Cupcakes: 3 easy recipes you’ll definitely enjoy

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cupcakes

Cupcakes look great and have the great advantage that you can give them whatever flavor you want. You can make them with vanilla or cocoa top, leave them simple or fill them with seeds or fruits, make them salty or sweet.

Super Moist Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (94g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 cup (41g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature*
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable or canola oil (or melted coconut oil)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk, at room temperature

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Line a second pan with 2 liners – this recipe makes about 14 cupcakes. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla together until combined. Pour half of the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Then half of the buttermilk. Gently whisk for a few seconds. Repeat with the remaining wet ingredients and buttermilk. Stir until *just* combined; do not overmix. The batter will be thin.
  3. Pour or spoon the batter into the liners. Fill only halfway (this is imperative! only halfway!) to avoid spilling over the sides or sinking.
  4. Bake for 18-21 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cooling completely before frosting.
  5. Frost cooled cupcakes however you’d like.

Mini Doughnut Cupcakes

Ingredients

Makes 24 mini cupcakes

  • 100g (7 tbsp) butter
  • 75g (⅓ cup) superfine sugar, plus extra to dust
  • 100g (¾ cup) plain all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 50g (¼ cup) plain yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tbsp raspberry jam
  • 1 tbsp apricot jam

Special Equipment

You will also need a 24-hole mini muffin tray and two disposable piping bags.

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Melt the butter in the microwave or in a pan over medium heat and use a pastry brush to grease all the holes of the muffin tray with some of the melted butter.
  2. Place the sugar, flour, and baking soda in a bowl and combine.
  3. In a small jug, mix the remaining melted butter with the yogurt, egg, and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently fold them together until just incorporated.
  4. Divide the mixture among the 24 holes in the muffin tray using a teaspoon, then bake for 7–8 minutes or until golden brown and risen.
  5. While the muffins are baking, spoon the jams into the 2 piping bags and snip the end off each with a pair of scissors. Remove the hot doughnuts muffins from the oven and roll them in superfine sugar, then make a small hole with a skewer in the bottom of each and pipe raspberry jam into the center of half the doughnuts and apricot jam into the rest. These are best enjoyed fresh from the oven.

French Buttercream

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 1/2 pounds cold butter, preferably European

Instructions

  1. In a heavy nonreactive saucepan, add water, then add sugar, corn syrup, and cream of tartar. The last 2 help keep the sugar from crystallizing. (Candy thermometer. Non-negotiable!)
  2. Put the pot on high heat. It’s going to be there for a while. Be patient and keep your eye on it. Don’t go walking away and watching TV or something.
  3. Put yolks and eggs in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and turn to high. Just let it go! Eggs will triple in volume and go to the “ribbons stage.” You can’t overwhip!
  4. Wait on the sugar—looking for 230°F, aka “softball.” When it happens, be ready to move quickly. Turn off the mixer and add the xanthan gum, turn back up to medium.
  5. Remove the thermometer from hot sugar. Lift with two hands. Rest the lip of the saucepan on the edge of the mixer bowl.
  6. Slowly tilt and pour sugar in a slow steady stream down the side of the bowl. Don’t go too fast! If you do there will be chunks of scrambled eggs in your buttercream.
  7. Once sugar is all in, turn the mixer to high. Beat until cool. Gauge this by putting the inside of your wrist to the outside of the bowl. It’s more accurate than your hands. Switch out the whisk for the paddle. Next, we’re adding the butter. It’s too heavy for the whisk and you’ll end up breaking your stand mixer if you stay with the whisk.
  8. Start cutting the butter into thin pieces—you could shave it with a cheese slicer if you’d like. Add butter piece by piece—pain in the derriere, yes, but we’re making an emulsion.
  9. See, if you dump all the butter in at once, the butter and eggs will never combine properly, and you’ll have a “broken” buttercream. You’ll be able to identify this easily—it’ll be a chunky, watery, hot mess.
  10. If your buttercream does break, you can fix it! Turn to medium-high, then add a little more butter, piece by piece, until fixed. Or try adding a little guar gum! This is very strong, so add a pinch and beat for a minute, then check.
  11. Once your butter is added, turn the mixer to medium-high to add some air—10, 20 seconds at most. Quelle Magnifique! It should be fluffy and make you want to eat it with your fingers.

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