Vanilla...There's something to be said about vanilla. Some would say vanilla is dull, yet predictable. Or even worse... plain. That's just nonsense. Vanilla is rich and flavorful. It is warm and inviting and lingers a sultry note in the kitchen. Interestingly enough, vanilla beans are cultivated from a vanilla orchid. Well, orchids are just about as feminine as it gets! And I certainly would not call an orchid plain. Exotic maybe, but not plain!
Did you know that studies indicate that the number one scent men are attracted to is vanilla?...Cinnamon was number two. Now.. I'm not sure who handled this study, but ladies, it sounds like we need to be rolling around in cinnamon rolls before we leave the house :)
As promised, I have the Vanilla Magnolia Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream today. As mentioned yesterday, I added vanilla beans to this these cupcakes. In my opinion, at $4-$6 per vanilla bean, it was a waste to add it to the cake. I just did not feel that it added anything to the flavor, nor the texture. Perhaps I did not add enough vanilla bean or the texture of the cake just overpowered the bean? Now, the vanilla icing that I added it to in yesterday's post, that was a different story. It was worth every penny for the flavor it added there. In the future, for the cake I will just use a good-quality pure vanilla extract.
As tantalizing as vanilla is for the senses, you don't even want to get me started on chocolate! I must say I really enjoyed the Magnolia Chocolate Buttercream recipe. I rarely make chocolate icing, but I do think this icing was worth the labor involved. Overall, I think I am most impressed with the buttercream icing recipes from Magnolia Bakery. Then again, isn't the icing the best part anyways!?! Enjoy!
Magnolia's Vanilla Cupcakes and Chocolate Buttercream
1 C unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 C self rising flour
1 1/4 C all-purpose flour
1 C milk
1 tsp vanilla
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
2.Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers.
3.In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth.
4.Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
5.Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
6.Combine the flours and add in four parts, alternating with the milk and the vanilla extract, beating well after each addition
7.Spoon the batter into the cups about 3/4's full..
8.Bake until the tops spring back when lightly touched, about 20 to 22 minutes.
9.Remove cupcakes from pans and cool COMPLETELY on a wire rack before icing with butter cream frosting
Magnolia's Chocolate Buttercream
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, very soft
2 tablespoons milk
9oz semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled to lukewarm
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar (icing sugar)
*NOTE: To melt the chocolate microwave in 20 sec. intervals. Stir after each interval. Continue until melted.
1.In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter using an electric mixer on MEDIUM speed for about 3 minutes or until creamy.
2.Add the milk carefully and beat until smooth.
3.Add the melted chocolate and beat well for 2 minutes.
4.Add the vanilla and beat for 3 minutes.
5.Gradually add in the sugar and beat on LOW speed until creamy and of desired consistency.