Saturday, February 27, 2010

Baking My Nerves Away

I really love eating food and I really love cooking food. Cooking relaxes me and puts me in a peaceful state. Baking on the other hand...oh baking! Baking (anything besides bread) stresses me out. And I mean, really stresses me out! I babble on and on and I look at the recipe over and over again before I do ANYTHING...I become a nervous wreck. I get nervous that my measurements will be wrong or I'll beat the mixture too many times or I'll forget it in the oven...there's so many things that could go wrong! But lately, I've been trying to get more used to baking so that one day, it will be natural and become as relaxing to me as cooking. I've gotten to the point where some of my fears have worn off but the nerves are still there and they've turned into more of an excitement.

For my birthday, I went shopping with my mom to get some new cooking and baking supplies. I got some piping materials and I've been dying to use them, so this weekend, I decided to make cupcakes! It was the perfect way to spend a weekend afternoon. I've been really wanting to try a recipe for pound cake cupcakes. It is a "cold oven pound cake" recipe, so you don't preheat the oven and the cupcakes bake at a very low heat. I thought I'd pair it with a buttercream frosting and I went to the store in search of some sort of jam or preserve to spice it up. When I saw the lemon curd, I couldn't resist! 

Pound Cake Cupcakes with Lemon Curd Buttercream Frosting
Cupcakes, adapted from Cupcake Project

Makes 12 cupcakes.

Ingredients:
For the Cupcake:
3/4 Cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 Cups sugar
3 Egg
1 1/2 Cups Sifted cake flour or all purpose flour
1/2 Cup milk
1/2 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 Teaspoon almond extract
For the Frosting:
1/2 Cup butter at room temperature
1/3 Cup lemon curd
Lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
Lemon zest from 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 Cups powdered sugar
1/2 Teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
Cream together the butter and the sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in half of the flour, then half of the milk, then the rest of the flour and the rest of the milk. Beat in the extracts and continue beating on medium-high speed for a few minutes. Fill each of the cupcake liners 3/4 full. Without preheating, place the cupcakes in the oven and then turn the oven on to 275 degrees and bake for 1 hour. I left mine in a couple minutes too long. I wish they hadn't gotten so golden on top. Make sure you watch them carefully! Let them cool completely on a cooling rack before frosting them.

To make the frosting, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in the lemon curd, followed by the lemon juice, zest, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Add more sugar if it needs to be stiffer. This should be able to frost all 12 cupcakes.

I had so much fun piping the frosting for my first time! My first few attempts looked really ridiculous, but I started to get the hang of it after a while. It was hard to apply even pressure the whole time, but with practice, I should get better. The cupcake was delicious! I loved the pound cake recipe. It was a little more dense than your average cupcake, but still moist and delicious. I was really happy with the buttercream too. I'm officially using lemon curd in everything I bake!

5 comments:

  1. So pretty! I wish I could try one.

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  2. I am sooo proud of you! They look wonderful. Patty is already saying she is making them this next week!!! :)

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  3. I just knew that lemon was the way to go!

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  4. I never did a cold oven cake ...very interesting.
    The pound cake lemon curd combo sounds perfect.

    There's a Martha Stewart cupcake cookbook that looks like it could have some good ideas. I have the cookie cookbook and it's a winner.

    You should check it out cupcake queen :)

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  5. Brit, The cupcakes looks so wonderful I am salivating sitting here at the computer....I have long been a huge fan of baked goods....from pastries to Cake and Pie...I recently had a delivery of great white cupcakes with the buttercream frosting from your Aunt Diane...Wish that Davis was closer to shannon so I could be a taste tester of your baking!!!!!...Love you my sweet....Uncle John

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