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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Vanilla Cupcakes - Cupcake of the Day

Vanilla is a wonderful essence. The scent can be so soothing and relaxing and the flavour of real vanilla is sheer delight.

I often purchase real vanilla pods when I can find them for a reasonable price. I use the seeds in homemade icecream and sometimes cupcakes. The empty pods can then be placed in a small airtight container with some sugar. The flavour of the vanilla will infuse the sugar and can be used for a refreshing change to your morning coffee.

Today we have made traditional Vanilla Cupcakes. As usual I substitute milk for buttermilk. It's low fat and somehow, just makes baking taste better. Most of my recipes can use regular milk, but I will always specify that I have substituted the buttermilk in from the original recipe. You can make your own buttermilk. Take a cup of regular milk, add 1/2 tsp of lemon juice and mix it up. Leave it for about 5 minutes and that will do the job.

1/2 cup of butter (or margarine)
2/3 cup of granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure Vanilla extract (the original recipe calls for 1 tsp. I like a stronger vanilla flavour)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (sifted)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup buttermilk

Mix butter and sugar until a little fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each egg addition. Continue to mix on med-high speed until fluffy. Add the buttermilk

In a seperate bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly add the flour until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and give it another little mix. The batter is quite thick.

Take a large spoon and drop into lined muffin cups. This recipe will yield exactly 12 average sized cupcakes. Fill the cupcake liners approx 2/3 of the way up.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for approx 23-25 minutes. Check centers with a toothpick after 23 minutes. Remove from oven and let cupcakes cool completely on a baking rack prior to icing.

Buttercream Icing
1/2 cup butter (or butter flavoured Crisco if you desire)
2 cups of icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
1 tsp pure Vanilla
1-2 tablespoons cream (or milk)

Whip the butter and add 1/2 cup of icing sugar. Whip until well combined. Add the vanilla at this point and whip again, scraping the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining icing sugar 1/2 cup at a time (unless you want to end up with white powder all over your kitchen...ha ha), continuing until all the sugar has been added. Continue whipping for approximately one minute. Add the cream and whip again for about 2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy. You can add any food colouring gel to this recipe if desired. Today, teen son chose Lime Green for a colour.

Prepare your icing bag. If you don't have any icing bags use a sandwich bag or freezer bag and simple cut the corner (very small) for an impromptu round tip icing bag.

When the cupcakes are cooled pipe the icing onto the cupcakes any way you wish. This part is great fun for the kids if you want to get them involved in the project.

As mentioned above. I increase the vanilla ration on this one. I also will try this using some seeds from a vanilla pod next time I think and drop the measurement back down to 1 tsp.

It was vanilla day here as we also made Vanilla frozen Yogurt. I pretty much used up all my vanilla pods on that one. The Frozen Yogurt turned out fabulously. It was the first time we made that recipe from "125 Best Ice Cream Recipes" by Marilyn Linton and Tanya Linton. Many of the recipes in there I use as a base but change up the ingredients for more flavourful icecream. We have a Kitchenaid Ice Cream maker bought at (you guessed it), Golda's Kitchens. It's a pretty good machine all things considered for home use.

1 comment:

  1. can you please just adopt me and my

    I'm going to try this recipe out on the weekend...WE love Vanilla in this house ...Thanks for sharing...


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