To start my cupcake adventures, I went with a simpler recipe, forgoing any fancy ingredients or embellishments. This way, I have a solid base from which to build from.
Cupcakes are essentially personal cakes…think “cake in a cup”. Lightbulb moment? Well, I definitely just had one back there HAHA.
<-- The finished product. Not too sure why the paper liner didn't stick to the cupcake. I'm gonna guess it's because the liners I used were smaller than the muffin tin so the whole expand/contract temperature thing happened?
Everything’s set up: I’ve got my ingredients in bowls at the right temperature (super important when baking to have your ingredients at room temp unless otherwise stated to ensure everything mixes together well).
To make the batter, I simply follow the “Basic Cupcake How-To”.
|Beat until light & fluffy. Mix. Blend. Mix.|
The original recipe calls for scooping ¼ cup of batter into each muffin cup. This would come up to more than the usual three-quarters of the cup filled. Instead, I just used am ice cream scoop and eyeballed it all.
|It's hard to tell but the batter was light & airy!|
Went into the oven for about 17 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center came out clean. Now of course you MUST chill your cupcakes thoroughly before icing them to avoid melted icing dripping everywhere.
|(left) Before. (right) After.|
Cool the cupcakes in the tin on wire racks for 10 min before removing from the tin and cooling completely.
The fluffy vanilla buttercream is super easy to make! Here came my mini-downfall. I cheaped out and used some frosting that was on a cake. There was way too much frosting so I scraped some off the cake to add to the buttercream for these cupcakes.
|The original buttercream recipe.|
Buttercream: Everything’s been beaten until smooth. That’s when I incorporated the frosting that I’d scraped from the other cake. (At that time I thought I was being smart and saving on some ingredients but now I can’t review the frosting recipe!) :(
|(left) The scraped icing from another cake. (right) Mixed into the buttercream.|
I got out all my different tips (with just a vague idea of what each of them create). Transfer buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a tip.
|Failed attempt at a rose. Should angle tip up away rather than nearly parallel.|
Experimentation’s the name of the game when it comes to your first time! I used a round one (Ateco #6), closed decorating ones (Ateco #27 / #33), and a petal decorating one (Ateco #61).
One thing I do know about piping a conventional cupcake—after watching a dozen videos—is that you want to start at the edges, spiralling in towards the centre before pressing down then lifting to create that peak.
**TIP: Even pressure. Ensure that you close and twist off the top of the pastry bag to avoid icing from oozing out.
So how did it taste? Pretty decent. Can’t say I was crazy about the buttercream though. Having mixed it with another icing killed it. However, tasting a cupcake after it was chilled...hmm not bad! Pretty good in fact. :)
|Mama Cupcake and Baby Cupcake!!|
Point is, my frosting/buttercreams/icing and piping skills need work. Stat. Oh so more cupcakes?! SWEEEETTT!
|Topped with white & semi-sweet chocolate shavings.|
3.5 out of 5 NOMs