Saturday, 22 May 2010

Hummingbird Vanilla Cupcakes

I heard so much about the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook I just had to buy it. The recipe for cupcakes is quite different to anything I had seen. I needed to try them. I have been labouring with cupcakes for years. They either explode, form volcanic peaks or sink. I have never been able to make the perfect cup cake. Nothing stops me trying. These are gorgeous. So light and they keep so well. The butter cream is so fluffy and so white. I have never had butter cream without a yellow tinge so this is a keeper. I have also made their chocolate cupcakes which are also to die for. I didn't ice them as they were so moist they were just lovely on their own without any embellishment. Don't you just love the cupcake cases? A present from a dear friend. I have been dying to use them. Thank you Fran x
Now remember I said I had problems with cupcakes? Well these were no exception. This was the second batch in the photo. Scroll down and all will be revealed.

Makes 12-18

120g/4+oz plain flour

140g /5- ozcaster sugar

1½ tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

40g/1 1/4 oz unsalted butter at room temperature

120ml /4fluid oz whole milk
1 medium egg
¼ tsp vanilla extract
1 quantity vanilla icing (see below)
hundreds and thousands or other edible sprinkles, to decorate

Have ready a 12-18-hole cupcake tray (depending on whether you’re going for big, US-sized cakes or standard UK ones), lined with paper cases. Preheat the oven to 170C/140 fan/325F/gas 3.

Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on slow until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined. Gradually pour in half the milk and beat until the milk is just incorporated.

Whisk the egg, vanilla extract and remaining milk together in a separate bowl for a few seconds, then pour into the flour mixture and continue beating until just incorporated (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Continue mixing for a couple more minutes until the mixture is smooth. Do not overmix.

Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20–25 minutes, or until light golden and the sponge bounces back when touched (smaller cupcakes will need 3-5 minutes less baking time).

A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out on to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

When the cupcakes are cold, spoon the vanilla frosting on top and decorate with hundreds and thousands.

Vanilla icing

250g /9oz icing sugar, sifted

80g / 3 oz unsalted butter at room temperature

25ml/1 fluid oz whole milk and a couple of drops vanilla extract

Beat the icing sugar and butter together in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.
Turn the mixer down to slow. Combine the milk and vanilla extract in a separate bowl, then add to the butter mixture 2 tbsp at a time.
Once all the milk has been incorporated, turn the mixer up to high. Continue beating until the icing is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. The longer it is beaten, the fluffier and lighter it becomes.

See what I mean? I think I've licked it now. Plenty of time though. I've only been trying for over forty years. :)

Notes - This was a very difficult recipe to convert from metric to imperial. The - means a little under and the + means a little more.


Understanding Alice said...

they look lovely! if its any conselation i tried making cupcakes with splenda this evening... they came out like rock cakes. hey ho :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Those look lovely! I really like the cases...

Did you put too much baking poder/baking soda in your cupcakes? I only had that once when I added too much baking powder. They rose to fast, exploded and sank in the same way.



Grannymar said...

The cupcakes look very inviting, and I am sure the 'little people' in your family make short work of them.

Now if you told me the bottom photo were Yorkshire puds, I might have believed you!

Rhyleysgranny said...

Alice - It's nice to know others have problems.

Rosa - I was very careful about measuring the baking powder and if anything added less. I tried SR Flour and they hardly rose at all. I succeeded by putting less mix in the cases. I will take note though. Thank you

Grannymar- maybe I'll use them in a post about Yorkshire puddings LOL

Joy said...

Gorgeous! Had to laugh at the failures, I hope you are right for ever more!
And such lovely cases too!

Brownieville Girl said...

I'm kinda glad to know that someone else has disasters in the kitchen too!!!

I'm full of admiration that you gave them another go ..... good job too as they look really fantastic.

Bet the first lot tasted great!

Chef Dennis said...

what beautiful cupcakes....and gorgeous pictures!!! thanks so much for all the great info as well!

Gloria said...

I love these Brenda!!! all is lovely, the cupcakes, the plates, look beuatiful. The pictures georgeous! I love the cases and dishes, je,je, Lovely job my dear, besoosss gloria

Lucie said...

How I have smiled at your mishap Brenda, you are such a fab baker so I am shocked that you and cupcakes don't get along. These look stunning though - love the cases. Love Lucie x

The Caked Crusader said...

Lovely white buttercream - always useful to have such a thing up ones sleeve...figuratively speaking of course, it would be messy if meant literallY!

BetterLate said...

How pretty ! But I thought it said you *didn't* ice them ... Have I misread ?

Rhyleysgranny said...

Joy - Thank you. I hope I am too. Watch this space for more cupcake drama x

BVG - My whole life in the kitchen is laced with disasters. The bad cupcakes tasted perfectly fine. Nothing wasted LOL

Chef Dennis - How nice of you to drop in and leave such a nice comment. You are welcome back.

Gloria - I am glad you like my plate. It's from a tea service my Mother in law gave me many years ago. I love it too.

Lucie - Cupcakes are my nemesis. I stiffen when i think of making thm but something compels me to keep going. LOL

CC - Yes it would be a bit messy :) It is a good butter cream though. very light and fluffy as well as white.

Betterlate - It was the chocolate version I didn't ice. Sometimes my fingers run on ahead of my brain and I don't explain things very well x

JillyB said...

Thank you Granny for sharing your experiences! I'm so glad that you made the perfect cupcake in the end. I must say that they look wonderful and so pretty.

BetterLate said...

Ah, I see now... skim-reading... aka eyes running ahead of brain ;)

Natalie said...

I love vanilla cupcakes - these look lovely.

Anonymous said...

They look lovely- and what fab cake cases!! My brother and SIL bought me the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook and it's good both to cook from and to read. Love the blog! x

Sook said...

Oh these cupcakes look absolutely amazing!! I wish I could taste it right now! :)