Vanilla Cupcakes with Baileys Buttercream

Today I found some leftover Champagne  Buttercream in my fridge, to use that up I baked some Vanilla Cupcakes. I looked for a recipe in ‘The Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days‘, a cookbook my brother gave me for birthday last year.  The method of making the batter was quite different: the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt are mixed in a bowl and the milk, eggs and vanilla essence are mixed in a jug after which they are added to the bowl. The recipe says it makes 12-16 cupcakes. I ended up with 12 regular size cupcakes and 24 mini-cupcakes.

Before I started baking I took the Champagne Buttercream out of the fridge to taste if it was still good, but because the buttercream was too hard I couldn’t try it. I figured I would start baking and by the time the cupcakes had cooled down the buttercream would have probably be soft enough to taste. My assumption was correct, unfortunately the buttercream tasted a bit off… I can’t quite explain what was wrong with it, but it definitely tasted different so I decided to throw it out and make some new buttercream. My eye fell on the almost empty bottle of Baileys and I knew I had to make Baileys Buttercream!

Vanilla Cupcakes
as found in The Humingbird Bakery Cake Days
makes 12-16 cupcakes

80 gram (3 oz) unsalted butter
280 gram (10 oz) caster sugar (I used granulated sugar)
240 gram (8 1/2 oz) plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt (I think I accidentally only added 1/4 tsp)
240 ml (8 1/2 floz) whole milk (I used semi-skimmed milk)
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius (375 degrees Fahrenheit, Gas mark 5) and line a muffin tin with muffin cases.

Using a hand-held electric whisk or a freestanding electric mixer with the paddle attachment, slowly beat together the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt until the ingredients are well mixed and resemble fine breadcrumbs.

Mix together the milk, vanilla essence and eggs by hand in a jug. With the whisk or mixer still on a low speed, pour three-quarters of the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl to make sure all the ingredients are fully incorporated. Add the rest of the milk mixture and beat again, now on a medium speed, until the batter is smooth.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cases, up to about two-thirds full. Pop in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes (my regular size cupcakes needed 18 minutes, the mini cupcakes needed 12 minutes) or until the sponges feel springy when you touch them. Leave to cool slightly before removing from the tin and placing on a wire rack to cool completely.

Baileys Buttercream

125 gram butter (softened)
250 gram powdererd sugar
4 tbsp Baileys

 Cream the butter, add the powdered sugar and mix until it’s well incorporated. Add Baileys and mix well.

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Goodbye 2011 and Welcome 2012: Champagne Cupcakes with Champagne Buttercream to ring in the New Year

2011 has been quite a year… I quit being a part-time student and found myself a wonderful  boyfriend. I visited Food Blogger Connect 2011 in London and got to meet a lot of great food bloggers in real life. At work my manager found a new job and I had to get used to a new one. Friends had babies and got married. Now the New Year has come. A time to reflect on what went well (love!) and what didn’t (blogging and health). As to New Year’s resolutions? I have a few…. They include eating healthier and exercising more regularly in the hope of losing some weight and blogging more regularly. So Friday I had my first workout at the gym in ages and tomorrow my diet starts. Why tomorrow and not today? Because a very wise woman told me one should never start dieting on January 1st.

As to blogging more regularly, I decided to rejoin Tuesdays with Dorie. The group had been closed to new members until they finished Baking: From My Home to Yours, which they did in December 2011. TWD is now taking on a new book, Baking with Julia, starting in February 2012. The group will be opened up for all to join in on the fun. And since I already owned the book I thought it would be a great idea to rejoin!!

Here are the five recipes on my blog that were most visited in 2011:

Toblerone Shortbread Cookies

I first baked these for my Christmas Cookie platters in 2010, and they were so popular that I repeated them this year.


Baileys Brownies

What can I say? Chocolate and Baileys, the perfect combination….


Arretje’s Cake

A traditional Dutch no-bake cake made for Di’s Handmade Loaves.


Bluefinger Cookies

An original Dutch cookie from Zwolle that, like my blogs name, referes to the nickname of the inhabitants of Zwolle.

Gazpacho Shots

Another recipe from 2010: I served these cute Gazpacho Shots at my 30th birthday party.

Now on to today’s recipe. As is the case every year, I was invited to Heino to celebrate New Year’s Eve with some carbid schieten. Carbid schieten translated into English would mean Carbide Shooting.  Carbide is a rocky material (CAC2) that is made of coke and slacked lime, by heating the two in an electric oven. If you put water with the carbide it produces an explosive gas! Now you take a milkcan (with a nicely fitting lid) and put the milkcan almost flat on the ground with the front a bit higher as the back , get the lid off, and put some carbide in milkcan. Add some water into the milkcan and quickly put the lid back on, a rubber ball works as well. Make sure nobody  is in front of the milkcan and carefully put the tip of the torch near the hole in the back of the milkcan. The shooting then follows.

This is my SIL shooting carbide last year, fortunately it was less cold this year!

At this Carbide shooting there’s always a lot of food and alcohol and I decided to bring a bit of both to the party in the form and shape of….. Champagne Cupcakes with Champagne Buttercream! I found the recipe at Starting to Simmer and adapted it as I found the champagne flavor to be understated and I wanted to make miniature cupcakes. I used a pink champagne, which is why my buttercream has a pale pink color.

Champagne Cupcakes
adapted from Starting to Simmer
makes 48 miniature cupcakes

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup champagne
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a bowl cream together butter and sugar with an electric mixer (or in bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment) until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.  Add vanilla and mix.
 In a medium sized bowl mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside. In a separate bowl whisk together champagne and sour cream (mixture will fizz and bubble). Add flour 1/3 at a time, alternating with champagne and sour cream mixture.
Fill cupcake liners with level 1/4 cup of batter. Bake for 17-20 minutes until tops are just beginning to brown. Cool completely and brush the tops of the cupcakes with some champagne before frosting.
Champagne Buttercream Frosting
2 cup champagne plus one tablespoon
1 cup butter softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
Place 2 cups of champagne in a small saucepan, and simmer over medium high heat until it has reduced to 4 tablespoons. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Cream softened butter. Add confectioners sugar in three batches, using a medium high speed. Add in reduced champagne and additional tablespoon champagne and mix well.