Sunday, 7 November 2010

wedding cupcakes phase 2

More detailed instructions:

It occurred to me that I regard this cake as so easy to make it hardly needs any instructions, but for those of you new to baking my rather throwaway style might be daunting. So, here is a description with photos of the first of the batches of cupcakes.

Whisk the flour and baking powder together in a bowl and then sieve. This makes sure these two ingredients are evenly mixed and have no lumps as well as adding air.

Sieve the ground almonds. This is a bit tedious to do as they are course, but I often find that there are lumps which don’t get mixed in if you leave out this step and you end up with little pockets of plain ground almonds in you cake. You will probably find that some of the almond wont go through the sieve, depending on how fine the mesh is. Just make sure that it is as smooth as possible by rubbing with the back of a wooden spoon, pick out anything that looks odd, and tip in to join the rest of the flours.

Whisk the almonds, sugar and flour together until it is even. You can whizz this in a food mixer or processor to get the same effect.

Melt the butter. I use the microwave. I find it takes one minute on high power for a double batch of butter to melt but not be too hot. Leave it to cool for a bit while you mix the rest of the liquid ingredients. If you mix it in with the egg when it is too hot you will get scrambled egg. I just make sure that I can dip my finger in without discomfort or it is under 50C before I use the liquid butter.

Crack each egg in turn into a little bowl and then put into a big bowl. That way if you get shell or something weird in one you don’t ruin the whole batch. I once skipped this step and ended up with an enormous batch of sticky toffee pudding with added crunch, but I was breaking the eggs straight into the mixer while it was running with the rest of the batter in, so I was asking for trouble. Mix the eggs until the mix looks even. Stir in the yogurt and vanilla, then stir in the melted butter. The mix will tend to start to separate as soon as you stop stirring, but don't worry about it. You can just see that the butter oils are tending to come to the top in the photo, though the picture is less clear than I had hoped. The whole mix will stay together once the flours are added.

Tip the liquid mix into the dry and stir together. I tend to start this with a wooden spoon then finish off with a whisk. It will make a very sloppy batter.

If you can bear to it is worth testing the batter. Just taste a tiny amount to be sure that you haven’t forgotten anything – I once made these without the sugar and while they baked looking fine they were a little surprising to taste. I grew up in India where we were never allowed to eat raw cake batter and I still find it a little difficult to make myself do.

Put into paper cases in a muffin/cupcake tin. I used a metal quarter cup (65ml) measure I have that has a nice pointed end so it is easy to drop the batter in neatly. Just use whatever you have that allows you to get the batter into the paper cases rather than all over the tin – I often two spoons or a jug.

This double mix with the extra egg made 34 medium cupcakes.

Bake until golden brown. If you put a slim knife or skewer in it should come out without any batter on.

I added an extra egg to the batter this time as the eggs seemed small even though eggs should be standard sizes. The recipe is quite robust and a bit of a change doesn’t make too much of a difference. The cakes are light and fluffy.

Take out of the metal tin and place on a cooling rack. If you forget this stage you will find the base of the paper case gets damp as they cool.

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