What the hell is self-rising cake flour and, more importantly, where did I get it?
Recipe: Nigella’s Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
So today my shining light of a daughter turns 18, which makes me 97, or maybe it just feels that way. Anyhow, with such an auspicious occasion to mark, I wanted to find an appropriate treat to cap the festive birthday dinner — traditionally the birthday girl’s choice, and as always she’s requested mac and cheese with grilled asparagus on the side.
I found this delightfully easy recipe for chocolate cherry cupcakes in Nigella’s Domestic Goddess book, and was congratulating myself on coming up with the perfect marriage of the adult (sour cherries, dark chocolate) and the childish (cupcakes) in an incredibly simple recipe (bonus!), when I noticed that it called for self-rising cake flour. Now, this item struck me as just a tad exotic to have on hand, but lo and behold after a bit of frantic rummaging I did find some in the dark recesses of the pantry. It is, to say the least, unusual to find exactly what I need on any given day; however, given my customary frame of mind during a trip to Fairway, it is not surprising that I have in stock things I can’t recall ever buying.
In the event you want to make these or other such items, you can easily substitute all-purpose flour with a little tweaking, and let’s be honest, it is so much easier to sub out an item than it is to slop over to the gourmet market while trying to hide your pajamas under your trench coat.
Now there’s all kinds of science-y information about why this works, but I’m already bored at the thought of reading it. If you’re interested in the molecules and electrons, you can click the link below. Arts and Sciences types can just read on.
If all you have is all-purpose flour, here’s how to substitute it in a recipe that calls for self-rising cake flour.
For each cup of self-rising cake flour you need, mix together:
1 cup minus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
+ 2 tablespoons corn starch
+ 1/4 teaspoon salt
+ 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Quite simple really. Crisis averted — for today anyway.
So on to the cupcakes. Now, having only recently emerged from the sugar coma of my previous chocolate crinkles adventure, I was loathe to fill the house, once again with treats. The rest of the family are all towers of self-restraint, which as a rule leaves me alone to consume the confections that pour from my kitchen like rats from the proverbial sinking ship. That’s not a particularly appealing image for baked goods, and really I only bake sporadically, but you get the gist.
Of course, I’m more than equal to the task of stuffing my pie hole, but really there are only so many hours one can spend in the gym, and after several days of cookies for breakfast, lunch and dinner, there’s really no way to work it all off anyway. Um…where was I? Oh yes, cupcakes. So, loathe to fill, blah, blah, blah, but such a momentous occasion comes only once in a lifetime and we’ve got a party to throw.
Now Nigella, as is her wont, calls for these to be frosted with chocolate, but I don’t agree. Instead, I finished my batch with plain old vanilla buttercream with a little almond extract for flavor. The sweetness of the icing perfectly complimented the chocolatey-sour cherry flavor of the cake. And they looked very cute with the chocolate covered almonds on top. Perfect.
So HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GRACIE! From me and my pal, Jack.
Posted on March 7, 2012, in Baking, Dessert, Party! Party! and tagged Almond, Baking, Cherry, Chocolate, Cupcake, Dessert, Drink and Food, Humor/Commentary, Nigella. Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.