Monday, August 06, 2007

Joie De Vivre

As in life is good! fun! joyful! A sure pick-upper for the gloomiest: butter cake scented with vanilla, iced with (more!) vanilla marshmallow and sprinkled with happy little candy flowers. I revere in the honesty of the perfume it emits: butter, sugar, vanilla. I especially like cupcake icings to have that pointy look with a gentle curve, which is illustrative of finishing with a flourish.

Buttery Cupcakes

1 C unsalted butter
2 C granulated sugar
1 t vanilla
4 large eggs

2 1/2 C sifted all purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt

1 C fresh whole milk or buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners, you will need about 24 prepared holes.
2. Using the paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar and vanilla on low speed until crumbly 2 minutes; switch to medium speed and beat for 8 minutes, mixture will be fluffy and light in color. Add eggs one at time, beating for 30 seconds each. Scrape the side of the bowl whenever necessary.
3. Meanwhile, sift the dry ingredients together and set aside. Scrape the bowl, switch to the lowest speed and add the dry ingredients 1/3 cup at a time, alternating with milk. Start and end with the dry ingredients. Scrape the bottom of the bowl, make sure no stray flour or unmixed butter remains.
4. Deposit on prepared muffin pan; scoop with a tablespoon or 1/4 cup. Bake for 20-25 minutes, top will be firm and springy. Let cool.

These are especially good right out of the oven when it's softest! But note that flavor develops more upon standing, perfecting overall taste. And although I couldn't say as much when they're in room temp, butter cakes have a respectfully long shelf life, longer than unpreserved breads even. For some reason-- copious amounts of fat perhaps-- refrigeration does not speed up its retrogradation (breaking down of starch that results to staling), as it does breads.

And oh, this may also be baked into a sheet cake (9x13 is perfect) and cut up to make trifle! Superb with custard and cream! I always enjoy them best that way.


Jaja said...

Hi! been following your blog for a while now. I tried this recipe last weekend and it was a hit. Thanks for sharing! =)

Just Desserts said...

you're welcome jaja! have fun with it!