I get a tad defensive when someone starts referring to a person as ‘Vanilla’. Meaning to say, that she or he is boring, plain, yawn, nothing out of the ordinary. I just don’t see how ‘Vanilla’ is related to the description.
Vanilla is ANYTHING but boring. It is delicious – (dare i say) even better than chocolate (oo, i’m so daring lol) . It can even be used to perfume chocolate. Chocolate itself is highly regarded as the CREME DE LA CREME of desserts. Adding vanilla to chocolate elevates it to a heavenly level. Vanilla is not boring.It’s Angelic! Vanilla is like the spice girl the spice girls never had. Pour moi, Vanilla is EVERYTHING in the baking world.
Anyway, i haven’t made any new friends since i last posted. The few that i had went away for summer holidays and i’ve been filling up my time with gym, food , random Snapchat updates and ofcourse, netflix. Out of my boredom i have also managed to “come up” with a vanilla cupcake recipe that i can be happy with for now.
Despite being one of my most fav things in this whole wide world, Cupcakes are still my nemesis. I’ve never been able to master the technique of making them. My first go at them was 6 years ago and i had used Magnolia’s recipe for Vanilla cupcakes. They had turned out hard and inedible. I may as well have been frosting Baulu. Fast forward to 2015, I had a craving for Red Velvet a few weeks back and attempted baking them – also failing miserably. Following this, i concluded that one should never to follow a cupcake recipe that calls for OIL. Even if it claims to produce the most-dense-moist-rich-cupcake- in the universe DO NOT GO ANYWHERE NEAR IT and don’t say i didn’t warn you. I really have no fucking idea what magical cupcake world these bakers live in, but it certainly NEVER works in the real world. Tried, tested and failed.
Anyway, even after all the trouble, I still haven’t given up hope in finding and making the perfect Vanilla cupcake recipe. Desperate, I decided to follow this video to a T.
No. the lady is not ‘Joy’ from Joy of Baking. lol. I’ve always thought ‘Joy of Baking’ was a book named after a person called’Joy’..but it’s really not. Turns out, it is what it is.
It seemed easy enough, it uses simple ingredients and instructions weren’t as complicated as some that i have seen which requires ‘egg whites’ to be ‘folded in meticulously’ in to the batter. So complicated and unnecessary, that the recipe may as well have read ‘masukkan tia puteh talor atu dalam ani, menggaul tah kau mcm gila bayi, inda jua mau jadi’.
The cupcakes were almost a success. The frosting recipe is full proof, but the cupcakes came out dry at 177 degrees Celsius with cracked tops that looked like my chapped ‘transition weather’ lips. I then decided to test bake them at three different temperatures: 160 , 165 and 170 degrees and as i had expected, 160 is the optimum heat for MY oven. I guess it depends from kitchen to kitchen, oven to oven, a recipe can be the same but the results may vary. In the second time around, I substituted the milk with butter milk, decreased amount of flour,and added more butter to the batter, overall increasing the fat content to achieve a denser, richer, moister cupcake.And voila! my perseverance paid off.
The tweaking produced a cupcake that i can be finally happy with: sort of fluffy, sort of dense, sort of moist. But it could also have been: less sweet (the icing), more vanilla-ey…….i think that’s it. There’s definitely still room for improvement but i was just happy at the fact that they actually looked like cupcakes! for the first time in my life! i made cupcakes! lol. I don’t know if i’m in the position to give tips, but based on my experience, i think i will anyway:
So far, the secret to Vanilla cupcakes are:
1. Dont over mix the batter. Once the flour is in, treat it like you’re pulling out strands of hair tangled to a hairbrush. Untangling it too quickly might just hurt.
2. No OVEN is the same. Play around with oven temp.
3. SIFT THE ICING SUGAR to yield frosting that would be smooth as freshly powdered baby’s bottom.
4. Make sure you know what ROOM TEMPERATURE BUTTER looks like. Youtube this. (tres important!)
I’m exhausted just writing this entry! If only baking was a piece of cake. It’s not, and you will only get better with time and a lot of patience. Much like life itself. Alternatively, to save you the trouble, you can just buy a cupcake. Money is the solution to everything.
Anyway, i’m going to go and have a bagel for lunch now. bcos im a hey fatty bom bom, sweet sugar vanilla cupcake.