Sunday, August 10, 2008

Billy's Vanilla Cupcake + Sprinkles Chocolate Frosting

I have heard lots of great things about Billy's Bakery in NYC... therefore, it is on my list of cupcakes to bake. He was on Martha awhile back and unveiled his Vanilla Cupcake recipe, so I thought I'd give it a shot.

Overall, I was disappointed in the cupcake. First, they did not rise. All of my cupcakes looked stubby and wimpy. Secondly, those things were as heavy as bricks! The texture was definitely more like a pound cake than a cupcake. I will say though, that the flavor was superb.

I had hoped that Sprinkles, my all-time favorite cupcake would save the cake with the chocolate icing, but I'm sorry to report, that wasn't the case. I have tried to make this frosting before about 6 months again, and ended up throwing it out because it didn't work. So this time, I was extra careful to follow the directions and measurements exactly. Again, it turned out horrible. The texture wasn't smooth - it was lumpy and gritty. So I piped the icing, hoping that would conceal the texture of the icing, but it didn't. Very disappointing. This absolutely cannot be the real Sprinkles Chocolate Buttercream recipe... they are totally holding out on us! Here's the recipe anyway:

Billy's Vanilla Cupcakes
Makes about 30 cupcakes

1 ¾ cups cake flour, not self-rising

1 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, mixing until just coated with flour. In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat process with remaining batter. Once cupcakes have cooled, use a small offset spatula to frost tops of each cupcake. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Serve at room temperature.

Sprinkles Chocolate Frosting

6 oz. butterPinch of salt
2 ½ C confectioner’s sugar, sifted
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled.

Beat butter and salt in stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 mins. Reduce speed, gradually add the sugar, until incorporated, stopping the mixer to occasionally scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and chocolate, mix until combined, careful not to over mix and incorporate too much air.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Magnolia Vanilla Cupakes + Choclate Buttercream Icing

My first attempt - NYC's finest - Magnolia Bakery's Vanilla cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Icing. My good friend Kristin and I got together and made these tasty treats one night. I must say - delicious!

The cake is a pretty good consistency, although I'd have to say they are a tad bit too dense for my taste. The flavor, however, is great.
The icing is good, but way too sweet. Nothin' wrong with sweet, but when you feel like your teeth are rotting away when you bite into one... that's a little much. The icing is very very creamy and light. I think I would like to find a chocolate icing with a little more weight to it.

Of course, we didn't even attempt the famous Magnolia swirl. Kristin did invent a new icing technique - "the spike". Looks a little like my husband's hair.
Magnolia’s Vanilla Cupcakes

· 1 ½ cups self-rising flour
· 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
· 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
· 2 cups sugar
· 4 large eggs, at room temperature
· 1 cup milk
· 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers.
3. In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
5. Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

Magnolia’s Chocolate Buttercream

· 1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
· 2 tablespoons milk
· 9 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
· 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
· 2 ¼ cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

Melt chocolate over double boiler.

In large bowl on medium speed with an electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy, abut 3 mins. Add the milk carefully and beat until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and beat well, about 2 mins. Add the vanilla and beat for 3 mins. Gradually add the sugar and beat on low speed until creamy and of desired consistency.