Basic Recipes

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

INGREDIENTS

Makes about 9 cups, enough for about 28 cupcakes. (you can totally half this recipe, I often do)

  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 10 large egg whites
  • 4 cups (8 sticks or 2 pounds) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place sugar and egg whites in the heat-proof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, and whisk until sugar has dissolved and egg whites are hot to the touch, about 3 minutes. Test by rubbing the mixture between your fingers; it should feel completely smooth.
  2. Transfer bowl to mixer stand. Using the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until mixture has cooled completely and formed stiff and glossy peaks, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the butter, one piece at a time, and beat until incorporated after each addition. Don’t worry if the buttercream appears curdled after all the butter has been added; it will become smooth again with continued beating. Add vanilla, and beat just until combined.
  4. Switch to the paddle attachment, and beat on the lowest speed to eliminate any air pockets, about 5 minutes. If using buttercream within several hours, cover bowl with plastic wrap, and set aside at room temperature in a cool environment. Or transfer to an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator, up to 3 days. Before using, bring buttercream to room temperature, and beat on the lowest speed with the paddle attachment until smooth, about 5 minutes.

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One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes

INGREDIENTS

Makes 18 to 24 (this recipe always makes me exactly 18 cupcakes)

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (I’ve done them with plain skim milk and have been fine)
  • 3 tablespoons safflower oil (you can use any kind, I use canola)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners; set aside. Sift together cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, and mix until smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed (it will be very liquidy but trust me, this is how it’s supposed to be).
  2. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

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Buttermilk Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Place liners in a 12 cup muffin tin.  In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until it looks creamy. Beat in the egg and the vanilla and almond extracts until mixture is smooth.
  3. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir until almost combined. Add buttermilk and stir, again, until almost combined. Add the rest of the flour and stir until all ingredients are mixed in.
  4. Divide batter evenly into muffin cups.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.  Let cupcakes cool for 10 minutes and then remove from the muffin pan. Cool completely before frosting.

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Vanilla Pastry Cream

IGREDIENTS

Makes 1 1/2 cups.

  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

  1. Whisk yolks until smooth. Mix sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add milk in a slow, steady stream. Cook, stirring, until mixture begins to bubble and thicken, about 5 minutes.
  2. Pour 1/3 of milk mixture into yolks, whisking constantly. Return mixture to saucepan, and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until thick, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in vanilla.
  3. Pass vanilla cream through a fine sieve into a bowl. Press plastic wrap directly on surface. Refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour, or up to 2 days


4 thoughts on “Basic Recipes

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