Friday, 30 March 2012

Bubblegum cupcakes

Pink is my favourite colour and yesterday was, for me, definitely a pink day. Not only was I was wearing a new pink top, we are surrounded by different shades of the colour pink at the moment with all the blossom, tulips, hyacinths and other beautiful spring flora. Even the orchid given to me on Mother's Day by Theo, is pink. And, when I was in the supermarket on Wednesday I spotted these cupcake cases which I just had to buy...

I decided to call these cupcakes "bubblegum" because of the prominence of pink, but also because the marshmallows, which nestle among the buttercream, provide a gorgeous, unctuous, chewy texture, and give a hint of bubblegum flavour. I wasn't too sure how Theo would react when he saw these cakes on his arrival home from school, given that he doesn't "do" pink, but the way his face lit up and his loud shout of "WOW" meant that he'd given them his usual seal of approval. Rebecca's reaction..."they look JUST like the cakes in the Hummingbird Bakery!" I had a bit of a *proud* moment.

The sponge for these cupcakes is plain vanilla and I used the recipe in the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook.



120g plain flour
140g caster sugar
1.5 tsps baking powder
pinch of salt
40g unsalted butter, at room temperature120ml whole milk
1 egg
quarter of a tsp vanilla extract


160g icing sugar
80g unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tbsps milk
quarter tsp vanilla extract
a few drops of red food colouring

a 12 hole muffin tray, lined with paper cases

1. Preheat the oven to 170 degs C/gas mark 3

2. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on a slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined. Gradually pour in half the milk and beat until the milk is just incorporated.

3. Whisk the egg, vanilla extract and remaining milk together in a separate bowl, then pour into the flour mixture and continue beating until just incorporated (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a spatula). Continue mixing for a couple more minutes until the mixture is smooth. Do not overmix.

4. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full...

...and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until light golden and the sponge springs back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

6. To make the buttercream, whisk together the icing sugar and butter until combined and then gradually add the milk to make a soft consistency. Stir in the vanilla extract and enough red food colouring to give you your desired shade of pink. When the cupcakes are cold, spoon the buttercream on top and decorate as you wish. Enjoy!

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