Tuesday, January 11, 2011

White and Devil's Food Mini Cakes and Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

White (Mini) Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting, White and Devil's Food Cupcakes
I started taking cakes and cupcakes orders again. It's a "win-win" sitch (gosh, I hate corporate jargons!) -- I get to make cupcakes, which is one of my favorite thing to do in this world, hone my baking, share beautiful food with the world and earn extra money. So when Mar, from Etch and Market -- a contemporary catering team of husband and wife here in Atlanta, a fellow food lover, asked me to make their son's first birthday party cake/cupcakes, I was more than happy to oblige.
If you are on the lookout for a caterer in the Atlanta area, give them a call-- they make sexy and awesome food. I really, really love their mac and cheese, with a nine (9) rating in my M.O. (Mouth Orgasm) Scale.

I decided to make Thomas Keller's White Cupcakes and Devil's Food Cupcakes for the occasion.  I am a big fan of his (see previous blog) and I am forever and ever convinced that anything that has Thomas Keller's name in it is delectable.  Besides,  Bill's birthday is the coming weekend, and he has his eyes and tongue set on Thomas Keller's Devil's Food Cupcake.

Aside from the baking, I had so much fun making the cupcake toppers and flags.  The theme was Rubber Ducky, and the colors are blue and yellow.  While making these cute and fun toppers (took me at least 3 hours to make 48 cupcake toppers),  I keep on breaking into Ernie's Rubber Ducky song, ha-ha-ha!

Devil's Food Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Devil's Food Cupcakes
Recipe from Ad Hoc at Home

1 2/3 cups cake flour

1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup sour cream
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
6 Tbsp melted unsalted butter, cooled

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare your muffin pan with paper liners.  Sift all dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer, place on mixer fitted with paddle attachment.   Mix buttermilk and sour cream. In a separate bowl, combine eggs and butter.  Alternately add sour cream mixture and egg mixture to dry ingredients with the mixer running on medium low just until mixed.  Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake about 20 minutes, turning pan midway through cooking time. The cupcakes are done when a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Remove cupcakes from the tins and cool to room temperature on a cooling rack.  Makes 24-32 cupcakes.

Bill's Birthday Cake 2010 -- Devil's Food Cake
Vanilla and Chocolate Buttercream
Recipe from Ad Hoc at Home

1 3/4 cups plus 2 Tbsp granulated sugar

3/4 cup egg whites (from 5-6 large eggs)
3 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 Tbsp pieces, room temperature
1 Tbsp Vanilla paste or  5 ounces bittersweet chocolate

Bring a saucepan half full of water to a simmer over medium heat. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together sugar and egg whites. Set bowl over simmering water, and whisk constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is hot to the touch. Quickly move bowl to stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment and whip on high until the whites are thick and glossy, and hold stiff peaks and the bowl is cool to the touch (about 10 minutes). Reduce speed to medium and slowly add butter, about 2 or 3 pieces at a time, allowing each addition to become fully homogenized before adding more. Take your time until all butter is incorporated. Check consistency, if it's too thin, beat on medium high speed until it reaches desired thickness.

For vanilla buttercream, add about 1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste and incorporate on low speed.

For chocolate buttercream, add about 5 ounces of melted, cooled 64% chocolate into the finished frosting.

White Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
White Cupcakes
Recipe from Ad Hoc at Home

3 cups of all purpose flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
3/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter cut into 12 pieces, room temperature
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups whole milk
3/4 cup of egg whites (about 6 large eggs), at room temperature

Preheat oven to 180°C or 350°F. Line 24 cup cake cups with paper liners.  Sift together the flour and the baking powder into a bowl. Stir in the salt. Set aside.

In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter and 1 1/2 cups of sugar at medium speed to combine. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat, scraping down the sides as necessary, until mixture is pale and thick, about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla, then add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with the milk in 2 additions. The batter will be thick. Transfer to a large bowl.

Put the egg whites in the clean mixer bowl and whisk on medium speed until the whites begin to foam. Increase the speed to medium high and slowly add in the remaining sugar, then beat on high speed until the meringue is thick and glossy and holds almost stiff peaks. Fold one-third of the whites into the batter to lighten it, then fold in the remaining whites.

Use a 1/3 cup dry measuring cup to scoop up the batter, then smooth the top and scrape the batter into one of the 24 lined cups. Repeat with remaining batter.

Bake for 10 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake for another 10 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden skewer inserted in the centre of the cupcake comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the tins and let cool to room temperature on a cooling rack.

1 tsp baking powder