Sweet Valentine

By on January 31, 2012
As Valentine rolls around,  sweet things come to mind.  What better way to express affection to your children than making them sweet cupcakes that appeal to sight and taste.  Kids adore cupcakes because they are light, fluffy and easy to eat.  With a little imagination, you can transform the tiny cake into a Valentine’s message. Let’s give it a try!Basic Cupcake
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup butter or margarine
• 1 cup milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 large eggs
• 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
• 1 1/3 cups fine sugar
• 3 teaspoons baking powder
•Paper liners
*Above quantity is enough to make approximately 12 full size cupcakes.

Preheat oven to 190C or 350-375F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.

Mix all the ingredients together in a mixer or food processor: flour, sugar, baking powder, butter or margarine, and salt. After salt, add milk, and vanilla extract. If you want to put fruits or nuts, put them after beating the mixture.  Beat for 1 minute on medium speed.  Scrape side of bowl with a rubber scraper or spatula.

Then add eggs to the mixture.  Beat for another 1 minute on medium speed.  Scrape bowl again.  Beat on high speed for 1 minute 30 seconds until thoroughly mixed and batter is smooth.

How much batter to put in cupcake liners
A full tablespoon of batter makes a medium sized cupcake if your cupcake liner is about 7cm in diameter.  A teaspoon of batter makes a demi sized cupcake if the diameter of your cupcake liner is  about 5cms.

Bake for approximately 18-20 minutes. If you are making a larger size of cupcake, be prepared to wait for another 5 minutes. Prick with a wooden toothpick in the center and if it comes out clean, then your cupcake is done.  Cool for 5 minutes in pans then remove and place on wire racks to cool completely.

Once cupcakes are completely cooled, decide on your decoration, flavors, and toppings.

Decorating ideas
Butter icing
50 grams butter
100 grams confectioner’s sugar (adjust sweetness to your needs)
Put softened butter in a medium size mixing bowl and mix with the confectioner’s
sugar. Confectioners sugar is ideal to use because it requires less mixing time although granulated sugar can be substituted. Use artificial food coloring as desired.  (Food coloring available at Den-en and at Nissin supermarkets).
Chocolate icing
1 ½ cups of confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder for baking (not instant chocolate powder drink)
25 grams of butter
Mix the cocoa and confectioner’s sugar into a bowl.  Add softened butter and one tablespoon of hot water and mix all the ingredients until they form a smooth, glossy paste without lumps.

Suggested Decorative toppings
•Mentos candy  is sold at most stores and come in various pastel colors.  Ideal for making body bears.
•Marshmallows are soft, fluffy and easy to cut when necessary.  Kids love them.
•M&Ms is a classic topping for cakes because of its vivid colors.  You can crush them and sprinkle over the top of a white icing for color contrast.
•Haribo candies come in assorted cute pieces of animals and colors.

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