The third posting from the Naming Day party – cupcakes!
I had made a chocolate cake for the afternoon, but I knew that it would be asking a lot of the children there to wait until the adults were ready. How to solve this? A tray of cupcakes. I used the recipe from the Magnolia Bakery (so ubiquitous that I haven’t reproduced it here, but see here). I did make one small tweak though – American cupcakes tend to be softer and moister due to using oil rather than butter (even if Magnolia’s are all-butter affairs). But as oil-based cakes are normally not very appealing to a British palate, I used four-fifths butter to one-fifth sunflower oil, and it yielded a good result.
I also split the mix, and made some vanilla cupcakes, and added 150g of chopped milk and plain chocolate to the rest of the batter for chocolate chip. I topped the vanilla cupcakes with yellow or pink butter frosting and covered in sprinkles, and covered the chocolate chip cakes with chocolate frosting and added some bling with silver balls.
For the butter frosting, I’ve tried Magnolia’s before but I find it way too sweet. This probably has something to do with the high volume of milk in their recipe which seems to mop up sugar, so I cut down on the milk and also held back on the icing sugar – just adding enough so that it holds and doesn’t split. The result was great.
Magnolia’s chocolate frosting was superb. The recipe uses melted chocolate folded into butter frosting. When I’ve tried this before, I’ve used normal buttercream as the base, which was great at first but the mixture always set very hard. It turns out that the trick is to fold the chocolate into a buttercream with more butter and less sugar (so it is softer to start with). The result spreads like icing, holds perfectly, but has a light, mousse-like texture on top of the cake. Yum!
And did my target audience like them? Everything went, and was scoffed in silence. I take that as a big thumbs up.