Since Hummingbird bakery is supposed to be all the rage in London, England, I was really excited to get my own copy of their cookbook in my last Amazon order.
- When preparing the ingredients, I was surprised to see how little sugar, butter and vanilla this recipe used. (In fact, a lot of the recipes in this book use very little sugar and butter.)
- I followed the directions carefully and added ingredients and mixed as per the book.
- I prepared 12 cupcake liners in my tray and started scooping the cups two-thirds full as directed.
- Hmm... Did a double take at the book since I only got 8 cups going. Weird. The recipe says "Makes 12".
- Moving along, I popped them in the oven and waited. Took them out and was surprised to see how pale my cakes looked. Hmm....
- As the cupcakes cooled, I prepared the icing.
- Having sampled some batter and icing along the way, I knew they were on the bland side but I really thought all of the flavours would come together nicely when the cupcake was complete.
- TASTE TEST VERDICT: Disappointing. Bland cake. Thick sponge consistency. Tasted very floury. Bland icing. Consensus: bland and boring. My worst cakes to date (yes, that includes my Duncan Hines Cake Fails).
- Delicious looking, beautiful, inspirational pictures.
- Beautifully laid out chapters.
- Recipes: BORING. Terrible. Waste of time, money and good ingredients.
- If the goodies in the actual Hummingbird Bakeries taste anything like what's in this book, I would be shocked.
- Buy Martha Stewart's Cupcakes book instead. (Martha hasn't failed me once.)
HUMMINGBIRD BAKERY'S VANILLA CUPCAKES
FOR THE CUPCAKES
1 cup all purpose flour
a scant 3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
3 tbsps of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
8 tablespoons ice water
FOR THE FROSTING
2 cups icing sugar, sifted
5 tbsps unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tbsps whole milk
a couple drops of pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees (F). Line cupcake tray with paper cups.
2. Put flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a bowl. Mix and beat at slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is well combined. Gradually pour in half the milk and beat well.
3. Whisk egg, vanilla and remaining milk together in a separate bowl for a few seconds, then pour into flour mixture and beat well, scraping bowl along the way. Do not over mix.
4. Spoon batter into cupcake tray, two-thirds full and bake for about 20 - 25 mins or until golden brown. Insert tooth pick in the middle of a cake and make sure it comes out clean before removing from oven. Place on a cooling rack.
VANILLA FROSTING DIRECTIONS
1. While cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting. Beat icing sugar and butter together in mixer at low speed. Combine milk and vanilla in a separate bowl then add to butter mixture, a few spoons at a time. Mix well until light and fluffy, about 5 mins. The longer the frosting is beaten, the fluffier it becomes. Frost completely-cooled cupcakes with frosting.