So, like, WTF right?
And I don’t announce a winner.
What. The. Fruitcake.
But better late than never, right?? So I rolled up my sleeves tonight, and after painstakingly pasting all entries (and twitter double-entries) into a haphazard spreadsheet, my random number generator has picked a winner….
The winner is comment #1, courtesy of Danielle, who shared this take of culinary woe!
It was a night that started with so much hope and ended up with me in the fetal position. I wanted to bake a chocolate came for my friends 21st. Everything had went well in the baking process but when I had tired to make the cake in layers I screed up majorly. The layers just fell apart. So in my frustration I didn’t wait for it to cool enough onanistic I put the chocolate mousse on. That created a gooey mess of chocolate. I had thought, this can still e saved!! So I put on the chocolate genache. Not a good idea, the cake had cracked and there was a flood of chocolate oozing out of the cake. My housemate came home finding me in an emotional mess, he sent me to bed got the ingredients again from the shop and I made a perfect cake the next day.
Now as for the reason for why this post is so late…I have a *very* good reason, trust me. A reason that you already know if you follow my personal Facebook account (bewarned, it’s not for everyone as there are ribald, risque and a lot of NSFW comments there), but I’ll be telling the rest of you the reason in my next post.
But for now, as promised to the followers of the Kitchenwench Facebook page, here is my tweaked recipe for my super lemon cupcakes – which gives you a fluffier, lemonier cake!
Ellie’s Lovely Lemon Cupcakes, Version 2.0
200g butter, softened
420g caster sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon (about 2-3 tbsp)
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarb soda (baking soda)
450g all-purpose flour
Lemon Syrup Ingredients
1/2 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup water 1 cup caster sugar
1. Combine the ingredients for the lemon syrup in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Once all the sugar has completely dissolved, set aside.
2. Preheat your oven to 170 degrees C, and cream together your butter and sugar till creamy (sorry, pictures for this step are the wrong way around!)
3. Beat in the eggs, vanilla, salt and baking powder and continue beating till the mixture is light and fluffy, then add your lemon zest and juice and beat in for another few minutes.
4. Stir the baking soda/bicarb soda into the milk, then add your milk and flour in 3 alternating batches, beating well after each addition. Once all the milk and flour has been added, scrape down the bowl and beat at high speed for another 30 seconds.
5. Line your cupcake baking tray with cupcake liners and fill each liner about 1/2 – 2/3 full – it depends on whether you want the cake to peep over the top of the liner, or stay completely contained. I personally prefer to underfill as it means you have a ‘tidier’ cupcake once they’re baked, iced and decorated.
HANDY TIP: Being the control freak that I am, I weigh out the amount for each cupcake on my electronic scales. This takes a little bit longer, but means that you get exactly the same amount of batter for each cupcake, meaning that they’ll all be quite uniform in shape and size once baked. This also makes the decorating process easier as it means not having to worry about any lack of uniformity in the cakes you’re dealing with.
6. Place your lined and filled cupcake tray into the oven, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or till a toothpick inserted into each cupcake comes out clean.
HINT: These cupcakes are far better if you don’t let them brown (they will actually be done a few minutes before they start browning) so keep a very close eye on them after the 15 minute mark. Be advised that this particular recipe will result in very dry cupcakes if you overbake them.
7. Remove them from the oven and immediately brush with the lemon syrup. Then place on a cooling rack till they have completely cooled. While they are cooling, start to prep your lemon buttercream
FINAL NOTE: Although not included in this step by step, something I actually like to do with my lemon cupcakes is to cut out a cone from the top, fill it with homemade lemon curd and then replace the tops. This give extra lemony goodness and a nice slightly sour note which offsets the sweetness of the lemon buttercream very nicely!
Lemon Buttercream Frosting
(adapted from the Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Buttercream Frosting recipe)
250g unsalted butter, softened
6-8 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 2 lemons (about 4-5 tbsp)
HANDY TIP: I find that most frostings are FAR too sweet for my liking, so I actually like to replace my icing sugar with icing powder instead. The reason for this is because icing powder is a mixture of icing sugar & corn starch, and the latter helps to provide bulk and thicken the frosting without as much sweetness as using pure icing sugar would.
1. Beat the butter till it is creamy, then add 3 cups of sugar, milk, vanilla extract, lemon zest & juice and beat at high speed for 5 minutes.
2. Gradually add the rest of the sugar, adding 1 cup at a time and beating for 5 minutes after each addition. Once all the sugar has been added, continue beating at high speed till the mixture is extremely pale, light and very fluffy. Use immediately, or cover tightly with cling wrap if you’re not ready to ice your cupcakes just yet.
3. Once you’re ready to ice your cupcakes, the quickest and easiest way to do so is to use a large piping bag with large piping tips. I have a plain tip and a star tip, and I find that between the two of them, they cover all my frosting piping needs. Fill your piping bag no more than 1/2 full – the reason for this is that holding onto the mixture for too long will melt the butter in the bag, meaning that by the time the last of the icing in the bag gets to the cupcakes, it will have turned into a runny mess.
4. Pipe your frosting onto the cupcakes with a slow, steady hand, making sure you keep an eye on the pressure you are using so that you try and use the same amount of frosting each time.