Friday, January 2, 2009

Cupcakes, Cupcakes EVERYWHERE!

I love weddings. I love planning weddings (I would hope so!). I love wedding things. I especially love happy weddings. However, the best part of any wedding for me is WEDDING CAKE. I love the colors, the styles... each one is unique just like every bride. As wedding season creeps up on me and I am in the midst of planning 4 weddings at this moment, I can't help but think of cake... and we all know that there is just something different about wedding cake!

Well, as many weddings as I have coming up, I have not been asked to make a cake... flowers, set-up, directing, absolutely. Make the cake? Not hardly! I've never even attempted a homemade cake much less a wedding cake... the thing is, I got such a hankerin' for wedding cake, I decided to do something about it. Robert's birthday is Sunday so I made up my mind that this year he was getting wedding cake!!!

OK, so he's getting cupcakes... that TASTE like wedding cake. It's a white wedding cake with chocolate buttercream icing... ALL from scratch. I used my brand new Hamilton Beach Stand Mixer that my in-laws got me for Christmas. I LOVE it... We've named is Moto-Moto (Moto for short). It's huge and quite heavy and if you've seen Madagascar 2 then you get the reference! OK, enough background. Here's what you're looking for!

• 6 cups cake flour sifted
• 2 tablespoons baking powder
• 1 1/2 cups butter or margarine, softened
• 3 cups granulated sugar
• 2 cups milk
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 12 egg whites
• Cake Release
Makes: 12 cups of cake batter.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin pans with appropriately sized cupcake papers (I used a jumbo muffin pan and a regular muffin pan).
Sift together flour and baking powder. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Set aside. Beat egg whites until stiff, but not dry. Set aside. With mixer at slow speed, add flour mixture to butter mixture, alternately with milk. Beat well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract. Gently fold egg whites into batter. Pour into prepared pans. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean (Jumbo took about 35 minutes, regular took about 20-25).

• 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
• 3/4 cup cocoa or three 1 oz. unsweetened chocolate squares, melted
• 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
• 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
• 3-4 tablespoons milk
Makes: About 3 cups of icing.


Stiff Consistency: In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add cocoa and vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use. For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.
Chocolate Mocha Icing: Substitute cold brewed strong coffee for milk in Chocolate Buttercream recipe.
Darker Chocolate Icing: Add an additional 1/4 cup cocoa (or one additional 1 oz. square unsweetened chocolate, melted) and 1 additional tablespoon milk to Chocolate Buttercream Icing.
For Thin (Spreading) Consistency Icing: Add 3-4 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk.

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