Thursday, April 15, 2010

Accidentally Awesome One-Bowl Vanilla Cupcakes

For some reason, I was on a baking roll last week and baked 4 times within 7 days, which never happened before. On Saturday I took a shot at making macarons, and I had leftover ganache, so the next day I decided to make something to use it up. Since I didn't have the greatest success with my macarons (more on that on my next post), I decided to practice my piping using the leftover ganache on some cupcakes. The only easy cupcake recipe I had was Martha Stewart's recipe for one-bowl chocolate cupcakes, but I didn't feel like having more chocolate so I thought I'd do some experimentation and turn them into vanilla ones.

The only kinds of cupcakes I've ever made prior to this have been all chocolatey, so this was new to me. At first I thought it would be as simple as just taking out the cocoa powder out of the recipe, but since the amount was quite crucial to the consistency of the batter, I had to replace it with another dry ingredient, and I chose to use plain old flour. The recipe also calls for buttermilk, but I didn't feel like making some (by adding some vinegar to milk), I used the plain yogurt leftover from making the upside down cake in the previous post. Yogurt works just as well as buttermilk in creating the moist texture of cakes, and I'm glad I used it because the flavour really came through. Since I wanted a strong vanilla flavour, I added more vanilla extract to the batter. I wish I had vanilla beans; I think that would be a nice addition to reinforce the vanilla taste.

As I was mixing the batter, I really wasn't sure how these cupcakes would turn out, although I knew it couldn't be all that bad since I didn't change too many things. Fortunately, what came out of the oven really blew me away! The cupcakes were very moist and had the pleasant smell of yogurt and vanilla, and it was sweeter than I expected even though I used less sugar than what the original recipe calls for. The absence of the overpowering chocolate really let the other ingredients shine.

Since my original intention was to practice piping on these cupcakes, I did just that, and I must say I need to practice a lot more. But regardless of how ugly they may look, they still tasted awesome, and I found the ganache to be a very nice contrast against the plain vanilla flavour of the cupcakes. This mistake is definitely a keeper!

Accidentally Awesome One-Bowl Vanilla Cupcakes
adapted from Martha Stewart
makes about 17 cupcakes

Dry ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
scant 1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt

Wet ingredients:
2 large eggs
3/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup plain yogurt
3 tbsp canola (or vegetable) oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.

2. Sift together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add all the wet ingredients, and mix until smooth. Make sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to ensure everything is mixed well.

3. Pour the batter into the muffin tin, filling each liner about 2/3 full. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cupcake comes out clean. Let cool completely on a cooling rack.
Chocolate Ganache
recipe from David Lebovitz

1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tsp light corn syrup (I used Lyle's Golden Syrup)
120 gr chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 tbsp butter, cut into pieces

Heat the cream with the corn syrup in a small saucepan. When the edges of the cream start to boil, turn off the heat and add the chopped chocolate. Stir until smooth, and add the butter. Cool before using.


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