Thank you Nigella.
It was a Friday night with girlfriends cooking up all things Nigella: we had the Feast DVD on perpetual pause on the telly, bucketloads of cream in the fridge, and--most important--, hot pink cardigans and Hollywood tape at the ready.
Nigella's food processor cupcakes are my latest obsession. Quick to make with a recipe that's easy to remember, these instant crowd-pleasers are effortlessly light and fluffy every time.
Such was my obsession I ended up baking a batch on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On Friday they were vanilla with buttercream icing, Saturday's were lemon with lemon buttercream icing, and Sunday saw them flavoured with cocoa and smothered with chocolate icing then topped suggestively with shiny red Jaffas.
The chocolate ones were my personal favourite but that may have had more to do with the lashings of chocolate icing. They keep well too - I polished off the last one that had been stored in the fridge for a week and it still felt soft and springy. But then again, with cupcakes this more-ish, long-term keeping qualities are rarely worth worrying about!
Vanilla cupcakes with lemon icing
Nigella's Easy Peasy Cupcakes
125g butter, softened
125g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons of milk
Preheat oven to 200C, or 180C if using fan-forced.
Place all the ingredients except the milk into a food processor. Blitz in short bursts until the mixture is well combined and smooth.
Whilst pulsing the mixture, gradually pour in the two tablespoons of milk through the food processor funnel. Blitz until the milk has been incoporated. The mixture should look smooth. Add another tablespoon of milk if necessary.
Divide the mixture across a patty-lined 12-muffin tin. A generous tablespoon should be sufficient, as the mixture should triple in size when baked.
Bake for 15-20min or until well-risen and the tops are a pale gold in colour. Ice when cool.
Lemon cupcakes: Add two teaspoons of finely grated lemon rind.
Chocolate cupcakes: Add two tablespoons of cocoa.
Buttercream icing: Beat 125g softened unsalted butter with 250g pure icing sugar using an electric mixer. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla essence and 2 teaspoons of milk. Beat until smooth (a wooden spoon can be easier at this point), adding either more milk or icing sugar if necessary. Use a piping bag to decorate swirls onto cooled cupcakes.
Chocolate icing: Melt 90g of dark chocolate (broken in pieces) and 30g butter in a bowl sitting over a pot of gently simmering water. Stir until melted, then add 1 cup icing sugar and about 2 tablespoons of hot water. Mix well and add either more hot water or icing sugar until you reach your desired consistency. Using a spatula to slather generously over cooled cupcakes.
Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing
all packed into my Wilton cupcake carrier for a housewarming party
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7/07/2008 12:21:00 am