Next Sunday is my first birthday. One year of blogging… well, you know what they say, time flies when you are having fun; and that’s exactly how this last year went by.
Today’s recipe is the first of a series to celebrate Blue Jellybeans first birthday. I’m planning on sweet treats, but maybe something salty comes along too… who knows.
I’m trying to improve my technique with the decoration of cupcakes, muffins and cookies. I found an amazing page the other day with so many ideas and techniques; here’s one of them. Mine are not as pretty as hers, but this was my first attempt. Let’s see what happens on day 2 tomorrow.
I followed the recipe for vanilla cupcakes from my beloved Joy of baking and the recipe for the Italian meringue buttercream from Cake journal, the mango was my personal touch, I hope you like it.
Ingredients½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature 2/3 cup (130 grams) granulated white sugar 3 large eggs 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract Zest of 1 large lemon (outer yellow skin) 1 ½ cup (195 grams) all-purpose flour 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ cup (60 ml) milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl whisk together the lemon zest, flour, baking powder, and salt.
With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for about 17 – 20 minutes or just until set and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. (Always check a few minutes before the stated baking time. Do not over bake or the cupcakes will be dry.) Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost with icing. Cupcakes are best eaten the same day they are made, but they can be covered and stored for a few days.
Italian meringue buttercream (IMBC)
Makes 8 cups½ cup of cold water (120ml) 2 ¼ cups of caster sugar (530ml / 430gr) 1 cup of egg whites (7) 1 ½ pound of soft unsalted butter (680gr) 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
First set the timer on 7 minutes and pour the egg whites into the kitchen mixer with whisk attachment.
Place sugar and water in a casserole and bring it to the boil and start the timer. Boil it on medium high temperature.
When the sugar syrup has been boiling for 5 minutes. Start the kitchen mixer on full speed and whisk the egg whites for the last 2 minutes. When the timer is up the sugar syrup is done. With the mixer still going on high speed slowly pour the hot syrup down the side of the mixing bowl. Discard any leftover syrup in the casserole. Be very careful not to get burned on the hot syrup.
When all sugar syrup has been added it should look thick and fluffy. Stop the mixer and change for the paddle attachment. To avoid meringue splatter all over your kitchen place a clean tea towel over the mixer. Set the timer on 10 minutes and beat on high speed. Until the mixing bowl is cool to the touch.
After 10 minutes. You should now have a lovely thick meringue (luckily. If not, keep beating!).
Now it’s time to add the butter. Start the mixer on high speed. Add dices of butter to the meringue. When all the butter has been added it won’t take long for mixture to turn into a nice, thick and smooth buttercream. When that happens slow down the mixer and add 1 tsp. of vanilla extract. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl and start again. Do this twice. You should now have a bowl full of lovely Italian meringue buttercream.
Note: If the IMBC won’t combine just continue to whipping. It will eventually get smooth. If you are still having problems, put the whole bowl with paddle attachment into the fridge and let it “cool” down a bit and then whip it again.
Mango flavor:¼ cup of mango puree for every 2 cups of IMBC.
Simply add the mango to the IMBC, beat until well combined and cover with it the cupcakes.Enjoy!