Saturday, May 28, 2011
They say that April showers bring May flowers. That's true, but just because a month flips over on the calendar, it doesn't mean that the rain stops around here. So what do May showers bring? Babies!
Just over a year ago I blogged about making a small wedding cake for my daughter's maid of honor. The first year of marriage has gone so well that I was invited to help with the food for her baby shower!
The mum-to-be has a nursery beautifully decorated with a Classic Pooh theme. The challenge with that is that Classic Pooh is no longer in vogue. Good thing she's an ebay diva and my daughter is queen of the thrift stores. Between them they've been able to score crib bedding, stuffed animals, books, wall hangings, and a pile of baby outfits with Pooh bear and friends on them.
My contribution? I made a sling (a necessity for new mothers, in my opinion). But it was my younger daughter who brought the biggest smile to her face. When Serena was born, her nursery was also done in Classic Pooh. So Serena passed along the framed print of Christopher Robin and friends gathered around a table for a party that had hung over her crib. I love recycling, especially when it brings so much joy!
I came up with a recipe for a moist cake (I hate dry cupcakes!) and then was in a quandary as to how to decorate them. I wanted the beautiful details from the pan to show through, so I just lightly iced them with an almond glaze and dusted with just a hint of purple sparkling sugar for fun.
You can still make these, even if you don't have the specialty pan. Just bake them up as regular cupcakes and decorate with lovely crystallized violets or lavender sprigs.
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 cup + Tbsp cake flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs at room temperature
1 large egg yolk at room temperature
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup buttermilk at room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp almond extract
2 Tbsp water
1- Preheat oven to 350 deg. F.
2- Using a pastry brush, thoroughly butter the cake pan, being careful to brush the butter into all the crevices. Lightly dust the pan with cake flour and tap off the excess flour. (If making standard cupcakes, place cupcake papers into a cupcake pan.)
3- Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Sift a second time into another bowl.
4- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until it is light in color, about 4 minutes. Add the sugar in a steady stream with the mixer running. Beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
5- Add the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, beating well after each addition, scraping the sides of the bowl down as necessary. Beat on medium speed for 2 more minutes.
6- With the mixer on low speed, add the oil and beat for 1 minute.
7- In a small bowl combine the vanilla and almond extracts and the buttermilk. Using a rubber spatula, fold in half of the dry ingredients into the batter. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add half of the buttermilk mixture. Fold in the remaining dry ingredients, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the remaining buttermilk.
8- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, filling each cup about 2/3 full, smoothing the surface with a spatula.
9 - Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
10- Allow the cakes to cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, then gently loosen the cupcakes with a plastic knife or fork and turn them over to finish cooling on the rack.
Because the pan makes 6 butterflies at a time, I had to bake these in 3 batches. Between each baking, wipe out the pan then regrease and flour before putting in more batter.
11 - For the glaze, combine the powdered sugar, almond extract and enough water to give a smooth, runny consistency. You can either dunk the cooled butterflies into the glaze or drizzle the glaze over the cooled cakes on the cooling rack.
Makes 18 cupcakes