Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Cupcake Chronicles: Part 2

This entry is a continuation of my first cupcake dialogue.  It would appear that the 3rd time's the charm.  I made a moist, delicious, delicate vanilla cupcake with dark chocolate mocha icing and it was to die for.  Finally something that tastes better than boxed mix!  I have to give credit to my sister who insisted that I can make good cupcakes from scratch as long as I bring all ingredients to room temperature before cooking and I don't mix the batter for too long.  What great advice for a cupcake newby like me.  My husband Anthony came home from a flight last night and had his first taste of the perfect vanilla cupcake.  He smiled as he wolfed down 5 of them (and then 1 again this morning).  I promised you a great cupcake recipe and here it is:

Vanilla Cupcake Perfection

My happy-chocolate-covered-husband after eating one of these delicious cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients:
2 1/2 cup cake flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 3/4 cup pure can sugar
10 tbs (1 + 1/4 sick) unsalted room temperature butter
1 cup buttermilk at room temperature
3 tbs canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
6 large egg yolks at room temperature
3 large egg whites at room temperature

Cupcake Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350F and place rack in the center of the oven.  Fill cupcake tins with liners and then a quick mist of nonstick cooking spray.
2. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 1 1/2 cups sugar in a large bowl, reserving 1/4 cup sugar.
3. Beat together butter, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and egg yolks.
4. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until foamy (30 sec).  Slowly add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff (about 60 sec). 
5. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet until almost combined (with mixer on low).  Mix on medium low until completely combined (but don't mix too long!). 
6. Stir in 1/3 egg whites then fold in remaining whites until no streaks remain.
7. Bake in the oven about 14 minutes, or until a toothpick entered in the center is no longer wet (they will appear slightly wet and underdone).
8. Cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Frosting Ingredients:
2 1/2 sticks unsalted room temperature butter
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 cup special dark cocoa powder (or dutch processed)
Pinch fine sea salt
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 oz semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly (I used Ghirardelli chocolate chips)
1/2 tsp instant coffee (I used Starbucks)

Frosting Directions:
1. Combine butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a food processor and process until smooth.  Add corn syrup and vanilla.  Pulse until just combined.  Add melted chocolate and coffee.  Pulse again until smooth.
2. Let set at room temperature until set (or place in the refrigerator for faster setting but don't forget about it otherwise it will be too hard to spread).

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