I have another goal to tick off my list! Technically I wrote 'buy a cake tin and bake a cake', but I realised that I don't really like cake (unless it's Mum's carrot cake, layer cake, or a gooey citrus cake... okay, I guess I just don't like cake that I'm currently capable of baking).
Anyway, instead I decided to buy a muffin tin (40% off at The Warehouse, bargain indeed) and bake cupcakes. Which are cakes and involve a baking tin so this goal is officially complete in my eyes.
I decided to use a red velvet cake recipe, because I know that flavour is alll the rage pretty much everywhere, and I've never tried it before (actually, I hardly ever eat cupcakes - the only decent ones for sale are pretty expensive and from specialty cupcake shops, and I prefer my junk food cheap and nasty rather than an... investment).
I really quite like baking. I guess this is the first time I've had a reasonably large kitchen, with lots of table and bench space to work on (I wish I had a photo of the kitchen when I lived in Lower Hutt - the sink was pretty much the size of a bathroom basin, you couldn't even submerge a dinner plate in it). It also helps that I don't have to share it with anyone (although to be fair, Charlie said he's cooking steak for dinner tonight - but that's mostly because I over-cook it every time).
Anyway, I found this recipe, bought a bunch of ingredients, and got to work. Mum asked for the recipe so I told her I'd post it here, with the NZ quantities I used (click the link above if you want the original).
100g softened butter
1.5 cups sugar
60mL red food colouring (this is more than a standard bottle, so I used both red and pink)
2 heaped tablespoons cocoa
1 cup cultured buttermilk
2.25 cups flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
Set your oven to bake at 180°C. Lay out your cupcake cases (this mixture made 15 for me).
Soften the butter and mix in the sugar until it's creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating them in thoroughly.
In another bowl, mix the food colouring and cocoa until it's dissolved (it's pretty much a paste by then). Add it into the first bowl and beat together until all the mixture is a nice deep red.
Add the buttermilk and flour alternately, and beat thoroughly after each addition. Once the mixture is light and fluffy, beat in the vanilla and baking soda.
Spoon the mixture into your cupcake cases, and stop filling at least a centimeter shy of the top. Put them in the oven for 10-15 minutes (test whether they're done with a knife after 10).
Once they're cooked, set them aside to cool.
For the icing I was originally going to use a cream cheese recipe, but I decided to stick with what the recipe told me since I hadn't even tried the cupcake flavour before.
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup butter
Blend the flour and milk together in a saucepan over low heat until it thickens and has no lumps. Set it aside to cool completely.
Cream together the softened butter, sugar, and vanilla until it's fluffy.
Once the flour and milk is cool, combine all the ingredients together until it's super fluffy.
A very helpful person on Twitter advised me you can buy piping bags with shaped nozzles from $2 stores, and sure enough I found a great set at 2 Cheap on Manners Street.
I watched this helpful video of some cupcake-icing basics, and decided to give the rose shape a go. I probably used the wrong nozzle shape with hindsight, but they're not bad for my first attempt, right? Also the icing probably wasn't stone cold because I'm impatient like that.
The verdict is that they're pretty damn good! Although incredibly rich, I'm definitely going to be eating half at a time even though I definitely have a sweet tooth.
So domestic, you guys! Have a great weekend.