A typical English tea spread is incomplete without the ‘muffin’….. Easy to make and convenient to eat these cupcakes have gained popularity in recent times and are an instant hit at any party. So here is a simple recipe for soft, fluffy cupcakes which can be made to look dainty with a little icing on top.
Makes 16- 18 muffins
Eggs : 5
Flavoring essence ( vanilla, strawberry or pineapple) : 1 tsp [ Omit essence for chocolate cupcakes ]
Flour (maida) : 1 and a half cup [ For chocolate cupcakes take 1 cup flour and half a cup cocoa powder ]
Baking powder : 1 and 1/4 tsp
Powdered Sugar : 1 cup
Cooking oil : 1 cup [ The oil keeps these cakes soft as opposed to butter which makes the cake hard when cold ]
Curd : 2 tbsp
Muffin tray and paper cups to line it.
Preheat the oven to 200 C.
Sieve flour, baking powder and cocoa. Whisk the eggs till light and fluffy. Add oil and essence and beat. Add the powdered sugar and whisk. Sprinkle the sieved ingredients little by little and with a flat wooden spatula make a figure of 8 with a light hand. You will see that slowly all the flour gets incorporated. Beat the curd in a bowl separately and fold it in the mixture.
The main precautions to be taken here are that while whisking the egg, oil and sugar the movement should be in one direction only as we are incorporating air which helps the cake to rise. Whisking in the opposite direction will take out all that air and make the cake flat. Use the cut and fold method or make a figure of 8 with a light hand to incorporate the flour into the whisked mixture so that the air doesn’t escape out.
Arrange the paper cups in the muffin tray and pour the mixture to half the height of the mould. A 3×3 muffin tray will take about 15-20 mins to bake at 200 C. Insert a knife to check if the muffins are done. The knife should come out clean.
Take out the muffins and cool them. They can be served plain or with an icing
Whipping cream (non dairy topping)
Flavouring fruit crush – strawberry or pineapple
Caramel : Take a non-stick pan and add a couple of tablespoons of sugar. Keep stirring on a low flame till it melts and starts to turn brown. Take off from heat and add a few tablespoons of water while whisking it to get a smooth caramel liquid.
Praline : Grease a plate with butter and keep aside. In a non-stick pan add a couple of tablespoons of sugar. When the sugar starts to melt add a handful of almonds, walnuts or pecan nuts. When the sugar has coated the nuts pour the mixture on the greased plate. Wait for it to cool down a bit and then coarsely powder and store in an airtight jar. This has a shelf life of about 2 months.
Mix the flavouring fruit crush with the whipped cream. Pour it in a piping bag and pipe out on the muffin and decorate with praline or any other cake decorations.
Use your imagination and creativity to decorate these cute little sweet treats.