Sunday, 16 June 2013

Simple Cupcakes

We’ll be starting off really easy with the simplest cupcakes ever, and you'll only need four essential ingredients. This recipe came from a cookbook aimed at children - that's how you know it's going to be easy. I've been using this recipe since before I can remember and it has never failed.

Makes 12 cupcakes, depending on how big your eggs are, and how high you fill the cases
Gather your equipment
Essential equipment: weighing scales, paper cases, a mixing bowl, baking tray, wooden spoon, big fork, teaspoons, and a small bowl/cup/glass to beat eggs in.
Optional equipment: measuring spoons, electric whisk, sieve.
  •  You don't have to use a special cupcake tray – but if you use a flat tray the cupcakes will spread out a lot more
  •  You can use a wooden, plastic or metal spoon to mix

Gather your ingredients
For this recipe you'll need: 2 eggs, caster sugar, self-raising flour and butter/margarine. Optional: vanilla essence.
  • If you're using butter, leave it at room temperature to soften for a few hours
Prepare to bake
Preheat your oven to 180°C. Fill your tray with cupcake cases – it may sound obvious but make sure they aren’t wonky. Weigh your eggs, then use exactly the same weight of caster sugar, self-raising flour, and butter/margarine. Two eggs should be roughly around 110g - so you would use 110g each of sugar, flour and margarine.
  • I weigh my sugar and butter straight into the mixing bowl I'll be using, to save on washing up
Prepare the eggs
Crack your eggs into a bowl/cup/glass, and beat well using a fork. If adding vanilla essence, beat it into the eggs at this point.
  • If you’re using measuring spoons, add about 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence for every 2 eggs you use

Beat butter and sugar together
Using a fork (the bigger the better) or an electric whisk if you have one, beat together the butter and sugar. It helps if you 'smoosh' the lumps of butter/sugar against the side of the bowl, and soon it should come together and look smooth and pale. 

Add the eggs and part of the flour
Add about a quarter of the beaten egg mixture, and a heaped spoonful of the flour (sifted, if you have a sieve), to the creamed butter & sugar. Mix well using a spoon, then repeat until all the egg is gone.

Add the remaining flour
Once the egg is all gone, you should be left with some flour. Add it all at once, and mix again. Don't overmix! Once you can see that everything has just been incorporated smoothly, you're ready to spoon the batter into your cupcake cases.

Spoon into cases
Fill the cases about halfway, using the teaspoons. Smooth down each cupcake before sticking them in the oven as soon as they're ready. Don't open the oven door whilst they're baking, or they won't rise properly.

The cupcakes need to bake for around 12-15 minutes, but this will depend on your oven. After 12 minutes, take them out to check if they're done - press gently on the top of one of them; if it springs back, they're ready. Take them out and leave them to cool. You could dig right in but you might burn your mouth.

And here's a sneak peek at how these were decorated...

Simple Cupcakes
2 eggs
Weight of eggs in: self-raising flour, caster sugar and softened butter/margarine
Optional: 1tsp vanilla essence
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C
  2. Beat the eggs (with the vanilla essence, if using)
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar
  4. Add the egg /flour to the butter/sugar in small amounts, mixing after each addition
  5. Add the rest of the flour all at once, and mix to just combine – do not overmix
  6. Spoon into cases and bake for 12-15 minutes
Recipe from: Busy Little Cook, by Judy Bastyra

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