Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentines Day

Ok, I normally hate this "holiday" even in a relationship, I kind of loathe Valentines Day. If you are in a relationship, Its supposed to be a big deal, and If you are Single, it just kind of serves to remind you that you are alone.... But I'm also, generally, a pretty bitter person... Even if I'm in Love.

However, I like pink things, and I bought myself a mini cake decorating kit this morning, so I made Vanilla Cupcakes, with Pink Buttercream Icing and Chocolate Hearts.
Which may or may not have been a product of talking about making Bailey's buttercream icing for St.Paddy's day all week long.
I used the Vanilla Cupcake (Fairy Cakes) recipe over at Joy of Baking, and they turned out AMAZING! I have actually never made cupcakes with anything other than box cake mix... These are sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much better... And I think that "so" needs a few more "o's" to emphasise how incredible these were.
I didn't do anything to change the cupcake recipe. However, next time I make these, I won't zest the whole large lemon, like it says to... Maybe a little lemon zest, but they taste more like lemon than Vanilla right now.

My cupcakes got a little round on the top, so i chopped the tops off, and we enjoyed them while I waited for the cupcakes to cool enough to put the icing on them.
I melted some chocolate (2 squares of semi-sweet) put it in a Ziploc bag, and piped some hearts onto parchment paper, then stuck it in the fridge... The "Love" didn't work out, I made it too big, and the chocolate wasn't piped thick enough.

For my Bailey's Buttercream, I used 1/2 cup of Butter, enough icing sugar to make it thick (3-4 cups), Pink gel food colouring, and about 5-6 TBSP of Baileys (the recipe i found called for only 2-3 TBSP, which didn't even give it any bailey's taste at all). Whipped it all up in my Stand mixer with the Whisk attachment and then into my brand new pipping bag with the larger star tip... and attacked the topless cupcakes.

Then stuck my chilled Chocolate Hearts and Voila: Vanilla Cupcakes with Bailey's Buttercream icing and Chocolate Hearts.
Sooooooo Pretty!

(JOY OF BAKING) Vanilla Cupcakes:

1/2 cup unsalted Butter, room temperature

2/3 cup granulated white Sugar

3 large Eggs

1 teaspoon pure Vanilla extract

Zest of 1 large Lemon (outer yellow skin)

1 1/2 cups all purpose Flour

1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup milk

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for about 18-20 minutes or until set and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost with icing. If you want flat topped cupcakes then slice off the dome of each cupcake, with a sharp knife, before frosting. If you want to pipe the frosting, I like to use a large Wilton 1M star decorating tip. Cupcakes are best eaten the same day they are made, but they can be covered and stored for a few days.

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