Attention: Kitchen Experimentation AlertWell, no not really, but I am posting about some Cranberry and White Chocolate cupcakes I made yesterday :) I bought a packet of dried cranberries a while ago and have been dying to use them with white chocolate. Fortunately, I passed by ASDA the other day and managed to pick up a small packet for way less than £1. I'm all set now, I thought at about 8pm last night, time to make my cupcakes!
Normally, I'd go to allrecipes.com and find a recipe to follow that'shad about 500+ five star ratings (my assumption is that the more ratings there are, the more approved and workable the recipe is! I have yet to be proven otherwise :P). However, I chose to use a recipe book, called Annie Bell's Baking Bible. I have around 10+ recipe books in my house, where more than 60% are from charity shops (for less than £2!!!), and I have a habit of not using them a heck lot; I tend to flip through the book and simply pay attention to the nice pictures or illustrations only (but hey! Don't we all?). Anyway, even though I used the vanilla cupcake recipe from the book, I still altered it; the book suggested using icing sugar, I chose to use cranberry and white chocolate chips. There's no point in following a recipe completely unless you're learning how to make the item for the first time. As long as you have a good understanding of how to create the product in general, you can alter and change the recipe however you want to create some absolutely AMAZING results.
|Butter's still in the fridge xD nevertheless, let the fun begin!|
The list (Bell, 2012: 108)
- 1 Egg
- 55g flour
- 55g caster sugar
- 55g unsalted butter, diced
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 vanilla extract
- 6-7 cupcake containers
- 1 cupcake tray (enough for a dozen)
- 1 cupcake container full/ dried cranberry pieces
- 1/2 cupcake container full/ white chocolate chips
Bell's book states to preheat the oven to 180°C (fan) and then to place the cupcake containers into the tray. She then says to place all ingredients into a food processor to mix (Bell, 2012: 108). Now, I don't have a food processor but I found using a whisk and some elbow grease work more than fine. You wanna get it so that it is light and fluffy; any lumps should be beaten until they disappear. I doubt that that'll be an issue in general anyway due to the small amount of flour. If you do use a whisk like I did, remember to whisk it until the diced butter pieces have thoroughly combined with the mixture - if you don't, you risk an uneven bake with some cupcakes being more oily than others.
|Nice and fluffy - the power of whisking and |
|Finishing touches - dried cranberry pieces and white chocolate chips!|
Once you've mixed everything together and are satisfy with the quality of your mix, pour the mixture into the cupcake containers, ensuring that there is an even amount in each. I started off with thinking that I needed 7 containers but I only ended up using 6. Don't be afraid to change the recipe as you go - had I tried to make 7 by putting a smaller amount of mixture in each container, I probably wouldn't have had such a nice rise and size. Also, I find using a rubber spatula helps to ensure that you get pretty much all your mixture into the cupcake containers - it's important not to waste in my opinion, especially since you've worked so hard on making the mixture in the first place! Put it in the oven to cook for 17-20 minutes. As I had been cooking my dinner beforehand, my oven was set at a higher temperature than Bell asked for, so I only had to bake my cupcakes for 12-13 minutes (and yes they were fine! The old tooth-pick in cupcake trick told me so :)
|Mixture into the containers and ready to go...|
|Time for tea :-)|
|...into the oven :)|
By the time I finished my dinner, the house smelt of freshly baked cupcakes. Obviously I needed to have a taste of it but I thought I'd take a couple of pictures before I did. They tasted FANTASTIC. Really light and fluffy. I thought It would be overly sweet because I hadn't put any salt in the mix at all but it didn't need it - it was just right for me. I guess if I'd followed the original recipe it may have been to sweet for me had I made the icing to go on top of it as well. My only criticism to the recipe was the amount of butter - a bit too much for me. It was quite oily when I took it out and I've tried other recipes that can give you the exact same cupcakey texture using a much smaller content of butter. Nevertheless, definitely a good use of time at night and a great way to end the day :)