Starting off with… cupcakes?

We planned to make brownies for our first post, but that failed.

So instead, we made these cupcakes for our friend who was going to France for the summer. Lemon cupcakes with whipped vanilla buttercream and candy melt butterflies.

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The cupcake recipe is from Laura Vitale (http://www.laurainthekitchen.com/all/episode.php?episodenumber=368).

These cupcakes have fresh lemon flavour from the lemon zest and have a similar texture to pound cake. We’ve made these cupcakes lots of times and they’re essentially fool proof (coming from us, that means a lot).

ImageImageDon’t forget to tap the tray before baking so they don’t explode (like some of these did…).

We figured we were putting in so much sugar into the icing so hey, chocolate ganache on top? Why not.

Just take equal parts whipping cream and semi-sweet chocolate, heat the cream to a simmer, then add the chocolate and stir until smooth.

For the icing, we used the recipe for classic vanilla buttercream frosting from Bakers Royale (http://www.bakersroyale.com/cupcakes/banana-split-cupcakes/).

First, add the sugar and egg whites together until you can put your finger in and it’s just a little too hot (clearly, we don’t own a candy thermometer) and all of the sugar has dissolved. Whip until its cools down and the mixture doubles in volume (don’t try this by hand) and then add the butter and remaining ingredients. Butter = good for the heart?

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For the butterfly decorations, we melted the candy melts in the microwave until smooth. Transfer into Ziploc bags and pipe on wax paper into butterflies (if artistically challenged like us, follow a stencil).

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To assemble:

1. After cupcakes are cooled, spread a thin layer of buttercream on top.

2. Put in freezer for about 10 minutes to harden.

3. Dip into prepared chocolate ganache.

4. Pipe on buttercream.

*If you want to reuse your piping bag, check out this link, http://chefmommy-brandao.blogspot.ca/2011/04/tip-best-tip-ever-for-filling-pastry.html*

5. Carefully place piped butterflies on top of buttercream.

To be even more ambitious, we tried to make some 3-D butterflies too. We piped the wings and bodies separately and let them cool. Then, we glued them together at an angle with extra candy melts.

ImageAnd voila! Aren’t they pretty 🙂

If you’re not as super keen as we were, piping this icing onto the cooled cupcakes will taste just as good (slightly healthier? Not likely)

You could even top with toasted coconut flakes and a strawberry slice just for kicks (or just sprinkles would do too).

First post = accomplished!

Stay tuned for weekly posts (that means you, Mom)!

Lemon Cupcakes from Laura Vitale:

1 ½ cups of All Purpose Flour

1 tsp of Baking Powder

¼ tsp of Salt

1 cup of Granulated Sugar

½ cup of Unsalted Butter at room temperature

2 Eggs (We’ve substituted the eggs with yoghurt before and it ends up equally as delicious)

¼ cup of Whole Milk (We used 2%)

¼ cup of Sour Cream (We used yoghurt)

2 tsp of Freshly Grated Lemon Zest

1 Tbsp of Fresh Lemon Juice

½ tsp of Vanilla Extract

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, line a 12 piece cupcake tin with liners and set aside.
2) In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
3) In a large bowl, using a hand help whisk or you can do this in a big standing mixer, cream together the butter and sugar, add the eggs and incorporate well.
4) Add the sour cream, milk, lemon zest and lemon juice and mix until its all well incorporated.
5) Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix them in to combine but make sure you don’t over mix.
6) Using a large ice cream scoop, divide your batter evenly in lined muffin tin. Bake for about 20 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let them cool completely on a wire rack.

Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting from Bakers Royale

5 large egg whites

1 ½ cup sugar

4 sticks unsalted butter, diced and softened

¼ teaspoon salt

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1) Combine egg whites and sugar in a bowl placed over simmering water. Bring mixture to 150 degrees F while whisking constantly.
2) Transfer mixture to stand mixer bowl, fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium speed until mixture cools and doubles in volume.
3) Add butter one piece at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. Add salt and vanilla and mix to combine.   The frosting may appear to look separated, keep mixing and and it will come together (this commonly happens when making Swiss Meringue Buttercream.)

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2 thoughts on “Starting off with… cupcakes?

  1. Looks very delicious and will try these yummy cupcakes for sure. I loved the way you showed us how to be creative in making those butterflies .The step by step instruction are easy to follow. I m really motivated to make cupcakes now.

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