Cupcake Frenzy

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Cupcake Frenzy

recipes : knitting : zines : music : art : kitties : revolution

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Vanilla Cupcakes with Rosewater Icing

For weeks I have been searching for vanilla bean paste. While it's fine to use vanilla essence or extract, I like to use real vanilla for special occasions, and scraping vanilla pods is a pain. I finally found some yesterday - huzzah! Bloody expensive stuff - $14.99 for a little jar. Still, I think the difference it makes to the finished cupcake makes it worth the expense. Fingers crossed it will last me a long time too!

I made these cupcakes for Leigh's mum's birthday. She loved them and I have to say they were quite yummy :) Next time I think I will add more food colouring to the icing, to make the rose pink colour show through more.

Vanilla Cupcakes
makes about 24 regular size cupcakes

125g (4 1/2 oz) butter, softened
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or one vanilla bean, split & scraped)
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (4 fl oz) milk

1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C (320 F). Line cupcake tin with paper cases.
2. Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy.
3. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat well.
4. Sift over the flour and baking powder and beat until combined.
5. Fold through the milk and spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases. Fill the cases 3/4 full.
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool on wire racks, then frost with rosewater icing.

Rosewater Icing

1 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup (2 fl oz) water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon rosewater
3 eggwhites
red or rose pink food colouring

1. Place the sugar, water, cream of tartar and rosewater into a saucepan over high heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes.
2. Beat the eggwhites in the bowl of an electric mixer until soft peaks form. With the beaters still on, gradually add the sugar mixture and beat until thick and glossy.
3. With a flat-bladed knife, stir in the food colouring a drop at a time until you reach the colour desired.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Raspberry Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream Frosting

I wanted to make something that combined chocolate and raspberries, so I took a regular old chocolate cupcake recipe and added raspberries. Easy as! If you make these, they will last longer if kept in the fridge, although at the moment Canberra is so damn cold I really don't think it would make a difference if I left them out all night.

This recipe made 24 mini-cupcakes, 12 regular cupcakes and 1 muffin. As you can tell, I had so much batter I had to basically fill up whatever cupcake tins I had until it ran out.

I hope you like them!

Raspberry Chocolate Cupcakes
made 37 cupcakes of varying sizes

1 1/3 cups plain flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup cocoa powder
45g butter, softened
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk
frozen raspberries

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C (350 F). Line muffin tins with cases.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition. Stir in the vanilla.
4. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk and beat well.
5. Fill the muffin tins 3/4 full. In each individual cup, place a frozen raspberry and push down a little way into the batter. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Leave to cool in tins for at least 10 minutes, then frost when completely cool.

Raspberry Buttercream Frosting

The recipe for this is really imprecise. Basically you have to play with the quantities until you get the colour and consistency you want.

150g butter, softened
2-3 cups icing sugar
frozen raspberries, quantity depends on how much of a raspberry taste/colour you're after
1/3 cup milk

1. Cream the butter. Add the icing sugar and raspberries and beat well. If you find you need more liquid in the frosting, add milk gradually.
2. Frost away!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

cupcake philosophising & chai spice mix recipe

apologies for wanky post title!

I just wanted to add something to my previous post. One of the things Chockylit says in her post with the Chocolate Chai Spice Cupcakes recipe is that if you've got a great base recipe, you can add all kinds of stuff to it and come up with something original.

I have to agree. I highly recommend people try out the chocolate-chai combination. Use the original recipe (see link in previous post) or use your own favourite chocolate cupcake recipe and add in the spices with the rest of the sifted dry ingredients. Here's how to make the chai spice mix. Recipe courtesy of Chockylit.

Chai Spice Mix
2 teaspoons fennel, whole
2 teaspoons cloves, whole
1 tablespoon cardomom, ground
2 teaspoons cinnamon, ground
2 teaspoons ginger, ground

1. Grind up the fennel and cloves. I used a mortar and pestle, which took about 40 minutes. If you have a small food processor, press the button and away you go! Try to get the fennel and cloves as finely ground as you can. It would suck to bite into a cupcake and chomp on a clove instead.
2. Add the cardomom, cinnamon and ginger and mix to combine.

When I made the mix I made a regular amount first, and then did it again with twice the spice quantities listed here. I put the chai mix into an empty Moccona glass coffee jar where I can readily use it again.

cupcake debacle

The unimaginable has happened. A recipe that I set out to make DIDN'T WORK! It's very distressing as this has never happened to me before. Sure I'll have cakes that stick to the pan, or cupcakes a bit undercooked, but in this case I honestly have no idea what went wrong.

*deep breath*

Ok, this is what happened.

I set out to make the yummy looking Chocolate Chai Spice Cupcakes posted on Chockylit's blog. I spent an hour and a half on Tuesday night grinding up whole cloves and fennel seeds to make the chai mix, I went to the chocolate store near the Resistance Centre and spent $7.50 on 250 grams of imported speciality chocolate. I had Katherine crack 8 eggs into the batter at precise 30 second intervals, I weighed my ingredients precisely, I followed each and every instruction to the letter.

So why is it then that ALL my cupcakes fell (even when I refrained from opening the oven door to check on my babies)? Why did they turn out so damned un-cupcake-like? It is so frustrating!

Still, Katherine and Leigh loved the taste of them, and we are steadily getting through the 50 or so I made. The chai spice buttercream was delicious. So i guess it wasn't a complete failure. Still, there's no way I'd take what i made to an event or a party.

It may seem odd that I'm having a rant about this. The thing is, I get a lot of pleasure out of baking. It's so cool to put all the various ingredients together and come up with something delicious that people will enjoy. It's usually really relaxing, and this experience was just stressful.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Vanilla Passionfruit Drops

The first actual recipe I post here and it's for a biscuit not a cupcake. Blasphemy! Nevertheless, these are scrumptious little treats. The first time I made them was a couple of weeks ago, and they were all gone in a couple of days.
I think when I make them again I will up the level of passionfruit pulp and reduce the amount of vanilla extract. I find with the recipe as it is at the moment the vanilla icing overpowers the passionfruit flavour a little.


Passionfruit Drops
makes about 50

150g (5oz) butter, cubed and softened
1/2 cup (125g/4oz) caster sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup (90g/3oz) fresh passionfruit pulp
1 3/4 cups (215g/7oz) self-raising flour
2 tablespoons plain (all purpose) flour

1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C. (350 F.) and line 2 trays with baking paper.
2. Beat the butter and sugar til creamy. Add egg, beat well. Add the passionfruit and beat to combine. Fold in the combined, sifted flours. Mix well.
3. Drop 2 teaspoons of the mixture for each biscuit onto the baking paper-lined trays. Be sure to leave enough room for spreading. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden. Leave in the oven for at least 5 minutes, then cool.

Vanilla Icing

2 cups (250g/8oz) icing sugar
1-2 teaspoons vanilla essence
35g (1 1/4 oz) butter, softened

1. Sift the sugar into a bowl. Make a well in the centre, add the vanilla, butter and 2-3 tablespoons of hot water and stir until smooth. Spread on the biscuits and allow to set.