If you do pop over to sugar and crumbs, don't forget to say Hi and let them know I sent you.
Step TwoUsing the "K" beater, mix on a slow speed until the mixture becomes crumby.
The "just wet" mix will probably look a bit lumpy, turn your mixer to a higher speed for a 20 or 30 seconds or so, to smooth out the cake batter and get rid of those lumps. Don't mix for too long though, or you will over work the flour and your cupcakes won't be nice and light and fluffy.
Divide the batter between your cupcake cases. I like to use an ice cream scoop to get them all the same size. This scoop is a size 16, which means if you have a litre of ice cream, you would get 16 scoops out of your litre. Next time I make these, I might put more mixture in each baking case, the size 16 was perfect for the flat fondant topped cupcakes, a little more would have been good for the butter cream swirl cupcakes.
Step SevenPut them in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. When cooked they will be a lovely soft brown colour and spring back when touched lightly on top.
Butter Cream IcingNow to the star of the show, this lovely icing sugar from Sugar and Crumbs. As soon as you carefully open the bag, you know you have something special here, this icing sugar is so fine that billowy clouds escape as soon as you have a tiny peek and then you are surrounded with the amazing scent of coconut with a little citrusy spike of lime.
You don't need a recipe, as such, for a traditional English Butter cream, it is made from equal quantities, measured by weight, of butter and icing (powdered / confectioners) sugar. 250g or 8 ounces of both will give you enough butter cream to pipe swirls on about 12 cupcakes. I live in Gloucestershire, England and the butter here is a gorgeous country yellow. For these cupcakes, I wanted a paler icing, to match the baking cases and also to complement the citrus shades of the decorations I was using, so, I used a mix of half butter and half vegetable fat (Trex / Crisco).
MethodYou need to make sure the butter is really soft before you start. You can soften butter by leaving it at room temperature for a couple of ideas, or microwave it on low power. Once softened, put the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer, with the "K" beater attached and give it a good beat round for a couple of minutes before you start. This is just to make sure it is soft and get it all nice and smooth. You need to sift the icing sugar, to make butter cream, if you don't, any lumps, not only spoil the texture of the butter cream, but, may also get stuck in your piping nozzle / tip later.
I know, you don't need to see pictures of how to sift icing sugar, but, I wanted you to see how fine this icing sugar is.
Just a couple of taps and most of this icing sugar has fallen through the sieve already.
I don't know about you, but, the brand of icing sugar I normally buy has quite a few lumps and I have to work most of it through a sieve with a spoon. Not only is this inconvenient and time consuming, but, it can also be responsible for that grainy texture, you sometimes get with butter cream. Not so with this one from sugar and crumbs, after a few more shakes and taps, there were only these few small lumps in my pack. Practically nothing.
Sift in about half of the icing sugar, then cover your mixer with something, a tea towel usually works well and start mixing, on slow speed until the sugar is incorporated and the clouds of icing sugar have settled down. Then speed up and beat on high speed for a couple of minutes. Repeat with the other half of the icing sugar. Lift your beater and have a look.
Call back soon if you would like to see how these cupcakes were decorated and find out what I do with the other samples from Sugar and Crumbs.