Kenny does cupcakes

IMG_5537“Cupcake makers, your time is up”, yells Master of the Universe from his high chair. I’m not sure what studies on toddler exposure to food television indicate – but I’m sure they show increased numeracy and literacy skills!?!

Given how much I like a competition, I thought I’d see if I could turn out iced cupcakes in the 45 minutes the show Cupcake Wars allow contestants (albeit, a tad more complex for them with random ingredients to add). Could I do it? Well, with Kenny at my side, I’m beginning to find that almost anything is possible.

IMG_5441As I’ve ascertained three or four times in the last couple of weeks, Kenny makes cupcakes in lightening speed – so fast it is to whip up the batter that you are left waiting for your oven to come to temperature to get them in. Here’s the basic recipe I used (adapted from Edmonds) – of course, if can be made without the help of the Big K.

To make 12 regular sized or 30-36 mini cup cakes:

160g plain flour

2 tsp baking

125g butter, preferably at room temperature

120g caster sugar

2 eggs (I use size 7)

1-2 tsp vanilla essence (I prefer the lovely one with seeds in it or a tsp of vanilla paste)

100-125ml milk (I often warm it very slightly)

Making them

Turn your oven to 180C and prepare your tins – lining each with paper cases.

Sift the flour and baking powder together.

IMG_5373Cream and butter and sugar till light and fluffy (Kenny scraper blade). Beat in the vanilla.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating the mixture well after each egg so it doesn’t curdle.

Fold the sifted flour into the mixture. Or, if using Kenny, pour the dry ingredients in and mix on a low speed until incorporated (won’t take very long).

IMG_5423Stir in the milk (again, you can use Kenny). I find you usually need the full 125ml (1/2 cup), but until you get used to the texture, you may want to start with a little less. What you want to avoid is over mixing.

Spoon the mixture evenly into the prepared tins. I’ve noticed the Cupcake Wars bakers tend to use ice cream scoops – I find two teaspoons or tablespoons work just fine.

IMG_5426Bake for 8-11 minutes for mini or 12-15 minutes for larger cup cakes. The cakes should spring back when you touch them with your finger, or a testing utensil comes out clean. (I find that my cup cakes cook more quickly in metal containers than in silicon.)

Take out of the oven and rest for a couple of minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

IMG_5572While the cakes are baking, make your icing/frosting. While there are so many pretty colours around, I am trying my best to find colour replacements whenever I can (after reading Wendyl Nissen’s Supermarket Companion). So, it’s been with some excitement that I discovered Fresh As products a year or so ago. What you get is pretty much pure fruit or vegetables, dried and powered. Specialty food stores such as Ontrays, Moore Wilsons, Farro Fresh etc will stock a selection of the range, or they are available via mail order.

Use a standard butter cream icing: 60g softened butter, creamed (in Kenny or by hand).  Add in 2 tablespoons of milk and 250g of sifted icing sugar and mix until it is of a spreadable consistency. (I add the icing sugar in roughly three stages – especially if doing it by hand.)

IMG_5433For these little beauties, I split the icing and left half white. I mixed through a teaspoon of Fresh As strawberry powder in the other half, then put both frostings in a bag and got piping for a gorgeous result and lovely light strawberry flavour.

IMG_5439

The great thing about this recipe is that it freezes well (even with the icing) – so one batch of mini cupcakes will do several ‘bring a plate’ functions.

I’ll leave the final words to my friend Bridget who, after my last post, so aptly wrote, “Congratulations Marija! I’ve been having a relationship with Kenny’s grandfather for over 40 years now. They’re a great family & I’m sure Kenny will fit into your life superbly!”.

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