Saturday, 20 September 2008
It's not often that you can say that you need to make cupcakes. It's much more common that you'd want or even fancy making cupcakes but very rarely need. I found myself needing to try out a method of cake making this week as I'm planning on giving away a dry cake mix as part of a present at christmas and wanted to make sure it would work.
The cakes were just a simple sponge recipe (4oz each of sugar, SR flour and butter with 2 eggs and a bit of vanilla extract). I have always made my sponges by creaming the butter and sugar together, adding the vanilla and then the eggs one at a time and then folding in the flour gently. While it doesn't really take a long time, I felt that if I was giving away the mix (really only sugar and flour) then I wanted it to be really simple to make. This is where the all-in-one method comes into play. Basically you chuck all the ingredients in together and, using an electric whisk, blend everything together until smooth. It takes about 5 minutes from start to finish (which can only be a good thing). I was a little worried that the mix would be too thick but it soon smoothed out.
I put quite a lot of mixture into the cake cases because we don't tend to eat a lot of cake between us and I figured the fewer we had, the easier it would be to finish them in good time. It would be very easy to double the mixture if that's what you wanted or just to make smaller cakes. They cooked in the over for about 20 minutes as 175C (my oven is notoriously fussy so it's easier to tell that they are cooked by eye - they should be a pale gold colour and springy to the touch, a cocktail stick inserted into the centre should come out clean).
I also decided to decorate these cakes. We found a package of Mini mini marshmallows (teeny tiny mallows made by Dr. Oetker - don't seem to be able to find a link anywhere) on offer in the supermarket and bought one for us and one for the aforementioned christmas gift so I used those with a simple water icing. I made butterfly buns with buttercream and a 1/4 of a glace cherry each and used the last of the buttercream with some sugar sprinkles.
I was very impressed at how well this method worked out. I thought that it might be a little heavy but the cakes are moist and fluffy with a faint vanilla flavour. The icing was very simple and the marshmallows are soft and quite cute.