Over the weekend I remarked to someone how I hate, and rarely try, recipes without pictures. How I am a visual eater, and often wish restaurants would have pictures on the menu, to avoid disappointment! However this conversation left me feeling unadventurous and non participational. Like I felt feel in school when raised eyebrows and a sigh were the response to "can I just watch the dodge ball"...
So I decided to give it a shot, but for safety sake to go with a cookbook that I swear by, Nigella Lawson How to be a domestic goddess.
So I went for the Burnt butter cupcakes, and for once decided to follow the recipe to the letter.
Now here is where I have a problem, descriptions are so subjective, aren't they? In this recipe it advises burning the butter to a dark golden colour. Well what is that? Is it brown? Yellow? Midway? I think there was a ten minute debate with Bill as to what colour dark golden was, I bantered that a dark golden cake would be brown brown, but dark golden paint might be deep yellow. We settled on a midway yellow brown and proceeded with the cake... I am therefore including this picture of the colour I decided on in case you have a similar problem!
Burnt Butter Brown Sugar Cupcakes
As per Nigella Lawson
150g unsalted butter
125g sef raising flour
60g golden caster sugar
65g light muscavado
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
2-3 tbsp milk
Firstly burn the butter. Put it in a small saucepan, and stir until it turns a dark golden colour (see above) when you will take it off the heat and strain through a sieve. There should be a nutty smoky smell off the butter.
Now Nigella says to let the butter re-solidify, I left mine for nearly an hour and nothing so...
Allow the butter cool somewhat and then blitz with the other ingredients to a smooth batter in your processor.
Divide into as many cases as you can, to about halfway up, and bake for 15 minutes or so, until the usual skewer comes out clean.
Make the icing by repeating the burning of a smaller amount of butter then stirring in enough icing sugar and a bit of milk to make a sweet buttery paste. Top the cupcakes with this and leave to harden before eating.
Personally I thought the cupcakes were okay, very very buttery though and I think next time I'll use a different icing. The lack of picture did affect my baking, I find to have an end goal, ie this is what it should look like, makes it a good incentive to do well. Also for more elaborate cakes, sometimes it can be too vague to simply describe how to do it... showing the final product can help you along, or allow you more freedom, depending on what you like!