Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My Day/Blackberry Bakewell Cupcakes

Happy Birthday to myself! Another year gone and another one waiting for me to make sense and meaning out of it! For the first half of last year, I didn't accomplish much but for the second half, I did pretty well. Up to today I am fitter than my early 30s with almost 20lbs lighter than beginning of 2010 and planning to go down another 10lbs by the end of this year.

What does birthday mean to me these days? It is definitely not a private and personal moment now as my kids are more excited to blow my candles and wake me up early in the morning to see them tearing up my present paper! But this year's birthday definitely meant something to me as I gave myself the best present ever by shedding my large size to almost small now! Metaphorically speaking, it is reversing my once tired and overweight body to a young and rejuvenated self! So, to celebrate, I opted for cupcakes instead of a large cake this year to spread my love around and hopefully keep me at bay with my calories and new mind and fitter body! But since it is my day, I will have more than 1 cupcake, a good filling dinner and a Boston Cream Donut that I have been yearning since I started my weight lost and which had been banned from me by my little cheeky son who said "Mom, you are running on treadmill and you cannot have Donut or share with me!" Oh ya, I am getting One all to myself today!

These cupcakes are lovely and very easy to make. And I took this opportunity to make my first Swiss Meringue Buttercream and true enough, it tasted very good, light airy smooth! I tried to hold back on the sugar amount but had to add in powdered sugar in the end to stabilize the frosting. It piped smoothly and didn't taste grainy as with the usual buttercream made out of powdered sugar and butter only. The egg whites really lightened the texture of the butter and this recipe is easier than the Italian Meringue Buttercream which requires more attention in terms of cooking the sugar.

As I am a summer baby, I used the summer fruits of red, black and blue berries for filling and decoration. The alphabet candles are so cute that I just had to have them and remind myself that I am still young at heart regardless whatever number I have to write down now for the AGE line in forms and registrations! And I love the cupcake liners from IKEA, of which were a bit different in size compared to the usual cupcakes but not too tiny as to deprive me of a good bite on my Big day! All in all, I would love to look and feel like a cupcake from today onwards, sweet and independent and confident enough to strut in lovely dresses! Again, happy birthday to me and a Big thank you to all my friends, cousins, relatives, neighbors and my family for their warm wishes and I hope to have another fruitful and good year before my next birthday cake!


140g Cake Flour
1 tbsp Baking Powder
125g Almond meal
100g sugar
140g butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
2 tbsp milk
125g fresh blackberries (or frozen and thawed) 

1)Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Line muffin tin with 10 to 12 cupcake liners.
2)Mix the cake flour, baking powder, almond meal and sugar in the food processor. Pulse to combine.
3)Drop in the butter pieces and pulse to mix roughly. Tip in the eggs, one at a time and pulse to combine. Mixture will clump but looks dry.
4)Add in the milk and pulse to mix again. The batter will be dense and look like cooked oatmeal consistency.
5)Use a spoon to fill the filling into the cupcake liners, to 1/3 full. Drop in some of the berries into each liner and top it up with the filling to 2/3 full.
6)Bake for 25 mins and insert toothpick to test for doneness.
7)Remove from muffin tins and cool completely before icing.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Egg whites from 3 large eggs (1/2 cup)
150g cup sugar
3 tbsp Powdered sugar
170g Softened Butter (Not melted)
A pinch of salt

Method :
1)Boil some water in a small saucepan.
2)Put the egg white, salt and sugar into a large bowl and sit it over and on top of the saucepan and lower the heat to simmering water.
3)Whisk the egg white and sugar for 5 mins till the sugar is completely dissolved. Using a wet brush, brush down the sides of the bowl for any sugar crystals. Test the mixture with your fingers, if it is not grainy anymore, the mixture is ready.
4)Move the mixture to a mixer bowl or use a hand mixer. Start whipping till the mixture has returned to room temperature and the bowl itself is not hot anymore. Whip till soft peaks form. This takes about 5 mins on high speed.
5)Pieces by piece, whip in the butter. The mixture will suddenly curdle and looks watery but it is ok, keep whipping till the buttercream consistency is achieved, this takes about 5 to 8 mins on high speed. Add in the powdered sugar at the last 3 mins of whipping.
6)Spoon into a piping bag with a star tip and decorate the cupcakes.

Makes : 10 to 12 medium size cupcakes


mary said...

Wishing you a wonderful birthday, good health,happy family for ever & ever..........+ lost 10 lbs too!

Anonymous said...

Janet, happy belated bday, wished you had a blessed bday tat day...

I love those cupcakes, they looked delicious and also the deco is really eyes catching indeed!!!!

Wah, u lost weight again ah....u oledi looked great the last i saw u at Karam b4 u flew back.... - Maureen Wong