Sunday, 24 August 2008

Dainty cupcakes

These cupcakes are slightly different to the norm in that they use golden caster sugar. This is an ingredient I like a lot as it adds a subtle extra something to the cake – you get an almost caramel hint to the sponge but without any loss of lightness in texture.

I love white icing and find it so satisfying watching it set – it’s definitely not the culinary equivalent of watching paint dry! The icing is glossy and runny at first but then turns matt finish and sets just enough to hold firm. Beautiful! If you fancy a twist on the classic, use lemon juice to make the icing rather than water.

These are traditional cupcakes (in my youth they would have been called ‘fairy cakes’) and are simple to make, but put them on a fancy cake stand and they suddenly look very chic. Obviously, there is a myriad of ways to decorate these – I chose to use wafer flowers.

You can see the lightness of the sponge here:

For the cupcakes:
175g unsalted butter, at room temperature
175g golden caster sugar
3 eggs
175g self raising flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the white glace icing:
225g icing sugar
2-3 tablespoons water (start with 2 – you can always add more)

For decoration:
Wafer or icing flours

How to make:

- Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan oven 170°C/375°F/Gas mark 5.
- Line a 12 hole muffin pan with paper cases.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Due to the proportions of the ingredients and the fact that you’re using golden caster sugar, the mix won’t go pale as creamed mixes usually do.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time adding a little of the flour if the mix starts to curdle.
- Fold in the flour and vanilla until well combined.
- Spoon the mixture into the paper cases and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Mine took 20 minutes.
- Cool on a wire rack.
- To make the icing, put the icing sugar in a bowl and mix with the water until you have a smooth dropping consistency.
- Spoon the icing onto the cupcakes (work quickly as the icing will set) and decorate as desired.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.
- Eat.


Dee said...

They're very pretty, CC. I too like to use golden castor or brown sugar in my cakes.

Cakelaw said...

Sooooooooooooo cute. I have never been able to find golden caster sugar - I always cheat when a recipe says that and use ordinary sugar, but I must search again.