Vanilla Cupcakes

2 cups pastry flour
1 cup all purpose flour
15ml baking powder
2.5ml salt
230g butter (at room temperature)
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
238ml buttermilk
5ml vanilla extract

Method:

Preheat oven to 325F – 160C

Weigh the butter into the mixer bowl
Measure the sugar into a stainless bowl
Beat the butter on medium and add a table spoon full of sugar every 5 counts
Cream the sugar and butter till creamy and light – scrape down the sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula
Add the eggs one at a time and beat very well after each addition (1 minute minimum). Scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times.
Measure the milk and vanilla extract into a measuring cup
Measure the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a stainless steel bowl fitted with a sieve. Pass the ingredients through the sieve.
Turn the mixer to low and add the flour in three parts and alternate with the milk in two parts. Flour, milk, flour, milk ending with flour.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl several times to make sure everything is combined.
Scoop the batter into cake pans – 1/2 – 2/3 full
Bake in a preheated oven for 35 – 45 minutes or until done

Once the cakes have been removed from the oven, allow them to cool for 10 minutes before turning out on a wire rack.

* I recommend baking cakes that will be cut into layers, a day ahead. If a cake is too fresh it will fall apart and it will be difficult to decorate.

*This type of cake is excellent for fondant covered and elaborately decorated cake designs.

 

Simple Butter-cream

Ingredients:

Makes more than enough for 24 cupcakes –

450g of unsalted butter

500g sifted icing sugar

50 – 75ml milk at room temperature

1tsp vanilla extract or extract of your choice

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Method:

Ensure that the butter is very soft.  You can either leave the butter out of the fridge overnight, or zap it 20 seconds at a time in a microwave. The butter should be as soft as possible without melting. Using a paddle attachment in a kitchen mixer, whip the butter until it is pale in colour. This takes about 2 minutes. Sift the icing sugar.  Cover your mixer with a damp kitchen towel to prevent the icing from spreading all over you kitchen. Add around a third of the icing sugar  and the milk to the butter on low speed. Mix well. Add another third and then add the vanilla extract. Finally add the remaining icing sugar. Keep mixing until a uniform consistency is achieved. . Colour the buttercream using gel or paste colours rather than liquid colours.

This type of butter-cream can stay un-refrigerated for more than a day because of the high content of sugar which inhibits the growth of bacteria.