Friday, 20 April 2012

Cupcakes = happiness

Here's a nice and simple cake/cupcake recipe I made up when I had just moved to Melbourne, didn't have the internet connected (so no way of googling recipes), and didn't have a scale. Wait... We've been here 3 weeks and I still don't have a scale. Or a rolling pin, for that matter. I should get onto that. 

This recipe is what I used to make my Harry Potter cupcakes. Due to the length of this post, I'll add the decoration guides tomorrow!

I should also probably warn you that while I love baking, I'm not exactly... professional... when it comes to how I bake. Just keep that in mind and don't judge me.

Bung everything together.
Or, if you want to be pedantic about it, soften the butter in the microwave and stir in sugar til creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla essence, then fold the flour in alternately with milk. Simple! 

But bunging everything together works just as well. It is practically impossible to stuff up this recipe.
(Please, no one take that as a challenge...)

For a cake:
Pour into normal sized cake tin and bake for 30 - 40 minutes at 180°c.
For cupcakes:
Pour into patty pans, filling halfway, then bake for 20 minutes at 180°c. 

For chocolate cake/cupcakes:
Add ½ cup cocoa and an extra ½ cup of sugar.

And voila! But who wants to eat cake or cupcakes plain? Weird people, that's who. So let's ice this thing:

Soften the butter and add icing sugar (powdered sugar if you’re American) bit by bit until you get that awesome 'frosting' consistency. Add milk, and possibly icing sugar, as and if it's needed.  

If you can't tell, I don't usually measure things. I just kinda chuck everything in together and hope for the best. 60% of the time it works every time. And I like those odds.

And now for the hippie rant...
For those that don't know, unsustainable palm oil plantations in Indonesia are killing thousands of Orangutans every year. But palm oil, especially the unsustainable kind, is crazy cheap, and thus one of the most commonly used oils in the world. It's in everything from margarine and potato chips to cleaning products and face creams. The big problem for consumers? It's not usually labelled. Palm oil is most often listed as vegetable oil, along with all these other things, so how are we meant to know what the hell we're buying?

I tend to avoid anything with vegetable oil in it just to be on the safe side (which is really hard to do), but for those times when junk food cravings kick in and I'm no longer strong enough for avoidance, I use the Ethical Consumer Guide to know what's ok to buy.

You can check out www.zoo.org.au/PalmOil to find out more.
Ok, hippie rant over. What are you all still doing here? Make yourself some cake and eat til your sick. (Because, as we all know, this is the only way to eat cake. My husband and I may have eaten 14 cupcakes between us in 2 days. That's a good effort, and I'm a little bit proud. And also slightly ill. But also super full of energy. Weird, right?)

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