I have just recently become acquainted with Instagram. It’s a great little app for posting pretty pictures of scenery, cute and funny animal pictures, lovely scenic photos of amazing places on earth and in space, and for those of us obsessed with baking, many many pictures of desserts, cakes and cupcakes, or so I thought.
It seems I missed a page of instructions or am out of the loop, as cake no longer means cake. Or at least not vanilla cake with yummy whipped vanilla frosting and sprinkles!
I had just settled myself onto the couch, cup of tea by my side and tv in the background to look for a moist vanilla cake or cupcakes to turn into pretty pink frosted Valentine Cupcakes. First mistake, using my iPad to search Instagram. Normally I view the images on my phone (small image requiring my glasses to check out the details), second mistake searching for cake (who knew!!). BINGO, large, sharp clear image of naked woman with her lady parts up close and very, very personal. It was an in depth look into areas I’d really rather not have intimate knowledge with. I yelped and shut down the screen. My first thought, OMG, someone’s going to know I am looking at obscene photos..and I will forever be on Big Brothers radar! Then I was like what the hell is wrong with people. I went back to search for my next cake project and there mixed in with the 100 cake pics were probably half a dozen rather obscene photos. Believe me, this was only a cursory look in about a minute, of varying degrees of way too overexposed body parts in various lewd acts…so I’m not sure if cake is now a code word for something I know nothing about. Joe Jonas sings about “Cake by the Ocean” with his band so perhaps cake really does mean something else to some sub-culture or people seem to just be getting cruder and freakier!
I was to afraid of what I’d see when typing “Cupcake” in the search box so I turned my attention to one of my several baking books for today’s cupcakes in honour of Valentine’s.
Nothing obscene here and a warm from the oven cupcake (even though unfrosted…I needed immediate sugar care) managed to help calm me down. (FYI I did report all the inappropriate images.)
Do you think it’s safe to search cookies?!
Today I’m sharing the moist and deliciously dense cupcake recipe from Pure Vanilla by Shauna Sever. There are plenty of flavourful vanilla recipes in this book and I hope to share some more in the future. I had leftover vanilla buttercream in my freezer so I just thawed it and added a bit of raspberry jam and a little raspberry flavouring once it came to room temperature plus gave it a good beating with the electric mixer.
When I made these I only got 11 cupcakes and I used 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract as I had no vanilla bean paste.
Ultimate Vanilla Cupcakes (From Pure Vanilla)
Preheat oven to 350F. Paper line 15 muffin cups.
Sift together in medium bow:
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons cake flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
In bowl of a stand mixer or large bowl if using electric hand mixer beat together until light and creamy:
1/2 cup room temperature, unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
In a measuring cup for easy pouring, whisk together:
1/2 cup sour cream
2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk
Once you have creamed together the butter, sugar and vanilla, turn mixer to medium-low and pour about half of the wet ingredients in, beating until smooth. Reduce mixer to low and stir in half of the flour mixture. Add half again of the wet ingredients and mix until smooth. Repeat with remaining dry and wet ingredients. Turn off beater and scrape down sides of bowl and make sure batter is well mixed.
Fill prepared tins 2/3 full and bake for 22-25 minutes until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool completely and ice with your favourite buttercream or frosting.