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Monday, 2 July 2012

Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Jam Centre

Finally she's here in the UK. Yes I'm talking about Lady Summer. Though there are still a few down pours here and there and some heavy floods up North but the temperature is soaring, the gardens are blooming and people are having an amazing time under the hot sun. My garden is a cornucopia of colour this year. Even though I did not manage to do much in the garden this year, the little ones that I did manage to plant yielded blooms that I never thought was possible in such a short span of time.And my little strawberry plant has given about a hundred of fruits already and I'm hoping to get a few more. 


My little girl is excited to see her Dadu (my dad) who is coming to stay with us for 3 whole months! We are so looking forward to all the small vacations and outings and family meals we're going to have and we are busy planning for them everyday!So hopefully this space will have all the ''authentic'' bong dishes that I tend to avoid cooking because we don't really eat them much at home. Also because I don't really know how to make them and will probably go over to Sandeepa's or Sudeshna's for most of the recipes! Yes I am hopeless when it comes to recipes like Khosha bhaja or Sheem bata or Shukto etc etc.

Little T has had all her settling in sessions at the ''Big'' school and she is all set to start a new chapter of her life this September. She is very happy and excited to meet new friends and new teachers but her Mamma is very sad already. The very thought that my precious little one is going to stay away from me for so long everyday makes me feel like weeping. Must be one of those crazy-mother-only things. But I will cross that bridge when it comes. Before that it's almost time for the summer vacations and we are too excited to bring the spirit down.

We had a charity gala night the other day in the memory of a very special girl called Supatra.Supatra bravely fought cancer for the past 1 1/2 years till early this month when her body finally couldn't take the pain anymore and she took her last breath in her daddy's arms on 5th of June. It was my honour to make a few cupcakes for the gala dinner which was held in the memory of this amazing little fighter. May she rest in peace and her family get the strength to cope with this unimaginable loss. I pray to Almighty that no parent has to suffer this kind of loss ever in their lives. Supatra loved fairies and anything pink and purple so I decided to make some dainty Vanilla cupcakes with strawberry jam centres and pink buttercream icing. 

Vanilla Cupcakes

Makes -12
Prep time - 5 mins
Baking time - 20-25 mins

I have adapted the recipe from my Hummingbird Bakery Book just for the reason that they are superbly delicious, moist and virtually butter less...well almost!


For the cakes :

Plain Flour - 120 gm
Caster Sugar - 140 gm
Butter - 40 gm unsalted 
Baking Powder - 1 1/2 tsp 
Whole Milk - 120 ml
Eggs - 1
Vanilla Extract - 1/2 tsp
Strawberry Jam - 1/2 tsp for each cupcake 
Cupcake Cases - 12
12 hole cupcake tray

For the Icing : 

Icing Sugar - 250 gm sifted
Unsalted Butter at room temperature - 100 gm
Whole Milk - 25 ml
Vanilla Extract - 1/4 tsp
Red Food Colour - a few drops ( can use any other colour)


For the cakes :

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees and like the cupcake tray with the cases.
Put all the ingredients in the freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment and whisk for 2 minutes or until all the ingredients are nicely incorporated.  Or blend the egg, milk and vanilla extract together with a hand held whisk and add it to the dry ingredients and mix well till it forms a smooth batter.

Spoon a tablespoon of batter in the cases. Add 1/2 a tsp of jam in each of the case and top it up with another tbsp of batter. Place the tray in the middle of the pre-heated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean. It should be quite soft and springy to touch.

Place the cupcakes on a wire rack and let them cool completely.

For the Icing : 

Beat the sugar and butter in the freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment or use a handheld electric mixer on slow-medium speed until everything is nicely mixed. 

Combine the milk and vanilla extract in a separate bowl and add it to the butter mix one tsp at a time  on slow speed. Once everything has been added increase the speed and continue beating for 5-6 minutes or until light and fluffy. 

Add the food colour at the end and beat for another few seconds till the icing is nicely coloured. 

Assembling :

Make sure the cakes have completely cooled down before you start icing them. Scoop the icing into a piping bag and with a star nozzle pipe the icing in spiral motion covering each cupcake. Add a few sprinkles or stars.