Sesame Street

Very Vanilla Bean Cupcake Recipe

This is a long time coming. I don’t know why it took me so long to post this, but finally… here is my vanilla cupcake recipe. I’ve made this for all my friends and family and customers (sweetxrehab cakes).

The recipe has changed a bit since I’ve started baking this specific recipe, but I think the results from this final recipe produces a moist, fluffy and a tender crumb. It’s a recipe that never fails to impress. I’m sure if you follow these recipes you will get the same results as me.

It’s actually really simple to make. The best way to do this is to measure out all your ingredients first by separating them into two sections. Dry and Wet. Then adding the dry to the wet. Simple! Good Luck!

Tools:
2 Mixing Bowls
1 Metal Sieve
1 Rubber Spatula
1 Whisk
Ladle
24 Cupcake Pan
24 Cupcake Liners

Ingredients:
Dry:
2 1/2 cup Cake Flour
1 1/2 cup Sugar
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt

Wet:
1 cup Vegetable Oil
3 tbsp Unsalted Butter, melted
2 Large Eggs, Room Temperature
1 cup Buttermilk, Room Temperature
1 tsp Vinegar
1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
1 tbsp Vanilla Bean Paste

Directions:
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1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Next sift the dry ingredients together in one mixing bowl.
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2. With a whisk, mix the wet ingredients together until well blended.
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3. Next, add about a 1/2 of the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Make sure to use a rubber spatula to mix everything together, until just mixed
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4. Add the rest of the wet ingredients, and mix until there are no more lumps.
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5. Now spoon the batter into the lined-cupcake pan. About 3/4 of a way full.
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6. Place into preheated oven for 18 minutes. To check if they are ready, you can use the toothpick test (insert toothpick into largest cupcake, and if it comes out clean its’ ready), or use the finger test (press the cupcake with your finger lightly, it should bounce back and not leave a imprint).
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Gallery of Cupcakes

Tips to follow:
- Avoid using anything electrical. i.e. Hand mixer or stand-up mixer. Good ol’ Whisk and Rubber Spatula is all that it is needed. Electrical tools tend to over mix the batter and create tougher products due to the gluten that is created.
- Cake flour!!! but.. if you don’t have that all-purpose flour works too. Just make sure to measure out 2.5 cup of all-purpose flour. Remove 5 tablespoons of all-purpose flour and place it back in your flour canister. Replace the removed all-purpose flour with 5 tablespoons of cornstarch. If you don’t have cornstarch, just plain all-purpose flour is fine too
- Don’t got vanilla bean paste? Skip it. Just substitute with vanilla extract.

Hope everyone managed to make super moist cupcakes. Stay tune for a super light Italian Buttercream recipe to frost this little sweet cake with!

xoxo Nikikiu

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Meatless Monday – Pasta with Mushroom Cream Sauce

For the love of pasta.. I love pasta… It’s my comfort food, summer food, winter food.. May it be the winter, summer, spring. It’s a dish that can be served year round. Fresh flavours for the summer. Heaviness for the winter. I Love it!!

This dish was made on the fly with ingredients found in my pantry and fridge. It was a play on carbonara with the added egg yolk porn. YES! Yolk Porn.. That gorgeous golden running yolk makes a dish that much more appetizing and appealing. Wow your guest with this simple and easy dish. Guaranteed!

Mushroom Cream Sauce Pasta – Serves 2

Ingredients
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4 oz pasta, uncooked (dried or fresh — fresh pasta recipe here)
1 tablespoon olive oil
200 grams assorted mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
1 shallots sliced (red onions or regular onions work too)
1 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp mascarpone
2 tbsp cup fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 tsp truffle oil (optional)
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon basil, chiffonade

Directions
1. If you are using dried pasta, do this step first, if not skip to step 2. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the dried pasta until al dente, about 8 minutes. While it is cooking, start on the sauce.

2. In a large pot, start boiling water.

3. In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the shallots, garlic, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, this will take about 2 minutes.

4. Add the cream, and mascarpone, swirl till the cheese is all melted into the sauce. Add the Parmesan and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

5. By now the water should be boiling, add the fresh pasta and cook until almost al dente. Then scoop the noodles into the sauce to finish off the cooking. Make sure to reserve some pasta water.

6. Mix the pasta with the sauce and cook for about a minute. Add pasta water to loosen the noodles in the sauce if the pasta is too sticky. Remove from the heat and divide among 2 serving bowls or plates. Make a nest with the noodles and add the egg yolk in the center of each serving, then sprinkle each serving with basil, drizzle with truffle oil (optional) and serve immediately.

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Thank you for reading.

xoxo Nikikiu

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Meatless Monday – Spicy Sichuan Cucumber Noodles

This year one of my new years resolutions was to have a day of being ovo-lacto vegetarian (no animal flesh of any kind, but yes to dairy and egg) at least once a week. So breakfast, lunch and dinner was all vegetarian. So far, I’ve maintained this resolution.

My vegetarian cookbook is quite limited right now, but this recipe is one I love to remake over and over. It’s vegan, fresh, spicy, and a bit tangy. You may have tried this recipe before at a sichuan restaurant, but it make look a bit different. It typically comes in finger-sized pieces. This recipe is a noodle version.

Ingredients:
1 Cucumber, cut length-wise and de-seeded
1/2 tsp salt
1 birds eye chili, chopped
1 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp sichuan peppercorn oil
1/2 tsp sichuan peppercorn, crushed
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp black vinegar

Directions:
1. Using a mandolin, vegetable peeler, spiralizer or good ol’ fashion knife, cut the cucumber lengthwise into very thin strips. Add the noodles to a bowl and evenly sprinkle with salt and sugar.
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2. Next, heat a small pan on medium-low heat. Add oils, then add garlic, sichuan pepper, and birds eye chili. Cook until fragrant, but careful to not to let the garlic burn. Set aside.
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3. If liquid has accumulated at the bottom of the cucumber noodle bowl, pour it out. Next add all the ingredients together and mix well.
4. Serve at room temperature, or chill in the fridge for up to a day to serve cold.
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This is another throwback recipe Cool Sichuan Cucumber Salad I changed up the recipe a bit so give it a try.

I’m always looking for recipes to add to my vegetarian cookbook. If you have some to share, send me a message.

Thanks for reading.

xoxo Niki

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