Monthly Archives: June 2011

Whimsy Peach Cupcakes

My dad can’t do many things like take me through my Science homework or endure hours of shopping. He’s often out of town, so chauffeuring us from classes was mom’s department. And, let’s not even get started on dressing advice; it goes a little like the lower the heels the better (seeing that I’m already a head taller than him). But my dad is a pretty cool dude.

I remember when I wanted to catch Christina Aguilera’s Dirrty Tour whilst we were holidaying in Brisbane. Don’t know what he did, but he scored 3 tickets to a sold out concert. Then there was teaching me to ride a bike and giving me boy advice. “I’ve been a boy once, I know what they’re like. Don’t be stupid’. Good stuff.

But my dad’s really my best salesperson. He’s always there, at any party, ready to sell my baking to anyone who’ll listen. He’ll eat anything I bake, usually at any time of the day. And you know what’s awesome? He’s usually happy about it. So though I’m like a bazillion miles away, here’s a whole tray of peach cupcakes, food for the soul, and it’s got fruit too!

On a side note, I was at Red Hook yesterday and picked up a very interesting potion. It’s by a little company called Royal Rose and it’s a Lavender and Lemon simple syrup. It smells floral and critusy, and totally fresh. I didn’t have vanilla extract on hand so I used this to flavour my cake instead and it managed to impart a light floral sweetness without being overly anything (not too lemony or lavender-y). I liked it, perhaps not something I’d resort to for a high impact lavender flavour, but it’s really just pretty.

Also, this will be my entry to Go Ahead Honey It’s Gluten Free! for the month of June. It’s all about dads this time around. I can’t wait to see what all the dads out there are being spoilt with this month!

Scented Vanilla Cupcakes (makes 24)

2 cups white rice flour
1/2 cup GF oat flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch flour
1/4 sweet rice flour
1 tablespoon + 2 tsp baking powder
3 tsp vanilla extract (or any other flavouring; I used a lavender-lemon syrup)
Pinch of salt
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
5 eggs, room temperature
2 sticks + 2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 3/4 cup caster sugar

1) Preheat oven to 175°C. Line 24 muffin tins with paper liners.

2) Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time.

3) Mix the flours, baking powder and salt together. Add the flavouring syrup to the milk.

4) Add in the flour and milk alternately, starting and ending with the flour. Beat on high for 30 seconds. Divide evenly into cupcake tins. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

5) Leave to cool for 10 minutes in tray before removing to cool completely.

Peach Buttercream

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3-4 cups icing sugar, sifted
2 tsp Lavender-Lemon syrup or any other flavouring of choice (I’d go for lemon or vanilla)
1 large, very ripe peach

1) Cut the peach up into segments and crush with your hands. Strain the juice from the peach. Also, set aside some of the flesh and the pink skin.

2) In a bowl, beat the butter and 3 cups of icing sugar together. Add in the Lavender-Lemon syrup and 2 tbsp of the peach juice. Beat well. If icing is too soft, keep adding the icing sugar, 1/4 cup at a time until the desired consistency.

3) Mix in the peach flesh and skin. This will impart some colour and bite. Frost cupcakes.

To Assemble

Place a heaping tablespoon of the frosting on each cupcake. Swirl with a palette knife and top with extra peaches if desired.

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Blueberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and Crumble

Many things amaze me but some things never fail to keep amazing me. Take the punnet of blueberries I bought for example. First berry; hmmm, sweet. Second berry; wow, they are sweet. Third berry; omg, STILL SWEET! And so it goes on, until I decide that this is quite mind boggling seeing that I’ve visited a few countries and have never had a whole punnet of sweet, non-pucker-face-inducing berries before. I am in awe. Is it just me?

And then there are blackberries, raspberries… it’s almost weird having non-sour berries.In a good way though, obviously.

The last few days in NY have been sweltering, the kind of heat that makes you want to eat fro-yo for dinner and call it a day with some ice-cold water. Who knew I’d rekindle my love for air-conditioning only after a week of complaining that the weather was too cold and wet. Now, all I want to do is beg the folks at Starbucks to let me be the night security guard in exchange for air-conditioning. Think they’ll buy it? Just the other day I paid $16 bucks to spend a much needed 2 hours wandering the National History Museum, to look at the exhibits (and bask in their glorious air-conditioned climate). So much for natural history.

Another good excuse to crank on the AC; baking. Blueberry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and crumble topping. I’m sure my aunt would see it as a good exchange for me using her AC. Better still, she has one in the kitchen, so EAT THAT kitchen in Singapore which has no air-conditioner. Alright, less typing, more eating. Get with it! :)

Blueberry Cupcakes (makes 12)

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup pure cane sugar
1 cup gluten free oat flour (from Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp white rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
1/2 cup rice milk (or any other milk you prefer)
3/4 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried on paper towels

1) Preheat oven to 170°C. Line a muffin tray with 12 paper liners.

2) Cream butter and sugar together. Mix the flours and baking powder together in a separate bowl.

3) Add the eggs in, one at a time, beating well to combine. Add in the flour and milk alternately and mix until completely homogeneous. Fold in the berries gently.

4) Divide batter evenly between the 12 cupcake liners. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean or with only a few crumbs. Let cool in tray for 10 minutes and remove from tray to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz cream cheese (240g)
3 oz butter (90g)
2 – 3 cups pure icing sugar
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1) In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together (I used a handheld mixer, arm power!)

2) Beat 2 cups of the icing sugar and the lemon juice. If you prefer a sweeter frosting, keep adding the icing sugar until you’re sugar happy. Let chill a little in the fridge before using.

Crumble

1/2 cup oat flour
1/4 cup white rice flour
2 tbsp tapioca flour
4-5 tbsp canola oil
1/3 cup pure cane sugar

1) Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and add in the oil, one tablespoon at a time until you get a slightly wet but still crumbly mixture. Pour onto a tray lined with parchment. Bake in a 170°C oven for 12-15 minutes or until crunchy. Let cool before using.

To Assemble

1) Take one cool cupcake, top with a big tablespoon of cream cheese frosting, swirl with a palette knife and top with more berries and the crumble. Arrange on a plate and impress your guests’ socks off. :)

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