Saturday, February 9, 2013

Vanilla Vanilla

So my senioritis has really been getting to me. I've been baking/cooking like crazy these days. We just got off for Chinese New Year break yesterday, so I finally got around to posting these up!

I was stumbling on Stumble Upon during study hall the other day and was brought to Simply Recipe's Double Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe. I had been wanting to put my vanilla beans to good use, and believe me...this was good.

As these baked, I imagined my house back in Chicago with the fireplace crackling. My heart literally warmed up and my stress disappeared for a few minutes. These cupcakes are fluffy, yet moist, and the frosting is beautifully specked with vanilla bean seeds. When I took my first taste of the frosting, I thought, "Is this the real life?!?" Really though. This buttercream frosting coats your throat in a vanilla velvety blanket, leaving you longing for more. So I downed two more spoonfuls.

Anyways, to get to the point, here's the recipe: it yields about 1 dozen regular sized cupcakes and 30 mini cupcakes

  • 1 & 1/2 + 2 Tbsp All-purpose Flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 & 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (113.4 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg + 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup whole milk (I used partly skimmed)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 or 1 vanilla bean
  • 1/2 cup (113.4 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 & 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean (I used a whole one)
 Directions for Cupcakes:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C)
  2. Cut vanilla bean and scrape out seeds. Place the seeds and halved bean into a saucepan. Add milk.
  3. Simmer these three items for about 3-4 minutes. As soon as it's simmered for a few minutes, turn off the fire and remove from heat. Remove the beans from the pan. McCord (from Simply Recipes) reminds readers that you can wash these beans again after you've washed them. My mom threw them away... ):
  4. In a medium bowl, beat butter for 3 minutes on medium speed. Add sugar and beat again for 3 minutes.
  5. Add the egg and beat for 30 seconds. Then, add the whites, one at a time. Beat these for 30 seconds each.
  6. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  7. Take another bowl, and whisk together the milk, vanilla extract, sour cream. This is now the milk mixture.
  8. Add the flour and milk mixture to the bowl with butter, sugar and egg. Alternate between the flour mixture and the milk mixture, starting and ending with the dry mixture. Remember not to over mix!
  9. Add the mixture to tins. Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating the pans about half way through at 9-10 minutes.
Direction for Frosting:
  1. Beat the butter
  2. Slowly add the confectioner's sugar
  3. Scrape the vanilla bean to get the seeds out. Beat in the vanilla seeds. 
*for reference of cutting vanilla beans, you can click here

I've been smitten with cakes and cupcakes lately, and it's my birthday, so I have an excuse to eat eat eat. I will post two more recipes soon! ps- I apologize for the bad photos. My camera has not been working with me so I've been using my phone!

Happy Chinese New Year :) Welcome to the year of the snake. Cheers!

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