Two weeks ago I had my nephews over to stay for the weekend. I find it pretty difficult to relate to boy children. I'm a girly girl and I don't like sports, shooting, racing, rough play, teasing, silly buggers and all the stuff little boys seem to like. Luckily I have discovered that baking seems to be the universal leveler and without exception I do not know any child without a sweet tooth. So, cup cakes it was!
We walked down to the store to buy ingredients. Basic stuff - castor sugar, vanilla essence, cup cake papers. Who would have known that the cup cake phenomenon has not hit the french main stream yet! There were no cup cake papers to be bought. Luckily I found these little box things which worked fantastically, especially since I was baking with boys. Brown paper boxes just would not have cut it with my nieces. But for the boys these were perfect!
The next hurdle was mini sweets. I like decorating cup cakes not with hard tasteless balls and sprinkles but with mini sweets, easily available in all manner of shapes, colours and flavours in South Africa. This led to me getting suckered into buying a massive tub of sweets which seemed to be the only source of smallish colourful ones available in the entire isle.
Needless to say, the exercise ended up being a roaring success. So much so that all the cupcakes were devoured that night and we had to bake some more in a hurry the next morning as a mother's day gift (the French mother's day) for the boys mom.
I ended up going with the family to a trout lake in the hills behind Antibes for some fishing and a picnic that day. Even though the fish weren't biting the scenery and the picnic were a joy!
Vanilla cup cakes
Makes about 8 medium cup cakes
125g of butter (room temperature)
½ a cup of castor sugar
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp whole milk
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 tsp of baking powder
1 cup of cake flour (sifted)
1 pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 180C˚ and place the rack in the middle of the oven.
With a cake mixer, blend together the butter and castor sugar until light and creamy. Add to this the eggs, vanilla and milk and blend to combine. Add the cake flour, baking powder and salt and blend until smooth.
Place your cup cake papers into the holes of a muffin tin. Spoon the mixture into the cup cake moulds until ¾ full. Flatten the mixture with the back of spoon.
Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until golden and springy. Allow them to cool before decorating.
I like to use nutella or caramel to ice my cupcakes and then decorate them with mini sweets.