The dust settles

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hooray! I am back in the world of the internets again thanks to a nifty little wifi modem. Actually, I should have been able to get online a lot earlier but the first modem we got (from a different service provider), decided it didn’t like my operating system.  Apparently my system was “too new”. When we called tech support, the brilliant advice we were given was to use an older computer! 

I’ll tell you what’s older though. My new kitchen. (How’s that for an oxymoron). And I absolutely love it. Even though it’s smaller than my previous kitchen, I love how everything is so close and within easy reach, there’s heaps of storage and like most older kitchens, there’s a window to stare out of when doing the washing up :) Having said that, Mr. Kitchen Hand, who does most of the washing up, would gladly trade the view for a dishwasher.

Luckily, the oven is practically brand new. It’s a very basic model, but I dig that. It turns on and off, and has a little light and that’s about it. I’m still getting used to how eerily quiet it is though. My previous oven would whir even when the fan-forced setting was turned off, but this one just sits silently, looking and sounding as if it isn’t doing anything until you open the door and realise it’s hot in there! During the pack and the move, I managed to forget my oven thermometer so I’m not quite sure whether the dial and the internal temperature match but that’s a story for another day.

Today, I’m talking cupcakes. After more than three weeks of sheer hard slog, I decided that enough was enough, and instead of unpacking another box or putting things in the right place, we made cupcakes. Rhubarb cupcakes. Something I’d been obsessing about since my trip to Orange.

Since I had the MC’s underfoot “helping” I kept it really simple. This is just a tweaked basic pound cake recipe with added rhubarb, and a simple vanilla butter icing. They were utterly delicious. I’m not quite sure if it’s because these were the the first home-baked thing we’d eaten in ages, or whether they were really, really good. Even Mr. Kitchen Hand who doesn’t have a sweet tooth, loved them.

I hope you like them too.

Have a great weekend my friends. I’ve missed being online and reading your blogs but I’m making up for lost time now :)

Rhubarb cupcakes
(I looked at lots and lots of pound cake recipes and just tweaked the basics down to a 2 egg batter)

100g sugar
2 eggs
125g butter (room temperature)
120g flour
2 tbsp (australian spoon) milk
1 tsp (australian) baking powder
dash of vanilla extract
pinch of salt
70g thinly sliced rhubarb (from 3 stems) - remove strings if needed.

Preheat the oven - I had my dial at 170˚C, but who know what the real temperature was.

Beat the eggs, milk and vanilla essence lightly together. Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl and beat for a few seconds until aerated. Add the butter to the dry ingredients and enough of the egg mixture (don’t tip it all in at once) to moisten. Beat this mixture until creamy (just a couple of minutes). Add half of the egg mixture that’s left and beat until well mixed, then add the rest of the egg and beat again until well mixed. Don’t overbeat.

Fold in the rhubarb, divide between 12 cupcake liners and bake until golden. Cool then ice as desired. For our butter icing, we beat 100g softened butter until creamy, then added about a cup of sifted icing sugar and a dash of vanilla extract, and beat it again until fluffy.


Lisa said...

Congrats on your new kitchen and welcome back to the interney!! Would you believe I've never tried rhubarb?? If your beautiful cupcakes don't push me to it, I don't know what will!! :)

chocolatesuze said...

welcome back! love the look of your icing it's so smooth!

Janine said...

Welcome back to the internet world! :) I still have some frozen rhubarb left so I just might try this later this weekend heh :D

Hungry Dog said...

Hi shaz! Glad you are settled in your new digs. I had to laugh out loud at the advice to use older equipment. Sounds like a punchline...

But about these cupcakes. Divine! I've got the baking itch too these days. Maybe a small batch of these is in my future, if I can still get rhubarb.

Jamie said...

I love cupcakes like this because they are not so sweet and so simple. Love the rhubarb touch. And oh how I want a new kitchen...

vanille said...

The most important is to feel well where you are.
Cute cupcakes and if they have rhubarb in them, even better ;)
Enjoy your week-end Shaz !

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Any extra? I have not tasted any food with rhubarb yet. Good to hear that you are settling in at your new home.

Danny said...

Hi Shaz, it's Slim here. Thanks for the note! I like the look of these cupcakes. The Hungry Dog has baked with rhubarb before, but never cupcakes.

I noticed that the link to your blog that was included in your comment on my blog was spelled "teswithskewer". Might be keeping people from finding you!

Keep up the good work, and stop by anytime.

Anh said...

welcome back! And I can i have one cupcake?

shaz said...

Lisa - I do find it hard to believe as you are such an adventurous baker! Hope you get a chance to try it soon.

chocolatesuze - thanks :) The trick is to use a hot (but dry) metal spatula.

Janine - I'd love to know how it works out.

Hungry Dog - we're lucky over here, we get a long season for rhubarb.

Jamie - the rhubarb did add a nice tang to the cakes.

vanille - Very true, home is where the heart is right?

Malay-Kadazan girl - Rhubarb is quite sour but I like the taste a lot.

Danny - Ooops! Thanks for the heads up Slim. I type too fast for my own good sometimes.

Anh - you're welcome to have as many as you like :)

grace said...

i'm glad you have a sense of normalcy once again, shaz, though these cupcakes are anything but normal. they're unique and i think they sound incredible!