I am gearing up for real life…and am a little bit in denial right now. I feel like when my alarm goes off tomorrow, it will feel like I am participating in the Polar Bear Plunge. Nothing like a good wake up call for the new year.
I am embarrassed to say that I am finally getting around to posting the cupcakes I made for my younger daughter’s birthday party this year. If you remember, she requested these for her actual birthday – making sure that they had nothing to do with any type of Thanksgiving dessert. But she wanted something pretty mainstream for her party - but boy were they delicious.
This week was my birthday – I am not sure when, but at some point, I really stopped looking forward to my birthday. Once you have kids – your birthday is really just an excuse for them to pick out a cake for you. So this year I decided to do something a little different. The girls were still off from school – and I was not back at work yet. As you can tell – I am pretty into food – particularly baked goods – and I do a lot of reading about the hottest new bakeries in the city. Unfortunately I don’t get a lot of time to visit them – and most of the time I would rather make my own treats. Except on my birthday. In the past I have been known to make my own cake – but this year I came up with a better plan. I decided we would visit four local bakeries that we had not been to – sample some stuff while we were there, then bring home goodies for later.
Here was the list:
They were all outstanding in different ways. Holy Cannoli had some delicious Stromboli’s – we thoroughly enjoyed them. The cannoli’s were pretty darn good as well. Fuji Bakery was like a cross between a Japanese and French bakery – we had a great bacon roll but their cinnamon bun was the winner. At Crumble and Flake, they didn’t have a ton of selection, but the pain of chocolate took me right back to Paris – completely authentic. Last but not least was Bakery Nouveau – where we sampled some of their pizza’s and I had a veggie sandwich. Their baked goods looked outstanding, but I needed some healthy food at that point. I will definitely be back.
So there you have it – what a great day. Now I leave you with my baked goods. I found the Vanilla Cupcakes on the blog SugarCooking – which I only changed slightly. The recipe actually was adapted from “Baking: From my Home to Yours” – by Dorie Greenspan. The frosting, well I used my favorite Marshmallow Frosting, and they made a perfect pair.
- 2 ¼ cups cake flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ cups whole milk or buttermilk
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Center a rack in the oven and pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.
Beat together the butter and sugar at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light. Beat in the extract, then add one-third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients. Finally, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and will aerated.
Fill each cupcake 3/4 full. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until the cupcakes are well risen and springy to the touch- a thin knife inserted into the centers should come out clean. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool.
To make the frosting, bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Combine the egg whites, sugar, corn syrup, water, and cream of tartar in a large bowl. Set the bowl over the simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
With an electric mixer on high-speed, beat the mixture, still over the simmering water, until thick and fluffy, about 7 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract. Serve this the day it is made as it becomes granular if it sits.
For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: Vanilla Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting