Saturday, 2 March 2013

new york inspiration: magnolia bakery

Have you ever heard of Magnolia Bakery?

They are New York's iconic bakery that started the raging cupcake trend of the early 2000's. There are a number of them scattered across New York now, and it's easy to see why they are so popular - just look at how cute they are!

I've had their cookbook for many years but had never actually tasted one of their infamous cupcakes. On my first visit I entered the bakery and was totally overwhelmed - there were cakes and bunting and sprinkles everywhere. I was stressed by all the people and the endless flavour option so I bought a humble red velvet cupcake and got out of there! I would have loved to sit in a park and eat it in the sunshine... but I found no parks and there was no sunshine and it was negative a zillion degrees. I proceeded to walk around for the rest of the day with my cupcake in a paper bag. That night, when I finally had a chance to sit down, I bit into it and discovered it was frozen. frozen. what?! Oh, perhaps this is what happens to things in paper bags when you walk around for hours in subzero temperatures. The thought had never occurred to this little Australian.

I swear by Magnolia's vanilla buttercream. It is the creamiest, tastiest of buttercreams. Let me share the recipe with you.
Magnolia Bakery's Vanilla Buttercream
From Magnolia's cookbook

1 cup of butter (at room temperature)
6-8 cups icing mixture
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
food colouring

1. Bake your base. A sheet cake, layer cake or some funfetti cupcakes?

2. Combine all the butter, milk, vanilla and 2 cups of icing mixture in a bowl. Whip using an electric mixer until light and creamy. At this point the mixture will be quite runny and won't hold it's shape.

3. Add the rest of the icing mixture one cup at a time, beating well with each addition. Keep adding until it's reached the consistency that you want. I generally use about 7 cups, but might use up to 9 if it's a really hot day.

4. Add whatever food colouring you want, be creative! And if you're making cupcakes you can try your hand at the magnolia's signature swirl. I definitely don't have it down yet - but i love how charming they look. Check out the youtube tutorial here.

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