This is only the second non-How to Eat recipe I’ve made during my whole project, and it was worth it!
At the start of the exam period, my Magnolia Bakery cookbooks arrived in the mail from Amazon. They’re soooooo gorgeous! I ordered The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook, More from Magnolia and The Buttercup Bake Shop Cookbook. They’ve got wonderfully decadent American style recipes in them – Red Velvet Cake, Oreo Brownies, Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Pie, Strawberry and Rhubarb Pie, Caramel Apple Pecan Cheesecake… the list goes on.
I had my last exam for the year on Monday, and I decided that I just had to make something out of these books. There’s no way I could wait until after I finish Sarah Discovers How to Eat! However, as I’m still not even half-way through Nigella's book, I have to be very selective about what non-How to Eat recipes I make. There were many tempting photos and delicious-sounding recipes in there, but ultimately, The Buttercup Bake Shop Cookbook’s White Layer Cake with Chocolate Chips topped with Peanut Butter Icing seemed too good to resist. The recipe is designed to be made as one big layer cake, but I chose top make them in cupcake form to distribute amongst my friends at uni who still have exams.
This morning, I made the batter, which is pretty simple. Just cream butter and (a lot!) of sugar, add flour, baking powder, salt, milk and vanilla extract, beating well. After this you fold through some beaten egg whites and chocolate chips. A bonus of doing this recipe meant I finally got to defrost some of the many eggwhites that are sitting, baggied-up, in my freezer.
Bake them for 20 minutes at 180 degrees, and a batch of down-home-goodness is your reward!
The icing that they suggest to put with the cake is peanut butter icing. Peanut butter and chocolate is an ambrosial combination - have you tried Baskin Robin's Peanut Butter Chocolate ice-cream?
This icing, like the cupcakes, is also simple to make but you've just got to be careful to make sure you beat it for the appropriate amount of time. One thing, though, Magnolia and Buttercup Bake Shop icing recipes are notoriously sweet, so I didn't put quite as much as stipulated. The recipe asks for 3 cups icing sugar to 1 cup of combined butter and peanut butter. Ahem. I started off with 2 cups of icing sugar, and then added 1/4 cup more at the end, because I was afraid it wouldn't be stiff enough to ice the cupcakes swirlingly.
Anyway, all you've got to do to make the icing is beat butter and peanut butter until creamy, then beat in sifted icing sugar and cocoa powder and milk. Then it's done!
I've got quite a few photos of the cupcakes... and that's because they were gorgeous!
Cupcakes on plate in front of book
I took 5 cupcakes to uni in an ice-cream container, and met up with my friend An for coffee at our favourite cafe. Best coffee on campus, cute baristas, you can't go wrong!
Swirly latte and cupcake
They give you little Tiny Teddy biscuits with your coffee, and I just couldn't resist taking the following picture...
After we had coffee, An and I headed to the library, where Adri and Giselle were studying - Adri for her Chartered Accountancy and Giselle for some engineering subject. The poor, poor girls. I think they need as much energy as they can get! Good luck guys!
There were 7 leftover, and my family and I had them for dessert tonight. They are, indeed, fabulous, and I can totally understand why the Magnolia Bakery has become such a well-recognised food institution! The cake is fragrant, moist and tender crumbed, the icing rich, sweet, full of chocolatey peanut butter goodness, and the perfect complement to the cake.
There's a shitload of icing left over. We're having it on toast for breakfast.