The blog is 6 years old this July so I…
I must admit, I had no idea what a cupcake was before I relocated from Hungary to the UK. I had seen one before, but did not know what it was called and obviously never tried one. We have completely different assortment of cakes and patisserie in Hungary, although we do have the well-known European cakes such as the French croissant, the Sacher cake from Vienna, or the Black Forest cake from Germany. Having had traditional Hungarian and the above mentioned European cakes all my life, the cupcake seemed to be something different, something funnier, lighter, attractive. A cake which can be varied according to your fantasy, you can use different colours, textures, decorations. A small cake which looks really tempting and do not feel guilty eating one because it is small anyway. Erm… alright, since I learnt how to make a cupcake, I know even 1 cupcake can make me TERRIBLY guilty, but who can resist, every now and again…?
I remember, the first time I tried a cupcake, it was in November 2015 when one of our company’s vendor brought a box of cupcakes to the office as a gift. I guessed, just as every English cake, this one too would contain an awful lot of sugar, but had no clue what to expect. Well, it did contain an awful lot of sugar, but it was LOVELY. LOVELY. I then wanted to try and make my own cupcakes.
I went for a vanilla and white chocolate one as my Partner loves both. I managed to rework the recipe a little bit and it works well.
INGREDIENTS (serves 16)
225g self raising flour
225g unsalted butter
225g caster sugar (I am very careful with sugar and often use half of it)
1 Bourbon vanilla
a hand full of white chocolate chips
The English make a sponge in a different way to the way we do in Hungary. My Grandma taught me the way to make a sponge by adding the sugar to the egg yolks and stir it well, then adding the flour and last carefully adding the egg whites, which had been previously beaten. Well, the English do not worry too much about the sponge. They mix the butter with the sugar first, then add the vanilla, flour and eggs. Beat the mixture until everything is mixed but not too long. Simple, isn’t it?
Then put the muffin cases into a muffin baking tray, distribute the mixture to the cases so that they are half full. Put some white chocolate chips on top and put the tray to the oven at 170C Fan for about 12-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Once done, remove the tray from the oven and leave the cupcakes rest and cool on a cooling tray. Whilst they are cooling down, we have time to prepare with the buttercream.
250g unsalted butter
250-350g icing sugar (I use less)
100g good quality of white chocolate
1 db Bourbon vanillia
To get a good buttercream the butter has to be beaten for 2-3 minutes first. It does not matter whether by hand mixer or a Kenwood machine. I know, you are all excited and can not wait to pipe the buttercream and start with decoration, because, that is the fun bit of making cupcakes, but trust me, it is worth the effort. Because of this process the buttercream becomes fluffy and beautifully white and will be amazing. Once the butter is beaten, I add the icing sugar gradually otherwise you will end up with a cloud of icing sugar and we do not want that. As said before, I use less icing sugar than in the recipe, just enough to get the desired consistency and taste. I add the vanilla pods and then the white chocolate. What I normally do with the chocolate is that I put it in a bowl and put it into a microwave for 10 seconds and then stir it until is has melted. Then I leave it to cool and then add to the buttercream. Although I have made cupcakes several times, I would not say I have good piping skills and do not want to pretend I am an expert. I tend not to touch the piping bag with all of my hands because the buttercream will melt from the temperature of my hands. Pipe the buttercream with the nozzle you like and decorate it as you wish. I think they look very elegant either way.
As I said before, cupcakes are not exactly low in calories, but to have one, once in a blue boon is fine and fun. If there is a celebration or I have guests, I love making cupcakes and have one for myself. To save me from eating more than that, my best trick is to take them to the office for colleagues. This also prevents my Partner from an over indulgence…