There is definitely something to be said for the way technology has changed our world. Because of the internet I got back in touch with people I graduated with who actually live only a few miles away. Without the help of Facebook, they would probably be completely off of my radar. It's so much fun to
stalk see the pictures of their beautiful children and learn what everyone else is up to. Thanks to blogging and Facebook, I got a request to make cooked frosting from an old friend of mine from high school, who is in the same stage of life that I am (and who has two of the most adorable babies!). I had so much fun trying something new and I loved getting to bake for someone else (my waistline is thankful that I let N and her family give my attempt a try). The best part? I think I'm going to be getting a guest post from her and I might even get to try some of her goodies. :) On to dessert...
This was my first time making a cooked frosting (Martha Stewart calls it 7-minute frosting, but my family has always called it sea foam icing). Call it what you will, it's a fluffy, ever so slighty sticky, shiny, marshmallowy frosting. It was also my first (definitely not my last) attempt using vanilla beans. For the cupcake part, I used the recipe (slightly adapted) from RecipeGirl.com (White Wedding Cake Cupcakes). 9 out 10 tasters think this was a pretty awesome cake, especially since it's a box to start. As far as the icing, I stuck with the classic and used Martha's recipe (definitely we're on a first-name basis--aren't you?!). Martha Stewart Frosting
Check out the fluffy loveliness of this frosting! I didn't have an instant read thermometer (well, I have one, but one piece of it seems to have been eaten by my kitchen elves), so I used the timing method and watched to make sure everything was evenly mixed and thickening. It's really not as difficult as I was expecting, if I can do it, you can too!
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes
(Makes ~ 36 cupcakes)
1 box white cake mix (I highly recommend Duncan Hines)
1 Cup flour
1 Cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 1/3 Cups water
2 Tbl. vegetable oil
1/2 vanilla bean guts(or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
1 Cup sour cream (I recommend using the full-fat version for this application)
4 egg whites (from large eggs)
Preheat oven to 350°. Line cupcake pans with liners or grease and flour pans. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl with a whisk. Add the remaining ingredients and beat with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes or until just combined. Fill cupcake pans about 1/3-3/4 full and bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
Vanilla Bean Sea Foam Frosting
1 1/2 Cup sugar
2 Tbl light corn syrup
2 large egg whites
1/4 Cup water
1/2 vanilla bean guts
Combine all the ingredients in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Heat over medium, stirring often, until the mixture reaches 160° on an instant read thermometer (or about 2-3 minutes). Remove from heat, and using an electric mixer, beat on high until glossy and fluffy. Should take about 5 minutes. Use a zip-top bag or an pastry bag to frost cupcakes or spread with a small offset spatula and create mini peaks.