Saturday, 23 April 2011

Vanilla fairycakes with all the trimmings

                                                                                                                                                                                   Vanilla fairycakes
Right, my name is up on the baking rota at work and the pressure is on. I’ve just started in a new area and expectations are high! Oh the pressure.

A few years ago I was due to bake for work but had been out gallivanting and didn’t get back till later. I started baking at about half 11 and in my wisdom went to bed with an alarm set for 35 minutes when my cake was due out the oven. That would have been brilliant apart from one thing... I slept through the alarm only to wake up at 5am with the fire alarm. My ring of cake was now a ring of coal. Yes, I had managed to make coal in a domestic oven.  This was my least successful cake of all time.

At my work baking is used as a serious morale booster, we have few perks but cake day is one of them. Chocolate is a definite crowd pleaser but for me nothing could cheer me up on a Monday morning more than a vanilla fairycake except maybe a vanilla fairycake with glitter and sprinkles. Here they come . . .

This recipe is adapted from the wonderful Hummingbird bakery. I’ve changed the order of the mix as I don’t have a freestanding electric mixer and I don’t feel it works as well with a handheld whisk as suggested. I have also halved the butter icing quantities. The quantities given in the book give a ratio of cake to icing as 1:10 (I’m exaggerating here but bare with me) and personally I find it too sweet. Sometimes I need to be sweetened up but not that much.

Confession time here; I actually really hate making buttericing. This is mainly due to the fact I hate tidying up my kitchen after all the mess of making buttericing. The sugar gets all dusted up and seems to get everywhere. Seriously, everywhere! If anyone out there has found a better way to do this please let me know.

Vanilla cupcakes - makes 11 flat ones (like these) or 9 "proper ones"
You will need a 12 hole cupcake tray lined with paper cases
Oven should be pre heated to 170 degree

120g plain flour
140g caster sugar
1 1/2tsp baking powder
40g unsalted butter at room temperature
120g milk
1 egg
¼tsp vanilla extract

butter icing

125g sifted icing sugar
40 unsalted butter at room temperature
15ml milk
few drops of vanilla extract
few drops of food colouring

Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric whisk until light and fluffy, this will take a few minutes.
Slowly add the beaten egg, mixing throughout.
Shift the flour and baking powder into the mixture and stir with a wooden spoon.
Slowly add the milk and vanilla and mix up till just incorporated.

Spoon the mixture into the cases.
I find it easiest to use an ice cream scoop for this.
Put in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
They are ready when they are a light golden colour and the sponge in springy when poked.
A cocktail stick should come out clean.
Leave to cool on a wire rack

To make the buttercream icing
Add the butter and icing sugar together using a hand held electric whisk on a medium speed.
Once mixed slowly add in the milk a couple of tablespoons at a time using a low speed.
Once all the milk has been added, turn the speed up to high and beat for a good 5-10 mins.
The longer you beat it the nicer (and lighter) your icing will be.
Add the vanilla, colouring of your choice, sprinkles and glitter.


1 comment:

  1. Those 'proper' cupcakes look great! I'm a massive fan of the Hummingbird bakery too and of all the books I have that one gets used the most