Cupcakes

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Cupcakes

Postby johnfb » Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:18 am

I am in some recipe experiments right now...does anyone have a foolproof recipe for cupcakes / fairy cakes (uk version)...thanks in advance

John
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Postby vagreys » Sun Apr 08, 2012 3:50 pm

Cupcakes are such a matter of personal taste, aren't they? My wife went on a cupcake and muffin binge, awhile back, and they were all so different in taste and texture. Cupcakes and fairy cakes use basic layer cake batters or chiffon cake batters, depending on the texture and character you want. Some cook them longer for a crisper surface and drier cake. Some cook them less for a moister, more tender cake. Some use a little flavoring, some use a lot. Each formula uses a slightly different preparation approach.

My grandmother used a classic southern recipe for layer/loaf cake to make cupcakes, a so-called 1-2-3-4 cake - lighter and less rich than a pound cake. Instead of weights, it used volume measures for the batter: 1 cup butter, 2 cups sugar, 3 cups flour, 4 eggs. Here's her cake recipe. For cupcakes, she just made cupcakes until she ran out of batter. I have no idea of the yield. I expect the cupcakes would cook closer to the 20-25 minute range.

4 eggs
-----BASE-----
1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
-----FLOUR-----
3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
-----LIQUID-----
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Reserve eggs.

BASE: In a large mixing bowl, blend shortening and sugar.

FLOUR: Into another mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.

LIQUID: Mix milk and vanilla together.

Into the BASE, add alternately: 1 egg, some LIQUID, some FLOUR; until all is used. Always add flour mixture last. Bake in a tube pan at 350(F) for 1 hour. Do NOT open the oven door during this time.


A local ex-pat friend of mine swears by Nigela Lawson's recipe from nigella.com. I've found similar recipes, varying slightly in amounts, oven temp and cooking time. Since she has a passion for her sweets and comfort foods, I expect these are good, basic (vanilla) recipes. Here are three very similar recipes that may add to your experimenting, each with slightly different approaches to the prep.

Nigella Lawson's Cupcake recipe
125g self-raising flour
125g caster sugar
125g soft unsalted butter
2 eggs
Half a teaspoon real vanilla extract
Approximately 2 tablespoons milk

Preheat the oven to 200C and line the [12-mufffin] tin with the muffin cases.

It couldn't be simpler to make cup cakes: just put all the ingredients except for the milk in the processor and then blitz till smooth.

Pulse while adding milk, to make for a soft, dropping consistency, down the funnel. Or using a bowl and wooden spoon, cream the butter and sugar, beat in the eggs one at a time with a little of the flour.

Then add the vanilla extract and fold in the rest of the flour, adding the milk to get the dropping consistency as before.

I know it looks as if you'll never make this scant mixture fit 12 bun cases, but you will. I promise you this mixture is exactly right to make the 12 cup cakes, so just spoon and scrape the stuff in, trying to fill each case equally, judging by eye only of course.

Put in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cup cakes are cooked and golden on top. As soon as bearable, take the cup cakes in their cases out of the tin and let cool, right way up, on a wire rack.



Classic Fairy Cakes

150 g butter, softened
150 g caster sugar
2 eggs
150 g self-raising flour
1 tsp vanilla essence
2-3 tbsp milk

Turn on the oven and heat to 180C. Choose 12 pretty fairy cake (or small cupcake) liners and place them in a fairy cake/muffin tin.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and mix in the vanilla essence.

Stir in the flour swiftly and with a light touch. Don't overmix. Add a couple of spoons of milk to keep the mix from being too thick and dense. It should just about drop off a spoon.

Working quickly, fill the cake liners. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cakes are nicely risen and golden.

Remove the cakes and let them cool on a rack.



Ultimate Fairy Cakes
130g softened butter
130g caster sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
130g self raising flour
4 tbsp milk (any)

Preheat the oven to 190C, 375F, gas mark 5.

Cream together the butter and sugar until creamy and pale. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with the vanilla. Whisk into the butter and sugar mix.

Sift half the flour in, and fold. Then add the milk and mix in well. Fold in the other half of the sifted flour.

Spoon into the paper cases and put into the oven for about 25 - 30 mins until golden and crisp on top.


HTH
- tom

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Postby johnfb » Sun Apr 08, 2012 5:14 pm

That MORE than helps...cheers for that :D
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Postby DiggingDogFarm » Sun Apr 08, 2012 6:24 pm

Our favorite while growing up was Screwball Cake. (No eggs.)

Screwball Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup brewed coffee (or 1 cup of warm water mixed with 1 1/2 teaspoons of espresso powder or instant coffee granules)
1 Tbsp white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 Tbsp (1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp) olive oil

1 Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle position. Prepare a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
2 In a large bowl, vigorously whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt until there are no visible clumps (cocoa tends to clump up).
3 In a separate bowl, mix together the coffee (or water plus coffee granules), vinegar, vanilla extract, and olive oil.
4 Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir only until they just come together. The mixture should be thin and rather lumpy.
5 Ladle the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about two-thirds of the way full. Place in oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until a bamboo skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
6 Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool on a rack. Once cool, you can eat plain, sprinkle with powdered sugar, or drizzle or coat with frosting.

~Martin :D
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Postby vagreys » Sun Apr 08, 2012 7:46 pm

DiggingDogFarm wrote:Our favorite while growing up was Screwball Cake. (No eggs.)...

Down my way, we've always called that Crazy Cake!
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