Friday, March 11, 2011

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes Recipe

Today I was testing out a recipe I plan to use for lemongrass cupcakes for my sister's bridal shower.  In order to share that recipe I have to first share the basic Vanilla Bean Cupcake recipe I use because from time to time I will share the unique ways I alter it to create interesting flavor profiles. 
So here is that recipe.  It is better than most typical white cake recipes.  The technique used in mixing the ingredients is also different and makes for a more moist and tender cupcake... a goal that is very difficult in cupcake baking because of the size of each cake.  I learned this technique from a book called Who You Callin' Cupcake, which, if you want to be able to make something different from your average cupcake, is the book to have.  Anyway, here is my version of their Vanilla Bean Cupcakes recipe.  Enjoy it as is, or use it as a base as instructed in some of my other cupcake recipes.

Makes 1 Dozen

1/2 cup organic sugar or organic cane juice
1 2/3 cups of organic all purpose unbleached flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter (unsalted)
1/2 cup skim milk
2 eggs
1 tablespoon of pure madagascar or bourbon vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean (run a knife down the length and split open then scrape the seeds out to be used for this recipe... you can put the scraped out hull in a container of sugar to make vanilla sugar)
 **if you don't have a vanilla bean just use 1 additional tablespoon of vanilla extract***

Preheat your oven to 350 and line your traditional size cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
In a stand mixer bowl, combine first four ingredients (dry stuff)
Add butter to the bowl and mix on low til a grainy meal is formed
Add 1/4 of the milk slowly til the mixture looks like a paste
In a separate bowl, combine eggs with remaining 1/4 cup of milk, vanillas.
Slowly pour the wet mixture into the stand mixer bowl til it is incorporated into the paste and forms a batter.
Scrape down the sides and mix on high for a few seconds until smooth.

Fill the cups in the pan to within about 1/2 inch from their top edges.
Bake for 10-20 minutes.  Tops will not be brown... but will be softly golden around the edges and a toothpick will come out clean when they are done.  They will also feel stable to the touch of your fingertip on their tops.

Cool completely before frosting! Voila!

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