Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes for Canada Day

I hope everybody's Canada Day was wonderful! As for myself, I took the day off from work and had a fantastic time sitting in my friend's backyard, catching up with pals, enjoying a few drinks and eating good food before visiting some more friends and then seeing the fireworks! The fireworks in the captial are truly a sight to see, although I think that last year they were much better. Either way it was still one of the best days yet this summer that I've had- probably just because I finally had an opportunity to get together with a lot of friends. Doesn't happen too often with my schedule and the schedule of my friends.

So a week or two ago one of my co-workers got me to thinking that I haven't even made a basic vanilla cupcake. He keeps edging me on to start a cupcake business (not happening anytime soon!) and I thought... how on earth can I do that when I don't even have the basics down? And thus, the idea to make vanilla bean cupcakes Canada Day style arose! And by Canada Day... I mean red and white. It also gave me the opportunity to try a frosting recipe that I've been wanting to make for quite awhile. You know, the one that calls for heating milk and flour to create a thick sauce, and then adding it to butter and sugar? Ya that one. Well... it didn't turn out exactly how I was hoping. Don't get me wrong, it's still yummy, but it doesn't compare to some of the Buttercreams I've made. And it being so hot in my apartment, it took a long time to set up and was very runny. Almost like marshmellow fluff. However, putting the frosted cupcakes into the fridge was a quick remedy. Because I don't think I'll use that recipe again, I'm not going to post it.

The cupcakes themselves were a big hit. Wonderfully light and fluffy, while still being moist. Finding that consistency for a chocolate cupcake is easy, but I've noticed it's much harder for a white/yellow cake. I was super excited when I stumbled across this recipe and realized that it called for both butter and oil, in equally small proportions. I've wondered about combining the two of them for quite some time, but didn't know how to go about finding the right measurements. What made these cupcakes extra special is seeing the little vanilla bean flecks throughout them... I just think that adds an special touch!

Yield: 16-18 cupcakes
1 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 3/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup full-fat sour cream
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line pan with liners.

In a small bowl, combine the sugar and seeds from the vanilla bean. Smush (is that a word?) the vanilla beans around with the back of a spoon to break them up and help infuse the vanilla flavour into the sugar.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the vanilla bean sugar and mix until well combined. Add the butter and mix on medium-low speed for three minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream, oil, and vanilla extract until smooth. Once this is done, add the mixture into the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.

Slowly add the milk and mix on low until just combined. The batter will be pretty liquidy, but that's as it should be!

Fill cupcake liners until just over 1/2 full. Bake for 14 minutes and test to see if they are done by inserting a toothpick. It took mine about 13 minutes. The cupcakes should appear white, not golden brown. Remove from the oven once done and remove them from the pans after a couple minutes to cool completely on a cooling rack.

Source: The Cupcake Project

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  1. I love these so much! So creative and well done! I'm utterly impressed.