Something special this way comes

Saturday, December 19, 2009

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)

100g butter
125g sugar
2 eggs
125g flour
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.

Strawberry frosting
125g butter
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.


Hungry Dog said...

Congratulations! What an adorable necklace! I want one! ;) ANd your cupcake looks fabulous and so girlie. Anything "vanilla bean" sounds delicious to me.

pierre said...

bravo shaz you deserve it !!
cheers from chilly Paris

Esther said...

What a lovely win, lucky you and the recipe to go with sounds fantastic too particularly the icing!

Sandy said...

I'm SO glad you won. And I want a bite of that strawberry cupcake, girl!

Merry Christmas!

shaz said...

Thanks HUngry Dog, I do love the occasional girlie indulgence

Thanks Pierre!

Cheers Esther - thre icing is really tasty.

Thanks so much Sandy, I'm so glad I won too :)

Barbara said...

Both the necklace and cupcake are precious! Congratulations on winning! I want one too!
Happy Christmas to you, Shaz!

Trissa said...

Congratulations! Tiffanys? Cupcakes? Unbeatable combination and am glad you won!

Deborah said...

I'm going to try them over the next few days, if I get better (I'm sick), but I'm going to try with rasperries. That should be possible :) Look out for the post at my place! Have a lovely X-mas.

cookbookapprentice said...

Congratulations! the charm is absolutely adorable and your cupcake looks delicious. I had no idea Tiffany is on the cupcake bandwagon. How cool!

Ellie said...

Congrats!! So happy that you won :) I love Tiffany and how cute is the cupcake charm!!

shaz said...

Thanks Barbara- happy Christmas to you too

Cheers Trissa - it is indeed an unbeatable combo!

Hi Deborah - oh yum, raspberries do sound good. Hope you're feeling better.

Thanks cookbookapprentice!

It is indeed too cute Ellie :)