the tin in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

5- You may want to lick the empty bowl and marvel at the very subtle mix of toffee, spice and caramel at this point.

6- Get the cupcakes out after 20 minutes and use a cake tester, just to make sure they are well cooked inside. They will be a dark golden brown on top (golden, not chargrilled).

7- Leave them in the tin to cool for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack for one hour. As they cool, get the butter and cream cheese for the icing out of the fridge, so that they both come to room temperature while you do something else.

8- Now prepare the icing. Cream the butter with the cheese (use a normal spoon or even the electric whisks) and then add the sieved icing sugar little by little. I must tell you that I hate doing this. I hate sieving and I hate mixing this stuff because I am always afraid that it will be either too hard or too soft and I will end up with a ton of inedible icing. I can tell you, however, that this mixture just works. And if it works for me, it will for you too.

9- As you are finishing adding the sieved icing sugar, get your food colouring (unless you like a creamy whiteness) and add a tiny splash (I prefer liquid colouring when I work with this sort of icing because it makes it infinitely more pliable, something you will appreciate when it goes into the sac à poche). If you taste the icing at this point, and it would be criminal not to, don't get disheartened by its polyfilla-like texture (and, quite frankly, taste, not that I have ever eaten polyfilla but...). It does work very well on the cakes, so spearhead to completion below.

10- Now choose an icing tip of your liking, assemble your kit, stick some of the icing in it and enjoy yourself. I iced from the outside in and then randomly scattered sugar sprinkles and sanding sugar. Naturally, I've used pink liquid colouring. Store these at the bottom of the fridge and don't worry about sticking them in a tin for freshness. They won't last that long.
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