Saturday, October 5, 2013

Vanilla Cupcakes with Italian Butter Icing

Here is a recipe from my book Party Food for Girls, I haven't made it in a while, but I needed a sugar hit, and I just felt like baking... it happens!

Vanilla Cupcakes

120 g butter
3 eggs
130 g sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla paste
200 g self-rising flour
60 ml milk
Italian butter icing for the topping (recipe on page…)
Fresh or sugar flowers to decorate (optional)

Makes 12 cupcakes

Preheat the oven to 175°C. Line a 12-muffin tray with cupcakes paper cups.
Melt the butter in a jug, either in the microwave or in the oven (while the oven is warming up for the cupcakes). Place the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk, using an electric beater, until the mixture looks light and pale yellow in colour. Slowly add the melted butter and the vanilla essence or paste. Keep beating at a low speed now; add half of the flour followed by half of the milk. Add the rest of the flour and milk and keep beating making sure that there are no lumps. Divide the mixture between the 12-cupcake cases
Bake for about 18-20 minutes, until golden brown at the top. You can also check by inserting a toothpick into the cupcakes: if it comes out clean the cupcakes are ready. Remove the cupcakes from the tin and let them cool down.
Prepare the Italian Butter Icing (recipe below) and decorate your cupcakes.

Italian Butter Icing

160 g unsalted butter
2 egg whites
160 g sugar
10 ml water
A few drops of pure vanilla essence

Cut the butter into small cubes and set aside at room temperature.
Beat the egg whites until they form a white peak, and then add 100 g of sugar and beat for 10 more minutes.
Put the remaining 60 g of sugar in a small saucepan (possibly use a single-handle saucepan or a milk pot, which are easy-to pour). Add 10 ml of water to the sugar. Place the saucepan over the stove at a very low heat and bring it to boil. Simmer for 2 minutes, stirring gently with a metal spoon, and making sure that the sugar doesn’t stick to the edges of the pot. The sugar should melt but still look white. Don’t boil it for too long or it will turn into brown caramel; if this should happen wash the pot with warm water and start again.
Resume beating the egg whites and very carefully (don’t burn yourself) pour in the sugar syrup. Beat until the meringue is cold and then turn the speed of the beater to the lowest setting. Add the butter, little by little and beat it in until well mixed. Add the vanilla essence and beat for one more minute.
Scoop the icing into a decorating pastry bag and decorate the cupcakes as shown in the pictures.

And this is the cover of the book, the very same recipe, with the difference that at present I don't have many edible flowers in the garden a part from a few violets. Next time I'll wait to have lots of flowers, as they are the prettiest decoration ever!

I am a finalist in the 2013 Culinary Quills Award!

I am entering this recipe in Sweet New Zealand, the monthly blogging event for Kiwi bloggers. Our October 2013 host is Lucy from Lucy eats, click here to enter. Sorry Lucy, I meant to do a sugar free dessert and this is not! But I may have time for another sugar-free entry this month! :-)

Photos and recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©



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