Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Vanilla Buttermilk Cupcakes with Brown Butter Sauce and Raspberry Jam Buttercream

Quite a wordy title for this one, isn't it?  So this Monday's bake came about as a result of wanting to use up the remaining buttermilk from the Nutella cupcakes because I end up letting it go off otherwise, which is wasteful.  However, I didn't have the hugest amount left over (only 50ml) so didn't want a recipe that required too much of it.  I also wanted something that sounded a bit different and would be interesting to make.

Well, I found such a thing: vanilla buttermilk cake with brown butter sauce.  Sounded intriguing enough and I had everything, or at least enough for a half batch.  This was fine because I usually find half a batch of cake batter works out at about 12 cupcakes anyway.  So I set about making them...only I messed up by not realising until part way through that I'd not halved the ingredients.  I am seriously scatterbrained at the moment.  Oh dear.  This was problematic since I now didn't have enough buttermilk and didn't want to start over.  So I made up the amounts with a homemade version using milk and lemon juice.  I also added about a tablespoon of whipped double cream to get a slightly thicker consistency.  Really I wanted to make proper buttermilk by whipping double cream until I got butter and buttermilk, but it just would not work for me, which I think is down to the fact that I use Elmlea, which is not actual cream but a cream substitute.  I only found that out recently actually.  It made me rather happy because it meant all my recipes that don't involve milk are actually dairy free, since both my cream and butter are vegetable oil substitutes.

Anyway, yes, had to make up the amount of buttermilk.  However, this worked out for the best because it meant I had enough mixture to make 12 muffin sized cupcakes.  I will also note I used one less egg than the recipe called for, just because.  It didn't seem to be detrimental to the final result.  Then there was the brown butter sauce, which gets drizzled over the cakes once they come out the oven to give it a different texture.  I honestly don't think I got it as thick as I was meant to, and I had far too much for the amount of cake.  Also, because it ran over the sides of the cakes, it made the cases a bit sticky on the bottom and I had to put them on kitchen paper to absorb it all.  Hence I'll be recommending to bake without them in the write-up.

As for the buttercream, the recipe I was using serves the cake with a fruit compote.  The ingredients and method for making a compote reminded me of jam and, since I had recently made buttercream that tasted like jam, I thought that would make a nice compliment to the cupcake, albeit this time I made it with raspberry jam rather than strawberry.

I will admit, I was dubious as to how this would come together.  But I needn't have worried.  My taste testers loved them.  One wants a bowl just of the buttercream for their birthday, which I was quite pleased to hear.  Part of me thinks that's down to the quality of the jam, since it was homemade by the fiancĂ©'s sister.  And it's true what they say: good quality ingredients results in great tasting food.  The fiancĂ© said the cakes were lovely, light and fluffy and the flavour was indescribable but was sweet and very scrumptious.  So good reviews it seems.  Hoorah!

Recipe - adapted from Schwartz
Makes about 12 

  • 200g/7oz plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200g/7oz granulated sugar
  • 115g/4oz butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 125ml/4fl.oz buttermilk
  • 1 heaped tbsp whipped double cream
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and liberally grease a 12 hole muffin tin with butter.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until incorporated after each addition.
  4. Add the vanilla extract and beat in.
  5. Gradually add the flour and buttermilk to the mixture, alternating between the two, and mix in.
  6. Add the cream and mix in until smooth.
  7. Fill the muffin tins about 2/3 of the way up each hole.
  8. Bake for about 20 minutes until golden and springy and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  9. Whilst cakes are baking, make the butter sauce.
 Brown Butter Sauce:
  • 40g/1.5oz butter
  • 50g/1.8oz granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 20ml/0.7fl.oz water
  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, and at the same time, mix the water, sugar and vanilla extract together in a small bowl.
  2. When the butter has turned a caramel brown colour, add the sugar mix and whisk together until blended and smooth and ever so slightly thicker in consistency.
  3. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  4. When the cakes come out the oven, leave them in their tin and use a skewer to poke 5 holes in the top of each one.
  5. Pour the butter sauce over the top of each cake and then leave them to cool and absorb the sauce in the tin.
  6. Once cooled, you can decorate with the buttercream.
  • 115g/4oz butter
  • 225g/8oz icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp seedless raspberry jam
  • Red food colouring
  1. Put the jam in a small saucepan and warm through until runny.
  2. Reserve 3 teaspoons worth of jam and put the rest in a bowl along with the icing sugar, butter and food colouring, mixing them together until you get a smooth buttercream.
  3. Put the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle and pipe a swirl of buttercream in the centre of each cake.
  4. Drizzle 1/4 tsp of the remaining jam over each cake for decoration.

No comments:

Post a Comment