Valentine’s Cupcakes

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone. I hope that the day has treated you kindly and you are or are going to be wined and dined by your loved one. Stuart and I had our Valentine’s meal on Friday night at Wong’s in Birmingham, our favourite Chinese restaurant. Today we are just taking it easy and I am making a curry for dinner later. However, this morning I have been in kitchen making Valentine’s cupcakes while listening to Terry Wogan’s new weekend show on Radio 2.

There are a couple of reasons why I made these cupcakes. One is that @EnglishMum on Twitter is hosting a competition on her blog for the best Valentine cupcake and I have decided to enter. My second reason is that, in a few weeks time, I am going to a wedding cupcake making course run by Kiss Me Cupcakes in West Bromwich and I wanted to get some sort of baseline for my cupcake making ability before the day. Finally, my friends Louise (from Cirencester Cupcakes) and Caroline, who very kindly gave me the recipe that you see below have both inspired me to have a go at making cupcakes.  Having a go at making cupcakes also formed part of my foodie New Year resolutions.

Ultra Simple Vanilla Cupcakes (adapted from Fair Cake and given to me by Caroline. Original recipe is here)

Ingredients

  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 240g self raising flour
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 220g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp good quality vanilla extract

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 150C Fan or 160C otherwise.
  2. Ensure that the butter is very soft. You can either leave the butter out of the fridge overnight, or zap it 20 seconds at a time in a microwave. The butter should be as soft as possible without melting.
  3. Put all measured ingredients in a kitchen mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix until light and fluffy. If you do not have a kitchen mixer, put all measured ingredients in a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon, briskly, until your arms ache. Around one minute.
  4. Don’t mix it for more than a minute or so. Then you will be in trouble and there will
  5. be a slight risk of the cupcakes baking into tough little rebels. The consistency of the mixture
  6. should be a bit like heavy custard and it should plop nicely from a spoon. This mixture is enough for about 24 cupcakes, depending on the size of your cupcake liners. Fill cupcake liners between ½ and ¾ the way up. Fill ½ way up to get an even flat shape, fill ¾ way up to get a nice dome shape. Use a muffin pan, otherwise the liners spread into ghastly shapes.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes in the middle of the oven, but check after 15 by inserting a little cocktail stick. If there is anything stuck to the stick, then bake for the full 20 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for around 5 minutes and then take them out carefully and allow to cool outside the pan. Let cupcakes cool completely before icing.

Vanilla Buttercream Icing (From Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery by Martha Swift and Lisa Thomas)

Ingredients (enough for about 20 cupcakes)

  • 110g unsalted butter
  • 60ml semi skimmed milk
  • 1 tsp good quality vanilla extract
  • 500g icing sugar, shifted
  • Food colouring (optional)

Method

  1. In a mixing bowl beat the butter, milk, vanilla extract and half the icing sugar until smooth.  This can take a few minutes.
  2. Gradually add the remaining icing sugar and beat again until the buttercream is smooth and creamy. Then add food colouring drop by drop until you reach the desired shade.
  3. Spread the icing onto the cupcakes using a palette knife and decorate as desired.

Overall, I think the cupcakes were a great success. They are very easy to make. I think my decorating skills need improving though!

Hope you have a lovely Valentine’s Day.

Happy Cooking!

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4 Responses to Valentine’s Cupcakes

  1. Pingback: The Great Valentine’s Day Cupcake Challenge: the results - ENGLISH MUM

  2. Lovely-looking cupcakes! Hope they tasted yummy too!

  3. Pingback: English Mum’s Big Bake Off! « Jo's Kitchen

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