Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Snowman Cupcakes

Do you have room for a little more Christmas Cheer?

I hope so...

Our bellies are overfull, the gifts are unwrapped and we've spent so much time with our family that frankly we're getting a little sick of them. Hehe just joking!

I just couldn't help making one more last minute Christmas fun item, and after seeing a couple of versions of snowmen on Pinterest, I thought that would be just the thing. With some white and coloured fondant, a tooth pick through the middle and some sprinkles, these little snowmen were created in no time.

Merry Christmas everyone and thanks to all who have read my blog throughout 2012...Here's to 2013!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Enchanted Fantasy Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

I just want to begin by saying that these are the best vanilla cupcakes (taste and texture) I have made by far. After testing three recipes over the past week, this is the clear winner. I made these to celebrate a young lady's 18th birthday and was given free reign with design, so I went for some enchanted fantasy flowers in bright colours. Who said vanilla cupcakes are plain and boring?

The recipes tested include: 

Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes by Glorious Treats - great texture and moist, however lacked that delicious vanilla cupcake flavour even though I used real vanilla beans. If I tried this recipe again I would substitute the oil with melted butter.

A Better Vanilla Cake by Beyond Buttercream - not bad however taste and texture was not my favourite for the classic vanilla cupcake flavour.

Over the years I have also baked many of the traditional creaming method vanilla cupcakes (cream butter and sugar, add flour and milk alternately) - this results in great flavour but the texture can be a little dry.

The winning recipe for me is Billy's Vanilla, Vanilla Cupcakes. It uses the reverse creaming method(mix dry ingredients, then add butter) which helps keep the texture soft, and real butter for great flavour. The changes I have made are to substitute the milk with buttermilk to ensure moist cupcakes, and to use real vanilla beans or vanilla bean paste instead of extract. Oh and I always use Western Star Original butter which is salted, so I omit the salt.
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