Ok, dramatic, but it’s like the “tell”. If you don’t have a good vanilla, can anything else really be that good? There are so many ways to vary a vanilla cake and I want the best of all of them! I’m greedy like that. Plus, I know not everyone has the same idea of the perfect cupcake, so I like to have options.
You may or may not have tried my original VANILLA CUPCAKES. They are loved by many and were my favorite for some time. I still remember the batches upon batches of cupcakes I made while testing those and the fabulous friends that lined them up and tasted tested them all to help me find the best one. If you haven’t tried them, they are worth checking out.
*2 1/2 cups (325g) all – purpose flour
*2 cups (414g) sugar
*3 tsp baking powder
*1 tsp salt
*1 cup (240ml) milk
*1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
*1 tablespoon vanilla extract
*2 large eggs
*1 cup (240ml) water
*1/2 cup (112g) salted butter, room temperature
*1/2 cup (95g) shortening
*4 cups (460g) powdered sugar
*1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
*(30-45ml) water or milk
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and prepare a cupcake pan with liners.
2. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to a large mixer bowl and combine. Set aside.
3. Add the milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and eggs to a medium sized bowl and combine.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat until well combined.
5. Slowly add the water to the batter and mix on low speed until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined. Please note that the batter will be very thin.
6. Fill the cupcake liners about half way and bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
7. Remove the cupcakes from oven and allow to cool for 2 minutes, and then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
8. To make the frosting, combine the butter and shortening in a large mixer bowl and mix until smooth.
9. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
10. Add the vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of water or milk and mix until smooth.
11. Add remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
12. Add remaining water or milk as needed and mix until smooth.
13. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes
NOTE: *If you’d prefer a more traditional vanilla cupcake you can uses butter instead of oil and other liquid.
Tea time with yummy brownies and fudge
If you love brownies and fudge, why not combine the two? Mix up a pan of these exquisite brownies for any holiday or special gatherings…or just when you want to treat yourself to the ultimate chocolate dessert.
CHOCOLATE FUDGE BROWNIES
*4 cups unsweetened chocolate, chopped
*2 cups sugar
*2 teaspoons vanilla extract
*4 large eggs
*1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
*1-teaspoon baking powder
*1 cup chopped walnuts
*4-1/2 cups sugar
*1 can evaporated milk
*1/2-cup butter, cubed
*1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips
*1 package (11-1/2 ounces) milk chocolate chips
*1 jar marshmallow cream
*2 teaspoons vanilla extract
*2 cups chopped walnuts
1. In a heavy saucepan or microwave, melt butter and chocolate; stir until smooth. Remove from the heat; blend in sugar and vanilla. Add eggs; mix well. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to chocolate mixture. Stir in walnuts.
Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Cool on a wire rack while preparing topping.
2.Combine the sugar, milk and butter in a large heavy saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Remove from the heat. Stir in the chocolate chips, marshmallow cream and vanilla until smooth. Add walnuts. Spread over warm brownies. Freeze for 3 hours or until firm. Cut into 1-in. squares. Store in the refrigerator.
*It is precisely in busy families that a sustaining piece of cake at tea time will be particularly welcome.
P.S FOOD BRANDS Like or inbox my Facebook page [Chef Faith] for partnership with THE SUN KITCHEN COLUMN.
Thanks giving dinner!
I’ve always been a big fan of Thanksgiving. Family and friends, cooking, rainy weather strikes a perfect balance between wading through a pool of your own sweat and feeling as if every bone in your body has been replaced. The occasional potato salad, the coleslaw, the fried chicken or turkey let us face it; the real star here is food.
We’re talking stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, biscuits, green beans, yams, mac and cheese, malva pudding — I live for it. It’s the best meal of the year. You know it, I know it, and you know who else knows it. My family and I are already preparing and they can’t for a piping hot pile of turkey, gravy, cornbread dressing, cranberry sauce, vegetables, buttermilk biscuits and corn muffins.
*1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
*1 lemon, zested and juiced
*1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
*1 fresh turkey (10 to 12 pounds)
*Freshly ground black pepper
*1 large bunch fresh thyme
*1 whole lemon, halved
*1 Spanish onion, quartered
*1 head garlic, halved crosswise
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the zest and juice of the lemon and 1 teaspoon of thyme leaves to the butter mixture. Set aside.
3. Take the giblets out of the turkey and wash the turkey inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outside dry. Place the turkey in a large roasting pan. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the turkey cavity. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, halved lemon, quartered onion, and the garlic. Brush the outside of the turkey with the butter mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the turkey.
4. Roast the turkey about 2 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh. Remove the turkey to a cutting board and cover with aluminum foil; let rest for 20 minutes.
5. Slice the turkey and serve.
*You can substitute with chicken or gammon.
P.s. Like my facebook Chef Faith for more recipes and feedback. Happy Cooking!
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