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Jeanette's Cakes

Vanilla Cupcakes

2 cups cake or pastry flour 1 cup all purpose flour 20ml 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 (about 30 seconds). 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,  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.