Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I baked something!

Ever since I started this blog, which really wasn't that long ago, I have wanted to bake something so that I can post it here. Well, now I have. I made some cupcakes.

These are All-Occasion Downy Yellow Butter Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream, taken from The Cake Bible.

I actually made the raspberry puree myself to go into the buttercream, which was a labor intensive process, but I think it looks great. You can even see the little flecks of the raspberry in the icing...proof that it was homemade! My only problems with the icing was that it was softer than I was expecting. It held it's shape okay, but it was just very soft and very buttery tasting. I'm not sure if this is the best recipe for buttercream, but it was the one in the book. So I tried it.

I had to strain, puree, and sieve 24 ounces of raspberry, which left me with this nice paste of raspberry seeds. The fruits of my labor. Actually, that was trash, but I was pretty proud of how little I had left over after my time smushing it.

But alas, I didn't have enough icing to frost the whole batch, which was really my fault because I made a half batch of the buttercream. I guess I should always err on the side of having too much. Silly me. I don't think I ever realized just how much icing goes into frosting cupcakes in order to make a decent topping for the cupcake. But you live and learn.

So if anyone is interested, here's the recipe.

All-Occasion Downy Yellow Butter Cake

6 large egg yolks

1 cup milk

2 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups cake flour

1 1/2 sugar

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

12 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare pans. (I was able to make 24 cupcakes out of this recipe; it's normally 2 9-in cakes.)

2. In a medium bowl, lightly combin the yolks, 1/4 cup milk, and vanilla.

3. In a larg mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients and mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend. Add the butter and remaining 3/4 cup milk. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed and beat for 1 1/2 minutes to aerate and develop the cake's structure. Scrape down the sides. Gradually add the egg mixture in 3 batches, beating for 20 seconds afer each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides.

4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the surface with a spatula. The pans will be about 1/2 full. (I filled the cupcake liners 2/3 full.) Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until a tester inserted near the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center. (I baked the cupcakes for about 20 minutes.)

Raspberry Puree

2 12-oz bags frozen raspberries, no sugar added

2 teaspoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed

2/3 cup sugar

1. In a strainer suspended over a deep bowl, thaw the raspberries completely. This will take several hours. (To speed thawing, place in a oven with a pilot light.) Press the berries to force out all the juice. There should be 1 cup. (I only ended up with about 3/4 a cup.)

2. In a saucepan (or in a microwave on high power) boil the jice until reduced to 1/4 cup. Pour it into a lightly oiled heatproof cup. (I used the microwave option, since this was later stated to be the preferred way. However, even though I used a four cup measuring cup to boil it in, I still had it boil over, so be wary and prepared for that.)

3. Puree the raspberries and sieve them witha food mill fitted with the fine disc. Our use a fine strainer to remove all seeds. You should have 1 liquid cup puree. Stir in the raspberry syrup and lemon juice. Measure again. There should be 1 1/3 liquid cups. (I had about 3/4 cup.) If you have less, add less sugar. The correct amount of sugar is 1/2 the volume of the puree. Stir until the sugar dissolves.

I am not including the buttercream recipe because I simply was not pleased with it. I was really soft and too butter flavored. It felt a little like you were eating straight butter. But with the recipe, you are supposed to add 1/2 cup of the raspberry puree to the finished buttercream which is supposed to cover 2 9-in layers. You can use that as a guide if you want to try with your own recipe.

Well, that's about it. A long one, but one I think I can be proud of. :)