And by that, I mean, the pictures.
I figure everybody I know is going to get a poorly decorated cupcake until I figure out how to do a neater job. I suppose that’s part of what it means to practice. You make lots of cupcakes and the people around you gain thirty to forty pounds. I was in a hurry on this picture, so I took it with my phone, through the plastic window on the cake box. I thought I should document them for my own sake, though.
I can’t go by a recipe. I don’t know why that is. Even my own, the next time I make it, it’s entirely different. That’s why I made this recipe once with the outcome being a dozen cupcakes, then doubled it and got three dozen cupcakes. I also write recipes a little oddly. I tend to scan recipes, thinking I know what’s coming up, and then realize that I’m elbow-deep in some massive undertaking and now I have to get something out of the refrigerator, and inevitably, it’s in the back. I suggest you go ahead and read through my wordy description, just in case, and then venture forth.
I’m also sort of writing this for people who haven’t done it before. So!
1 cup sifted cake flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
10 room temperature egg whites
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice (Cream of tarter is suggested, but I’m generally out of it.)
Vanilla (I go by taste on this, and I usually want a lot.)
1 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare your cupcake pans with liners.
Sift together the flour and 1/2 cup of sugar in a small, easy to handle bowl. It’s important that you do this prior to getting started with the eggs for a number of reasons. One, so you don’t have to do it and let your egg whites sit. Two, because you’re about to be covered in egg whites if you’re anything like me. Just do it now.
It’s important here to make sure that whatever you’re using for your eggs is completely free of grease or oil. Anything greasy will cause them not to mix up properly and you’ll never get them the way they should be.
Have your lemon juice, vanilla, salt, and the rest of your sugar ready. This is all back to the covered-in-egg-whites theory. Beat the egg whites until they’re just a little foamy. (If you have a stand mixer for this, hurray! I, however, have a hand mixer. Anybody who does this with a wisk is both a little insane and my hero.) Add the lemon juice and salt, then start to gradually add the sugar. Now, settle in. You’re going to be mixing this on high for a while. When you’re done, you’re going to have a huge bowl of fluffy egg whites. If you pull the mixer out, it’s going to leave a stiff peak. If it doesn’t, continue mixing. When you finally reach the desired fluffiness, add vanilla and mix well.
I’m a big sucker for a wooden spoon, so that’s what I use to gently fold in small amounts of the flour and sugar. You don’t have to really mix this in well. As little as you can stir, the better off you’ll be, really. Just make sure it’s in there.
I’ve recently been told to use an ice cream scoop (the one with the switch on it to push the ice cream out) for filling cupcake pans. It’s a good plan, but the one I have is a little large. You just want to fill the cups until just under the top of the liner and then push the batter around until it’s even.
Bake them for about 16 – 18 minutes. The tops will be a toasty tan and they will bounce back when you poke at them.
1 package of cream cheese – softened
1 pint of raspberries (fresh) If you use frozen, be sure to thaw them prior to putting them in the filling or you’ll have all sorts of mess.
2 tsps lemon juice
2 tsps vanilla
1/4 or less granulated sugar (This will depend on your raspberries, so do this to taste as well.)
Mix all this together. Easy, right? Yeah, just wait. Now you need to put it in a frosting bag and let it chill for a bit. Put the tip in first!
When the cupcakes have cooled(which doesn’t take long at all), all you’ll have to do is pipe the filling into the cupcakes. They won’t be as delicate as you’d think they would be.
I frost mine with homemade whipped cream, because just about anything else would be too heavy.
That’s just a cup of whipping cream, 1/4 sugar and a tsp of vanilla whipped until it can stand on its own. I usually pipe that on too, but smearing works just as well.