There’s an abundance of recipes available on the Internet. But I tell you, there’s something quite special about having an open recipe book on the counter next to you as you work, sliding your finger along the lines as you read the next step in the recipe.
I recently purchased a copy of the Humming Bird Bakery’s cupcake guide!
When my cousin showed me her copy a few weeks ago, it took me the whole of 5 seconds (of gawking) to realize I wanted one of my own. (Judging a book by its cover works out sometimes).
It’s a small square book that would make the perfect gift for a cupcake enthusiast. The photographs are charming, as is the cute size of the book. The first recipe I made from it was the peaches and cream cupcake.
It called for a mixing method that I had read about in the past, but hadn’t tried: mixing together the butter and all the dry ingredients to create a sandy texture. Then in a separate bowl, mixing all the wet ingredients together and then pouring that into the sand.
We lined the bottom of the cupcake wrappers with sliced canned peaches first, and then topped that with the batter.
The resulting cupcakes did not rise very much and they looked a bit wrinkled when they came out of the oven. But it must be said, what that they lacked in appearance, they definitely made up for in taste. It was a soft, moist crumb. The melt-in-your-mouth type of thing.
In any case, a generous dollop of cream was going to be spooned on top, so we didn’t need to worry too much about the appearance of the cupcake itself.
The cupcakes barely had time to cool down before they were frosted and promptly devoured. So sadly, dear reader, I do not have any pictures of the final product. I shall however, leave you with the photograph from the book itself (which is far better than what I would have shot anyway).
Keep it peachy!
Peaches and Cream Cupcakes (Hummingbird Bakery Cupcakes and Muffins):
(Makes 10 – 12 cupcakes)
1 cup all-purpose flour
A scant 3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder (increase to 1 1/2 teaspoons for sea-level)
A pinch of salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk, at room temperature (decrease to 1/2 cup for sea-level)
1 egg, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
14 oz. fresh (or canned) peaches, sliced
Preheat oven to 170C (325F) Gas 3.
Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined. Gradually pour in half the milk and beat until the milk is just incorporated.
Whisk the egg, vanilla extract and remaining milk together in a separate bowl for a few seconds, then pour into the flour mixture and continue beating until just incorporated (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Continue mixing for a couple more minutes until the mixture is smooth. Do not over mix.
Divide the sliced peaches between the paper cases so that the base of each case is covered. Spoon the cupcake mixture on top until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until light golden and the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.