Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The best ever Yellow Butter Cupcakes!

We're getting so close...

It's just about final and ready for you to see.

OK! OK! It's really here!

Scientifically Sweet is available on Amazon right now and I couldn't help but want to celebrate like it's her birthday....because it is!

Because I am so happy and you are so dang special, I am going to share a really great recipe from my book.

These really are the best Yellow Butter Cupcakes

They're fluffy, moist and full of flavour.

In my book they're paired with the most incredibly creamy and light buttercream frosting in a recipe called "Vanilla Purist Cupcakes".

PS. that vanilla buttercream will become your favourite. 

But, for today I slathered them with chocolate ganache and coloured them with rainbow sprinkles. That's just what you do on birthdays. It means happiness. It means, "I want to celebrate the crap out of you".

I think you need to see this recipe right now because it is that good...and we all need a great yellow vanilla cupcake recipe in our back pockets. No seriously, I keep it in my back pocket in case of emergency bake sessions - you never know when or where a good cupcake is needed. Plus it comes in handy when you've nearly forgotten someone's birthday.

These guys come together so quickly too! I use the one bowl method where butter is first blended into a mixture of dry ingredients before the wet ingredients are beaten in.

The fat coats the flour particles to prevent excessive gluten formation and ensure a tender crumb.

A combination of butter and canola oil makes them especially soft and moist.

It is important to mix the batter until smooth but you can still over-beat, so just be modest and avoid high speed on your mixer. This is a great method for cupcakes, but I do not recommend using it for all styles of shortened cakes. You'll find out why in the cakes chapter.

This is what I stare at for 18-20 minutes. I'm impatient. A watched pot never boils, but watched cupcake batter makes perfect, fluffy cupcakes.

They bake up so dang lovely every time. Softly curved domes with an evenly golden surface and tops that spring back when pressed gently with the tip of your finger.

Baked to perfection...

...and covered in chocolate.

Love and cupcakes is all we need to get by.

Birthday or not, celebrate today because it's another day. You don't need any more reason than that. You're awesome. You brushed your hair this morning and maybe even put a bobby pin in to hold up your bangs that you're trying to grow out. That's effort. That deserves cupcakes.

Best Ever Yellow Butter Cupcakes
Makes about 15 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup cake and pastry flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 cup superfine sugar
¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk
¼ cup full fat sour cream, at room temperature
2 tbsp pure canola oil
1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup 2% milk, at room temperature

For the frosting:
6 oz semisweet dark chocolate (minimum 54% cocoa), chopped into small pieces
¾ cups 35% whipping cream
2 tbsp light corn syrup
pinch of salt
½ tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line 15 muffin cups from two standard muffin pans with paper liners and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, sift together both flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Attach the bowl to the mixer, add sugar and mix on low speed until evenly blended, about 30 seconds.

Add softened butter and beat on low speed for 1 minute. The mixture will become less dusty as the butter becomes coated with flour and broken down into small pieces. Increase speed to medium-low and continue to beat until the mixture resembles damp sand or fine bread crumbs, about 2 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together egg, yolk, sour cream, canola oil and vanilla extract until smooth. Add it to the flour mixture and beat on medium-low speed until moistened, sticky and the batter begins to form webs along the sides of the bowl and the beater, about 20 seconds. With mixer running on low, gradually add milk and then beat on medium speed for 20 seconds. Stop the mixer to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, and then beat on medium speed for another 15 seconds. Do not over-mix. The batter will be smooth, satiny and creamy-looking. Gently fold the batter a few times with a rubber spatula to incorporate any ingredients stuck at the bottom of the bowl.

Spoon or scoop batter into lined muffin cups, filling them no more than halfway full (these cupcakes will rise quite a bit). Bake until evenly browned on top, the cake springs back when pressed gently with your finger and a toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Transfer cakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, place chopped chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl; set aside. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine cream, corn syrup and salt bring to a gentle boil. Watch carefully so that it doesn’t foam up and bubble over. Reduce heat and simmer very gently for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and let stand for 15 seconds before pouring through a fine mesh sieve and over chopped chocolate. Let stand without stirring for 5 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir mixture starting from the center and working your way toward the edges until smooth and glossy. If there are still some pieces of solid chocolate, place the bowl over a pot with ½-inch of barely simmering water and heat gently while stirring until completely smooth. Stir in vanilla extract. Let cool at room temperature until thick and spreadable, 2-3 hours, without stirring. To speed this up, you can refrigerate until it reaches spreading consistency, about 1 hour, stirring very gently every 10-15 minutes. Even if it appears too thin after 1 hour of chilling, remove it from the fridge because it can set up very quickly at this point and become firm. Avoid stirring too much as this will incorporate air and make it stiff.

Spread the frosting on your cupcakes and decorate with rainbow sprinkles!

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