Saturday, December 19, 2009

Bite-Size Vanilla Cupcakes with Cream Cheese & Coconut Frosting

Bite Size Vanilla Cupcakes
Yields 24 mini cupcakes

This recipe is identical to Nigella Lawson's recipe for Fairy Cakes, and could not be simpler as the batter is made in the food processor.

Preheat oven to 375* (F)

24 cup mini-cupcake pan, with mini-baking cups placed in each cup
OR for regular size cupcakes:
12-cup muffin pan lined with 12 paper baking cups

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup superfine sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup self-rising cake flour (or 3/4 cup all-purpose flour with a scant 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder sifted in)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 Tablespoons milk or cream

Place all ingredients except milk into food processor bowl. Process until smooth. Add the milk or cream and pulse until soft consistency is reached; soft enough to drop from a spoon.

This amount looks very sparse, but it will be enough to fill each cup. Fill each cup equally. I use a very small food portion scoop to make the job easier.

Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cupcakes are baked and golden on top, a toothpick inserted in the center should reveal moist crumbs.
When baked, remove from oven, allow to cool a few minutes in the pan, then remove from pan and cool completely on a cake rack.

Sometimes this recipe tends to produce mounded peaks, you can either frost over the mound or trim flat with a small, serrated knife, then decorate.


Cream Cheese Frosting

I use Ina Garten's recipe for Cream Cheese frosting for these cupcakes, but I divide her recipe in half. The proportions for half a recipe are as follows:

Note: This will make plenty of frosting. I frost very generously but always have some frosting left over. It can be refrigerated for several days.

8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
1 1/2 sticks butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
3/4 pounds (12 ounces) confectioners' sugar, sifted
Sweetened, moist shredded coconut to finish

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.

Frost cupcakes, then sprinkle generously with the coconut.

For the leaves I used tiny organic mint leaves, the "berries" are 'Red Hots' (tm) , cinnamon candies.

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