Saturday, October 18, 2008

Birthday Cupcakes - Billy's Vanilla Vanilla

Last May, it was daughter's birthday and in an attempt to be supermom, I tried out 15 cupcake recipes in order to find THE PERFECT one that would inspire oohs and aahs and cause people to bow at my feet and ask me to open a bakery. Needless to say, it didn't happen.

For husband's birthday, I decided to go back to one of the recipes that I tried back in May - Billy's Vanilla Vanilla, which I originally found off of Martha Stewart's website.

The reason I like this recipe is that it is pretty hard to make a TOUGH cupcake with it - as a general rule, over beating of flour causes tough cupcakes. This recipes has you cut in the butter with the flour, and then add the wet ingredients at the end. It's a bit of a unique approach but I've found the results consistently good.

Cupcakes ARE easier if you have a stand mixer, but a good hand mixer is fine. You should NOT attempt to make cupcakes by hand as your arm has not the power to incorporate all the things together efficiently and well.

Billy's Vanilla, Vanilla Cupcakes (From Martha Stewart)
Makes about 30 cupcakes.

Ingredients

3/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, mixing until just coated with flour.
  2. In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.
  3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes.
  4. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat process with remaining batter. Once cupcakes have cooled, use a small offset spatula to frost tops of each cupcake. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Serve at room temperature.
Billy's Vanilla Butter Cream (From Martha Stewart)

Makes enough for 30 cupcakes (I think this makes an OBNOXIOUS amount of frosting - I've made HALF a recipe and had more than enough frosting - but then again, I don't love an inch of frosting on my cupcake...)

Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
6 to 8 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add 6 cups sugar, milk, and vanilla; mix until light and fluffy. If necessary, gradually add remaining 2 cups sugar to reach desired consistency.

2 comments:

bella said...

joanne - omg-my friend made these cupcakes from the martha stewart site a few weeks ago and gave me one....they were so delicioius. i heard about this bakery in NY...i know its a favorite from the stars. can't wait to make some!

Anonymous said...

These cupcakes are delicious! But first ingredient listed should be 1 and 3/4 cup cake flour, not 3/4 as currently listed on the Week of Menu recipe. Just a small typo!

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