Saturday, 6 April 2013

Charity Cake Sale for Childreach International

In its starring role in an episode of Sex and the City, Magnolia’s Bakery, Greenwich Village, New York, sparked the international cupcake craze.  This edible piece of transient art provides a feast for both the eyes and the mouth.  Having tried and tested numerous recipes the Hummingbird Bakery Cook Book is undeniably the best.  My personal copy is now lathered in stale cake mixture and sticky fingers.  This basic vanilla sponge is as light as air and relatively low fat as far as cakes go (minus the icing).

Makes 12 

- 120g plain flour 
-140g caster sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
a pinch of salt 
- 40g unsalted butter, at room temperature 
- 120ml whole milk
- 1 egg 
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 

- 250g icing sugar 
- 80g unsalted butter, at room temperature 
- 25ml whole milk 
- a couple of drops of vanilla extract 


1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC. 
2. Beat the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter together with an electric whisk until you get a sandy consistency and it is well combined. 
3. Gradually pour in half the milk and beat until fully incorporated.
4. Mix the the egg, vanilla extract and remaining milk in a separate bowl then pour into the flour mixture and beat for a couple of minutes until the mixture is smooth. 
5. Spoon the mixture into paper cases until two thirds full and bake in a preheated oven for 20-25 minute, or until lightly golden and the sponge bounces back when touched.  A skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean.  
6. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.  
7. Meanwhile beat the icing sugar and butter together with an electric whisk until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.  Turning the whisk down to a slow speed gradually pouring in the milk and vanilla extract. 
8. Once the mixture is well incorporated turn the whisk up to a high speed and beat until light and fluffy for approximately 5 minutes.  The longer the icing is beaten the lighter and fluffier it becomes.  
9. Spoon or pipe the vanilla icing on top of the cooled cakes and decorate to your taste.   

Gluten and Lactose Free Mini Victoria Sponges

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