Thursday, November 8, 2012

Perfect Yellow Cake (Cupcakes) with butter not shortening

Hi Everyone,

So sorry it has been so long between posts. I have been teaching like crazy.
But I am back now and I have several delicious posts planned for the holidays.


Today's post is for Perfect Yellow Cake...
I used this recipe for a lovely strawberry "shortcake" cupcake - so simple and so delicious.
This cake falls into the "hi-ratio" category. It has more sugar then flour and is not mixed by the usual
creaming method or ribbon method.
It is so tender - perfect golden crumb.
It took 6 tests to get this one spot on - I wanted to use butter and not the usual emulsified shortening so it was tricky at first.
But here it is - give it a try.
The recipe also includes how to turn them into the strawberry "shortcake" cupcake
Here is the photo:


Perfect Yellow Cake (Cupcakes)

Makes 2 9” cake, 1 13x9” cake and 13(baker’s dozen)cupcakes

4 large eggs
½ cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups (9 ounces sifted cake flour) – spoon and sweep
1 ½ cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2  teaspoon salt
2 sticks of unsalted butter (8 ounces)
cut into 8 pieces.

Equipment: 12 cup muffin pans or 12 silicone muffin cups
Or 2 9” can pans grease well with butter or shortening and line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease or butter the parchment paper tool.
Oven 350 degrees
Other Equipment: Stand mixer or handheld mixer.
Rubber spatula
Cooling rack
Timer for mixing and baking times

1.     Whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla until just mixed.
Just combined – eggs should be incorporated but do not over whisk.
2.    Place all the dry ingredients in the mixer bowl.
3.    With the mixer on low speed – add the butter one chunk at a time.
Mix until the butter and flour look sandy and pebbly with pieces about the size of peas.
4.    Stop the mixer and add 1 cup of the milk, egg and vanilla mixture.
And mix at the lowest speed until incorporated. Then mix at medium speed for 1 minute. The batter will now be light and fluffy.
5.    Return the mixer at low speed, turn it back on and add the remaining milk mixture. Mix until incorporated about 20-30 seconds. Turn off mixer and scrape down the bowl.
6.    Then turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat until combined,
15-20 seconds – the mixture may look a little broken but that is fine.
7.    Scoop or spoon the mixture into prepared pan. The batter should stop ¼” below the top of the cupcake liners.
8.    Start checking for doneness in about 20 minutes. The cupcakes are done when a skewer or cake tester comes out clean.
9.    Place on a cooling rack to cook for about 30 minutes.
10.                       Cupcakes should be completely cool before decorating.


Directions for using the hand held mixer.

1.    Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl.
2.    Whisk the eggs, milk and vanilla together.
3.    Add butter pieces and cut in with a pastry blender until the butter pieces are the size if peas. You can use a bowl scraperor a fork or if your hands.
4.    Add one cup of the milk mixture, and mix on the lowest speed until just incorporated about 20-30 seconds.
5.    Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
6.    Add the remaining milk mixture, mix on low speed just until
it combines and then turn up the speed to high and mix for 1 minute until light and fluffy, Scrape down the bowl and mix for 15 more seconds.

Notes:


Perfect Whipped Cream
Equipment:
Medium size bowl
Whisk

8 ounces heavy cream - *Trader Joe’s brand is my favorite
2 Tablespoons powdered sugar – sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1.    To help the cream whip faster, chill the bowl and whisk in your freezer for 20 minutes.
2.    Pour the cream in the bowl and whisk vigorously until
it is the consistency of Greek yogurt.
3.    Add the sifted powdered sugar and vanilla and continue to whisk until you can see the lines of the whisk.
Turn the bowl upside down and check to see if the cream
slides out. It should still look smooth and light.
Chill until ready to use. It may have to be rewhisked slightly if it sits in the refrigerator for a while.
Do not overwhip.

Macerated Strawberries
1 pint strawberries, washed, dried hulled and quartered
3 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
or 2 Tablespoons Gran Marnier or Cointreau

1.    Place strawberries in a bowl, add remaining ingredients
and stir.
2.    Let sit for about 20 minutes for the sugar to dissolve and the flavors to blend.

                  Assembling your Cupcakes

Mise en Place:
Baked cupcakes
Whipped Cream
Macerated strawberries
A few strawberries for garnish

Equipment:
Cutting board
Serrated Knife
Piping bag
Star tip
Melon baller or spoon
Extra powdered sugar and strainer

1.    Cut top off of cupcakes – reserve
2.    Spoon out  some of the cake base center.
3.    Fill hole with strawberries
4.    Pipe a large rosette of whipped cream on top of berries
5.    Sift powdered sugar on reserved cupcake top.
6.    Place top on cream.
7.    Garnish with a fanned strawberry if desired.

Happy Baking!
Colette