Learning 2 Bake, from Scratch – XIII

I’m cheating this time: I found a box of cupcake mix in the pantry (a gift from Gali, a couple years ago), so I’m making that. Instead of Williams-Sonoma recipe, I’m making a Williams-Sonoma product.

The “recipe” is quite simple:

2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 package Vanilla Cupcake Mix (included)
8 Tbl (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

Have all the ingredients (except the butter) at room temperature. Preheat oven to 350. Line a 12-well muffin pan with paper liners.
In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the cupcake mix and butter on low speed until the mixture is well combined and resembles corn meal [this is a fairly common analogy – does anyone know what corn meal looks like?]. 3 to 4 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the egg-milk mixture in 3 additions, stopping th emixer to screap the sides of the bowl after each addition. Increase speed to medium and beat until the ingredients are just incorporated, about 15 seconds. The batter will be slightly grainy.
Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean. 16 to 18 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes then transfer the cupcakes to the rack and let cool completely.

Going to do that last step, right now… Well. That’s certainly easier than getting cakes out of cake pans. Since they sell parchment paper rounds for the bottom of cake pans, why not giant paper liners for the whole thing? Entrepreneurial opportunity or ignorance? Anyway, back to chronological order…

Being a mix, I moved right to mise en place deux:

The butter went back into the refrigerator while I let the eggs and milk warm up a bit.

While I was waiting, I got out the frosting ingredients (also on the tin):

3 cups confectioners’ sugar
8 Tbl (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of kosher salt

Of course, I couldn’t leave well enough alone. Vanilla frosting on vanilla cupcakes seems a bit pedestrian, so I decided to add a bit of coffee, since I had Kona beans laying about.

Mainly to note the SMALL bottle of vanilla I bought at Sam’s Club – they sell quart sized, too.

In yet another failed attempt to save a bowl, I dumped the mix into the mixing bowl. I then had a prophetic vision of it flying everywhere when I turned on the mixer. I poured it back into a spare bowl.

I’m not sure why I didn’t scramble the eggs in the milk.

I followed the mixing instructions and here we are ready to bake:

That’s mostly equally distributed.

18 minutes later at 350 by the setting (I still haven’t confirmed it’s accurate), they were done:

Not quite equally distributed, but not awful. Time to go to make the frosting. I’m not going to take a picture. They’ll look messy, which inspires me to purchase a piping bag. 10% tax. I can hardly wait to leave Denver – and I’m definitely driving out of the city to buy a new dishwasher.

I was asked for the photo – messy or not – of the completed cupcakes, so there they are:

The lack of symmetry on the plate is a perspective artifact – I’m sticking to that story.

They’re also gone, already. It’s what? About 12 hours after I made them? I need more exercise…

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