The post office box holds many surprises this time of year, and guess what was waiting there a couple of days ago? A Tiffany’s box! Yes, you read that right. The much coveted, distinctive blue box had my name on it. What a fabulous early Christmas present.
And I have the blog and some lovely fellow bloggers to thank for it. While drowsily browsing blogland (say that fast) late one night, I stumbled upon this post at The Reluctant Entertainer. As a cupcake tragic, I just had to comment, thinking my entry wouldn’t count because I lived too far away. I then surfed on over to Party Cupcake Ideas to ogle the cupcakes and thought no more about the competition.
Imagine my absolute surprise when I received an email from Sandy (The Reluctant Entertainer herself) letting me know I’d won the prize! “Are you sure I’m eligible? ” I emailed back. Apparently I was, so a HUGE thank you to Sandy and Melody (of Party Cupcake Ideas) for such a wonderful present.
Of course, to celebrate, I baked. Here’s a little cupcake inspired by my new Tiffany’s cupcake charm necklace.
Thanks again ladies!
Vanilla bean cupcake with strawberry frosting
(I just tweaked a basic pound cake formula for the cupcake)
½ tsp baking powder (sifted together with the flour)
½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped (I store the beans in my sugar jar. Use a whole bean if feeling really extravagant)
2 tbsp milk
I was feeling a bit old-school and fed-up of washing up, so I made this using a wooden spoon to beat the ingredients. Lightly beat the eggs and milk together. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla seeds and mix well. Add in half the flour and mix well, then half the egg/milk mixture. Mix well, then repeat.
Spoon into cupcake wrappers and bake at moderately high heat, until golden brown.
Makes about 12 medium cupcakes. The cake texture is slightly dense yet moist.
200g icing sugar (sifted)
½ cup strawberry puree (to start)
First, cook the strawberry puree very gently over low heat (do not boil) until the mixture has reduced by at least half. I ended up with about 2 tablespoons. Set aside to cool.
Beat butter until light, add in the icing sugar a bit at a time and beat well. When all the sugar has been incorporated, add in two tablespoons of the thickened strawberry puree. Gently mix it in.
Ice cooled cupcakes.
The flavours really develop after the icing has been allowed to mellow for a couple of hours.