Monday, May 3, 2010

Experimental cupcakes!

In addition to the gingerbread cake from a couple of posts ago, I made cheesecake brownies (which I blogged about last year), and cupcakes for my shindig last weekend. The cupcakes were an experiment - I was trying to replicate something I'd had at a cupcake shop for a mere $4.50, but which tasted like (and I suspect WAS) packet mix cake. So I thought I'd try to do the same without the instant taste.

What I had was a strawberry and white chocolate cupcake, which basically consisted of strawberry flavoured cake, a mountain of icing, and white chocolate drizzles across the top. Mine took a slight detour through buying regular white chocolate instead of white COOKING chocolate, but I think they turned out better for it.

Now, I'll provide the recipe details, but I wouldn't really recommend it. It's from the AWW, and they usually know their stuff. But I've made this recipe twice now, and it's been a pain both times. Plus, I suspect there's too much flour in it - they turn out almost like scones... But until Mum's kitchen is back in order (it's being painted) and she can find her recipe for me, it's what I'm stuck with *sigh*

Anyway, here's what you'll need for strawberry cupcakes!

Stick cake pans into a muffin tin:

Then throw 125g of softened butter into a bowl:

Then add a teaspoon of strawberry essence. It looks and smells pretty toxic, but the end result works. And that's all that matters!!

Mmmm, looks delicious, doesn't it?? Not...

Next, take 3/4 cup of caster sugar. And yes, I know this is a 1/4 cup measure. I used it three times. Cos these measuring cups are cool and my other ones were dirty.

See? Told you I used 3/4 cup of caster sugar!

Then add three eggs:

Next, take two cups of self-raising flour.

And sift it into the bowl:

Finally, add 1/4 cup of milk:

Then attack it with the electric beaters. This is where the trouble starts for me. The recipe says to pulse the beaters until the ingredients are combined, and then to beat it for 3 minutes on medium. But the resulting batter is so thick that it just climbs the beaters, as you can see here:

This is after I added another 1/4 cup or so of milk and had attacked it with the beaters for the recommended three minutes. The extra milk helps a lot. I really think the AWW wasn't paying attention to their proportions when they wrote that recipe. You could probably cut the flour back to 1 1/2 cups instead, because the resulting cupcakes taste quite floury to me...

Dump the cupcake mixture into the prepared pan. But try not to use as much as I did - I had some seriously mutant cupcakes... Like that one third from the left in the middle row.........

And then throw them into a 180 degree oven for about 20 minutes. I think I had them in for about 18 minutes in the end.

There's the mutant cupcake that's on steroids!

I probably could have used about half the quantity of batter in each that I did and still had decent cupcakes. Oh well...

Once you've checked them with a toothpick (insert rant about the benefits of toothpicks versus metal skewers here) to make sure they're done, take them out of the tin and stick them on a cooling rack:

Once they're cooled, ice them! Pretend there's a whole lot of photos in here where I blend 2/3 block of cream cheese with 1 1/2 cups of icing sugar and a teaspoon of strawberry essence. Cos I realised I'd forgotten to take photos as I was icing the cupcakes. Whoops...
Anyway, if you need details, chop the cream cheese, and blend it until smooth. Then gradually add half the icing sugar. Then add the strawberry essence. Then gradually add the rest of the icing sugar. Then try not to eat it all before it's on the cupcakes. The end. Simple, huh??
You can decorate the top any way you wish. The one I had from the cupcake store had white chocolate decorations and a candy strawberry on the top. But I think the end result here worked out pretty well.
Mmmm, strawberries...

What do you think? Should I throw in this curatorial jaunt and open a cupcake shop??? (Once I get a decent recipe, obviously!!) ;)
K :) xx

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