Thursday, February 10, 2011

Birthday Cupcakes

Confession: I don't like cupcakes.  In fact, I don't like cake (except for flourless chocolate).  Its not that I find it disgusting, but I just don't know what people get so wound up about.  And yes, I realize that I am living in the cupcake capital of the world, but come on - I could think of million better sweet things.  Like ice cream - hello!  There is really no better way to describe how I feel about a cupcake than in David Radkoff's Half Empty when he says, " there anything more blandly sweet, less evocative of this great city, and more goyish than any other baked good with the possible exception of Eucharist wafers than the cupcake?"  That said, I made a batch last week from the Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook for  my mom's birthday, and I let her blow out the candle through Google video chat.  I did nibble on the cake part, but could not bare to eat the frosting after realizing how much butter and shortening was involved.  So baked them, frosted them, and packed them up for friend's school.  So obviously I can't judge whether these cupcakes were that great, but my friend did receive a text from his principal that said, "This is the best cupcake I have ever had!"  I will say that I prefer Martha's buttercream frosting over Clinton Street's, because it was easier to spread more smoothly, but all in all I would make this recipe again :)

Ingredients for Classic White Birthday Cupcakes from Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook, makes eighteen 3-inch cupcakes:
-2 cups plus 1 tablespoon cake flour
-1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
-1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
-3/4 teaspoon salt
-1 1/2 (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
-1 cup whole milk
-1 tablespoon canola oil
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-4 large egg whites

Ingredients for Old-Fashioned Vanilla Frosting:
-1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
-1/4 cup vegetable shortening
-3 cups powdered sugar
-1/3 cup whole milk
-1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-1/2 teaspoon salt
*If you want to make chocolate frosting, add 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder and 1/2 cup melted semisweet chocolate.

Okay, lets make the cupcakes first.  Preheat the oven 325 degrees F.  Place cupcake liners in the muffin tins or grease and flour each tin.  Sift all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
Add butter and 1/4 cup of the milk and beat with an electric mixer for 2 to 3 minutes, until it is well mixed and holds together.  Slowly add the remaining milk, oil, and vanilla.  Beat another minute until smooth.
In a separate stainless-steel or copper bowl, whip the egg whites until medium peaks form.  Fold the whipped whites into the batter.  You should not be able to see any whites in the batter.
Divide the batter among the muffin tins.  Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

While you are letting your cupcakes cool completely, you can make the frosting.  In a large bowl, cream the butter and shortening until smooth and creamy.  Add the sugar, milk, vanilla, and salt and mix until smooth and creamy.
I placed a couple tablespoons of frosting on each cupcake and smoothed with a cake spatula.
I ended up dividing my frosting in half and made the chocolate version too.
I like to finish my cupcakes with pretty sprinkles and silver stars!
Check out this adorable Valentine's Day card!

No comments:

Post a Comment