Friday, December 6, 2013

Keep calm & have a cupcake: Sweet Vanilla

Keep calm and have a cupcake!

After many baking experiences, if I were asked to make something for a family gathering I would always turn to make a batch of cupcakes. So after experimenting with a number of flavour combinations, piping techniques and decorations I have decided to create a little series of my own, which is dedicated to cupcakes. Hence, ‘Keep calm and have a cupcake! To share with you and hopefully inspire you to start baking. 

I first became an enthusiast of cupcakes after watching the television show ‘DC Cupcakes’ and admired their determination to succeed in opening a bakery after walking away for corporate jobs.  I was fortunate enough to visit the shop in New York City earlier in 2012 on a family holiday and was able to meet the owners ‘Katherine & Sophie' and of course taste a scrumptious cupcake. it was such a heavenly and wonderful experience and one day I hope to return. (One of my ultimate dreams is to be able to work in one of their stores. It would be fantastic opportunity and I think that it would suit me very much.)

So ever since then I have dreamt of one day creating my very own cupcake bakery, but first I have to try and of course taste all of the possible cupcake flavours. 

So for my very first flavour of the series, I thought of keeping it quite simple and creating the very best: ‘Sweet Vanilla.’ As a celebration I used Georgetown Cupcakes official recipe and the results were light, fluffy and absoluetly delicious. 

Sweet Vanilla Recipe: (Adapted from Georgetown Cupcakes)

For the cupcakes:
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ¾ cups caster sugar
2 large eggs
2 ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Seeds from 1 vanilla bean
1 ¼ cups whole milk

1.      Preheat the oven to 180-degrees (350-farenhete). Line a standard cupcake ban with twelve paper baking cups or grease the pan with butter if not cups are used.
2.     Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.
3.     In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a bowl with a handheld mixer, cream together the butter and sugar for 3-5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition.
4.     Add the vanilla to the milk with the vanilla seeds in a large liquid measuring cup and mix together.
5.     Add one third of the dry ingredients followed by one third of the milk and mix thoroughly. Repeat. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the last third of both ingredients and mix slowly until fully incorporated.
6.     Scoop the batter into the cupcake pan using a standard ice-cream scoop until the cups are two-thirds full.
7.     Bake for 16-18 minutes, but check at 15 by inserting a skewer or toothpick and if it comes out clean they are fully cooked.
8.      Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting:
500g Confectioners sugar
250g butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon of seeds from a vanilla pod

1.      In a separate bowl fully sift the icing sugar.
2.     Beat the butter until it is softened. Then gradually add the confectioners sugar until fully combined and smooth.
3.     Add the flavours and mix for a final time.
4.     Place into a piping bag with the nozzle of your choice and pipe onto the cupcakes once cooled. 

I hope you all have a wonderful time creating these and i can guarantee that everyone will love them! 

        Enjoy, Molly xo

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