Friday, April 13, 2007

My Magnolia Fairy Cake

I was again inspired by the lovely pictures of Nigella's Fairy Cakes in her book and I decided to make them for a childhood friend's birthday dinner tonight. As a doctor, the birthday girl regularly reminds me to lose weight so I decided to cut down on the sugar in the cupcake recipe because the icing on top would more than make up for it.

I tried Nigella's cupcake recipe last night and it was a disaster. After I compared it with the cupcake recipe that I have adapted from Magnolia Bakery, I realised that Nigella's recipe had 1/2 tsp more baking powder and a lot less milk. They had a beautiful mushrooming dome in the oven which promptly fell flat and even sunk when cooled.

Anyway, here's the version I usually rely on. It makes a little more than the usual 12 but I find this helpful just in case a couple of them turn out less than perfect (as in the case today) or it leaves me with 2 more to eat or give away. The recipe can also be easily doubled if I'm baking for a party.

Vanilla Cupcakes
makes 14 cupcakes

1 cup or 125g butter
3/4 cup or 150g sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups or 150g flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract ( just a tad less of you want a milder vanilla flavour)

Preheat the oven at 350F. Cream butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs then sifted flour, baking powder and salt. Finally, mix in the milk and vanilla extract. Scoop into cupcake liners, half full to leave room for the icing.
Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
The cupcakes will shrink a little after cooling.

I had also read in a blog somewhere that icing could be made without egg whites, using just lemon juice or milk to bind the icing sugar. So it was experiment time again. I started small and made 3 batches of the following recipe to ice all the cupcakes I made.

Easy Icing
makes enough to cover 4-5 cupcakes

1 cup icing sugar, sifted
2 tbs milk or lemon juice
colouring or flavouring of choice

Combine all the ingredients just before icing and work fast because a 'skin' forms over the icing surface quite quickly. Decorate with lay ons or sprinkles.

The next time I try this, I will make a more flavourful icing. Maybe with rose or lavender...

1 comment:

Helene said...

I keep hearing a lot that Nigella's recipes for baking don't work that great, maybe because of the metric conversions.
You ended up with great looking cupcakes nevertheless. Nice job!