For the first week of my Pass The Plate project, I made vanilla cupcakes from the recipe book "Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery."
London dwellers: do you know the bakery? It looks spectacular!
Making the cupcake mixture was easy and I had my sister's help in laying out all the little cupcake holders on the baking tray. ;)
The batter looks lovely, doesn't it?
Well, no cooking endeavour is complete without a disaster.
I stupidly separated any liners that accidentally had 2 or 3 of them stacked. I always use single-layer liners and they're always put in a muffin tray. This time, we didn't use the tray because we needed to fit more cupcakes.
The combination of the flimsy liners and no support caused them all to run and collapse minutes after being put in the oven. I was devastated.
Thankfully my mum noticed, so we pulled out the tray she began to scoop up the liquidy cups and we placed them in double-layered liners.
Whatever we couldn't salvage we scraped into a baking dish to make a little cake.
We watched the cupcakes like hawks until we were sure they weren't running. The result was a little messy, due to the multiple liners and the sides splattered with crispy batter.
But when sprinkled with powdered sugar, they didn't look too bad, and my family reassured me that the children we give the cupcakes to won't mind if they don't look 5-star-- they'd just be happy to eat them.
From Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery, by Martha Swift & Lisa Thomas
Note: I just used powdered white sugar. Free-range or organic eggs are best, but if you don't have them, regular eggs work fine.
Makes 12 regular or 36 mini cupcakes
8 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, preferable golden bakers'
2 large eggs, free-range or organic
1 cup self-rising flour
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup 2% reduced-fat milk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 F and line your muffin pan with cupcake liners.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is pale and smooth, which should take 3-5 minutes using an electric hand mixer. (I was done in less than a minute.)
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for a few minutes after each addition.
Sift the two flours together in a separate bowl. Mix the milk and vanilla together.
Add one third of the flours to the creamed mixture and beat well. Pour in one third of the milk and beat again. Repeat these steps until all the flour and milk have been added.
Carefully spoon the mixture into the cups, filling them about two thirds full. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes (regular size) or 15 minutes (mini size) until slightly raised and golden brown. To check if they are cooled, insert a wooden skewer in the center of one of the cupcakes- it should come out clean.
Remove from the oven and leave the cupcakes in the pan for about 10 minuted before carefully placing on a wire rack to cool. Once they are completely cool they can be frosted or decorated.
I decorated mine with a dusting of powdered sugar because there's no way frosting would last a few hours outside in the Bombay heat. The recipe's frosting suggestions are vanilla, chocolate or lime and coconut buttercream.
Lessons Learnt: Make sure your cupcakes or muffins have enough support