Thursday, December 13, 2012

Victory Cupcakes (Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream)

I'm currently sitting in my room, wondering where the year has gone, while Jason ticks off all the items we need to pack. In about 2 hours, we will be off to the airport.

It seems like only yesterday that we decided that we should take a big trip to Europe and China to celebrate the completion of our first year of work and, boy, did a year fly by!

A lot has happened this year and I'd like to think I've grown up a lot. I've designed a 3 of roads, monitored the construction of 5 and been a tiny part of some very high profile projects -what more could a graduate ask for?

I also became a part of the Engenerate (young engineers in NZ) committee, planned some successful events and met some pretty amazing engineers (both young and old!).

The most spectacular moment this year for me, however, is something that I can't take credit for. 

Yes, my dears, I am Jason and I are engaged! A bit more on that next year though..

The recipe I'm sharing with you today is what I call "Victory Cupcakes" and is basically what I bring when there is a special occasion. This year "Victory Cupcakes" have been present at:

  • My work to celebrate our engagement
  • Jason's work to celebrate our engagement
  • My father's 50th birthday
  • Megan's birthday
  • and many social gatherings that call for cupcakes

So, as you can see, it's my go-to, no fail option whenever I am out of ideas. It's actually quite a simple recipe that is easy to make but is always a big hit. I make these on most special occasions as it's easy to churn out many without varied results.

This will probably be last recipe post of 2012, my dears, as I'm not sure how much time I will have to sit down and share with you while I'm overseas. I will instead post pictures of our adventures in Europe and then be out of touch from mid January to mid February (blogger is banned in China, you see).

However, I do promise that any food and accommodation adventures/misadventures will be reported to you upon my return.

EDIT: I've just realised that 2 years ago, on this day (approximately) was when I started blogging! Quite fitting, don't you think?

Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream (makes 18 normal sized or 75 mini sized)

Vanilla Cupcake 

125g butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1 cup plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup milk

1. Pre-heat oven to 190°C.
2. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla essence until fluffy.
3. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. In another bowl, sift together flour and baking powder. Fold into the creamed mixture.
5. Stir in milk and spoon the mixture into a lined cupcake pan and bake for 15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
6. Leave the cupcakes in pans for 5 to 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Cool completely before frosting.

Strawberry Buttercream

50g butter, softened
1 teaspoon strawberry essence
1 cup icing sugar
1 Tablespoon hot water
(optional: food colouring)

1. Mix everything together until its a spreadable consistency. Add more icing sugar if it is too running or more water if it is too stiff.
2. Pipe or spread over cupcakes with a spatula or a spoon.