Friday, 19 October 2007

Birthday Celebrations

Tomorrow is my birthday, the big old 2-6. Well I guess not really that old, but it is still another year closer to thirty, a number which I am dreading.

Historically in my family birthdays are celebrated with a store bought Safeway birthday cake, complete with icing flowers. Now this cake must be from Safeway! Not Superstore, or Save-On, or the cute little bakery down the street that uses only the finest ingredients. I can't really explain it. The average person would find the icing way to sweet in eat, and the cake probably not the moistest they had ever tasted. But, for us it represents the definition of a birthday. They funny thing is I have even converted my in-laws on this matter, and now birthdays in both houses are celebrated with the Safeway cake.

Unfortunately for me though tomorrow will not be celebrated with the coveted cake, as nearly everyone is working! On my birthday everyone, including my Hubby, is working and leaving me alone :( The festivities will be postponed until the middle of the week, but that still leaves my actual birthday slightly empty. So to compensate I decided to make myself birthday cupcakes tonight...what a better way to make a girl feel better.

Now, I deliberately didn't make chocolate cupcakes either to ensure that my Hubby would not over indulge in my birthday treat to myself...aren't I sneaky! These burnt-butter cupcakes are straight from Nigella Lawson's How to be a domestic Goddess. I have to admit I was a little scared to try them, based on the name. But I felt adventurous, and went for it. Lets just same I am really glad that I did, as these are absolutely delicious. There really is no way to explain the taste from the burnt butter, as it isn't 'burnt' at all, but rather rich and incredibly aromatic. The recipe itself is very simply and straight forward, and I highly recommend them!

Burnt-Butter Cupcakes: (Nigella Lawson)
Makes 12 cupcakes

  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 125g self raising flour (is you don't have it is easy to make, check it out here)
  • 60g sugar
  • 65g brown suger
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2-3 tbsp milk
Preheat oven to 390F.

Over medium heat melt butter, stirring constantly until it is a dark, golden colour (You will really be able to smell it when it is at this point, it isn't a burnt smell thought). Remove from heat and strain butter into bowl to remove sediment. Let butter solidify again.

In a food processor combine all other ingredients except for the milk. Process into a smooth batter. Pour milk down funnel while pulsing batter.

Spoon in to paper cup lined muffin tin. Bake for 15-20 minutes. These don't make big cupcakes at all. I was barely able to fill the bottom of each tin.

Burnt-Butter Icing:
Makes enough icing to very generously cover all cupcakes, and then some.
  • 150g butter
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-3 tbsp milk (I used cream, I felt like being extravagant)
Repeat process with butter. Add half of icing sugar and beat until mixed and stiff. Add a tablespoon og the milk, followed by more sugar. Alternate until desired consistency is acheived. Finally add the vanilla.

Smooth icing over cupcakes, and ENJOY!!!

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Oh how I wish I were back ion the west coast in the land of Safeway and its sweet, welcoming red "s".I'd go and I'd buy you a cake...I could even goback to my high school days and step behind the counter at the Safeway I worked at and spell out happy birthdya clumsily in frosting.