Thursday, 17 February 2011

Signs of spring

Slowly the warm weather approaches. Warmer winds, green grasses peering out from the snow and the deer being cockier than normal. With this time comes a need for light and lovely pastels, some vintage reading and long walks outdoors.

The following cupcakes are similar to those I made for Valentines, though quite obviously without the green icing, instead I used a wonderful happy rose colour. The following recipe is adapted from the Barefoot Contessa. These are not as sweet as normal chocolate cupcakes due to the use of cocoa powder, if you want sweeter cupcakes you could use chocolate powder as a substitute or in a half and half mixture.

120 gr unsalted butter, at room temperature 
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, not packed  
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup 2% milk, at room temperature
2 tbsp. whipping cream
1/2 sour cream, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup  cocoa powder   
2 teaspoons baking soda 
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.

Cream the butter and 2 sugars on high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Lower the speed, add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, cream and sour cream. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa and baking soda. On low speed, add the milk mixture and the flour mixture alternately in thirds to the mixer bowl, beginning with the milk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix only to blend. Fold the batter with a rubber spatula to be sure it's completely blended.

Divide the batter among the cupcake pans (makes about 18 cupcakes). Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, remove from the pans, and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

The frosting is a simple cream cheese frosting.
1 package of cream cheese, at room temperature, can be low fat if preferred
1 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp. mascarpone
1 tbsp. un salted butter, at room temperature
your choice of food colouring

- best is to mix everything but the food colouring until it has creamy consistency, then add the food colouring a little at a time until you reach your desired colour.


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