I like people, and my friends and family will tell you I love talking so much so that I occasionally forget that I need to listen too. Yet one thing I’m terrible at, and do not enjoy, is networking of any sort. I would rather keep quite than say things I do not mean and find it very difficult to make empty talk for the sake of socializing. So it’s not surprising that I’m not very active on social networking sites.
I only signed up for Facebook because a large part of my family are on it and they all said that being there meant it would be easier to stay connected. Frankly speaking, I still don’t get it. If I wanted to say anything to any one of them, I would rather talk to them on the phone or send them a mail!
Maybe there are some new tricks that are difficult for an old dog to learn!!
I joined Twitter at Shaheen’s suggestion, and have finally got the hang of it. Funnily enough, despite my misgivings about joining such a site, I have to say I thoroughly enjoy it now. It is surprising how much one can say in 140 characters! Of course, I don’t consider “tweeting” to be “networking” but if it is, then I’m guilty of it now.
Twitter has ensured that I have made lots of good friends and I’ve found conversations there can be the beginning of many things, small and big.
So it happened that last week, I mentioned to Shellyfish (that’s not her real name) that I had baked some chocolate cupcakes. That made her want to bake some too, and before long, we had decided to celebrate a “Cupcake Wednesday” by baking some cupcakes this week. So this past Wednesday she baked some yummy Buttery Vanilla Cupcakes With Speculoos Icing for her daughter’s friends while I baked some for us at home here.
It was just a couple of weeks back that I saw these “Churros cupcakes filled with dulche de leche and topped with vanilla frosting" in Dessertsmag. Churros are a sort of Spanish doughnut, deep fried dough coated with cinnamon sugar, and who doesn’t like doughnuts?
I had been planning to make them and decided to do them this last Wednesday. I halved the original recipe, reduced the butter a bit, used only 1 egg, and also reduced the butter a bit in the frosting.
The other thing I did was to leave out the dulche leche altogether. Both the frosting and the cake seem to have been adjusted sugar-wise to make allowances for the sweet dulche de leche in the original recipe. This meant that my frosted cupcakes turned out to be just the right amount of sweet and not too much butter, either.
While this frosting recipe uses egg whites, they’re cooked so this recipe is safe.
Here’s my adapted non-dulche de leche version.
1 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted and then measured
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp powdered cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
100 gm butter, softened
3/4 cup demerara (or light brown) sugar, packed
1 egg, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cups milk, at room temperature
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter, cinnamon and sugar till light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well.
Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions of milk. Beat after each addition, just enough to combine the ingredients and do not overmix. After all the additions, beat for just one minute.
Divide the batter equally between 8 to 10 paper lined cupcake tins (depending on the size of your tins) so that each one is 2/3rds full.
Bake the cupcakes at 180C for 20 to 25 minutes till done or a skewer inserted in them comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes and then turn out and cool completely. Frost the cupcakes with the vanilla frosting given below.
This recipe makes 8 to 10 cupcakes.
2 egg whites
1/4 cup fine granulated sugar
pinch of salt
75 gm butter, cut into cubes, softened
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Put the egg whites, sugar and salt in a heat-proof bowl. Place this bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
Constantly, whisk the mixture by hand till the sugar has dissolved and the temperature on an instant thermometer reads 70C (160F).
I don’t have a thermometer, and dipped my finger into the mixture to gauge how hot it was!
Remove the bowl from the heat, and using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites on high speed till they’re glossy and fluffy and the bottom of the bowl feels cool to touch.
Turn down the speed to medium and add the butter, 2 tbsps at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add all the butter this way and the vanilla and beat on high speed till smooth. This frosting can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 3 days if necessary. Just beat it again till smooth.
The minute these cupcakes were baking, my daughter wanted to know what “that heavenly” smell was! And they were so good that the last cupcake was fought over!!
These cinnamon cupcakes are very soft and light in texture, and I’m making them again, for sure. If you’re looking for cupcakes and frosting that’s not too sweet, give these cupcakes a chance.
As for the wonderful chocolate cupcakes I baked the week before, I shall post them soon.
P.S. My cookbook giveaway is open till the 20th of this month. Have you entered yet?