May 19, 2012

Not Enough Time, Too Much Time

Today I finally took an opportunity to bake from my new cupcake baking book: Martha Stewart's Cupcakes. It was a Christmas gift from Big Sista I can't believe I've waited five months to bake from it. 
so excited Christmas morning
I've been perusing the book off and on and have noticed that Martha's cupcakes often ask for cake flour. For some reason, I didn't feel like buying any when I could have easily just purchased some today. This narrowed my options of cupcakes but I finally decided on baking her Brown Sugar Pound Cakes. It was one of her more simple recipes and seemed like a low-key way to test out her book. 

Timing seemed to not be on my side today. While most bloggers would probably not share a failure in the kitchen, I am proudly going to share the dubs I flubbed.  

First, I set my timer to the exact time that was suggested. Normally, I'll check whatever I'm baking a minute or two ahead just in case it's done baking early. I got distracted today and when my timer buzzed, I found myself with some "nicely" browned cupcakes. I immediately worried I made some horribly dry cupcakes. But, I was happy to feel a nice spring after I did my squish test. 

Then, I went on to make a cream cheese frosting to top the cupcakes. It called for room temperature butter and while the butter I set on the counter to get to room temp wasn't quite super soft, I thought it would be good enough for the frosting. Oops, I was wrong. The frosting ended up having lil bits of butter throughout. Chunky frosting=not very pretty. It however, tasted just fine and I added some vanilla extract to add an extra kick to the frosting because it tasted just like buttery cream cheese. 

If only my timing issues were reversed, then I would have had some good cupcakes! The cupcakes ended up having a crusty/crunchy top, which isn't super lovely but they were still moist. It wasn't a total cupcake failure and the end product was a simple, not-too-bad cupcake. 

Brown Sugar Pound Cake from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes
Ingredients:
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup buttermilk
Frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. 
2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk and beating until combined after each. 
3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely.
4. To make frosting: With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat buter, cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth. Use immediately or refrigerate up to 3 days in an airtight container. Bring to room temperature and beat on low speed until smooth before using. 

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