A sure way to keep a child entertained for at least a little while is to start a baking project that is easy for them to keep up with, and cupcakes are one of these, they are fast to make, fast to cook, fun to decorate and yummy to eat.
With Good Friday efficiently meaning “no school” and translates as “How can I keep Ishi busy” for me, I decided to break out the cupcake moulds and do some baking, today our cupcakes looked like this:
I instagrammed the picture so the it’s a bit grainy on purpose, and what you are looking at are small cupcakes covered in decadent peanut butter icing. I had an old issue of BBC Good Homes where they shared 7 cupcakes variants on one base recipe for the batter and another base for the icing, it’s one of these ridiculously easy one to follow that will give you great results no matter the variant (and once you are familiar with baking you can even come up with your own personal variants as well). The only fancy thing you need to have is an electric beater, because beating the egg whites stiff by hand is though and could leave you sweating away for long time.
Here is how this recipe goes:
For the cupcakes
1/2 cup maida (white flour)
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs (separated)
a few drops of vanilla essence
a pinch of salt
1)First preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Separate the egg yolk from the white, put the yolks in a big mixing bowl and set the whites aside in another bowl. Beat the egg yolks and sugar together with the electric hand mixer until well blended and foamy. Add the vanilla essence and stir once more to mix it all together.
2) Sift the flour and baking powder together inside the mixing bowl containing the yolks and using a spatula gently mix it together. Do NOT expect it to blend properly at this point and do not try to do so, you want air trapped in that batter so just gently fold your flour in the egg yolk mixture. Set aside and grab your egg whites bowl.
3) Beat the egg whites until stiff with a pinch of salt. Fold the egg whites into the rest of the batter gently, again you want to combine them without loosing the air you trapped in your eggs.
4) Take your cupcake moulds (paper or silicon) and fill them with the batter until they are half full. I can yield 12 of my silicon star shaped moulds, with it, they are on the small size. Bake in the oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 8-10 minutes 9until the top looks brown but not burned) Take them out and let them cool completely before icing them (I speed the process putting them in the fridge for a few minutes…impatient toddler oblige)
Once they are cool you can start icing them with the butter cream icing recipe below
For the icing
2 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup salted butter
2 tbsp milk
3 tbsp creamy peanut butter
1) put the icing sugar, softened salted butter and milk in a mixing bowl and blend together with an electric mixer until creamy. This will be your basic buttercream icing, one you can at this point flavour with just about anything you want, not to mention colour the way you want, but for this recipe we want peanut butter flavour:
2) add the 3 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter to your butter cream icing and blend well together. Put the icing in a piping bag…or if you are like me and do not have such a thing, take a ziploc bag and close it pushing all the air out, set it aside until you need it, at room temperature…NOT IN THE FRIDGE!
3) Once your cupcakes are cooled down, make a hole in your ziploc bag cutting a corner at the bottom, gently squeeze the icing out of the bag on top of the cupcakes until they are all covered. To make them look prettier, put a teaspoon of cocoa powder in a tea filter and gently tap it over the the cupcakes to sprinkle them with the powder and put a few roasted peanuts chunk on top. keep the cupcakes you aren’t eating immediately in the fridge so the buttercream icing doesn’t start feeling runny, especially in the heat of Summer in India.