Recipe book review: Fresh and Tasty Cupcakes

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Cupcakes make the world a better place.
It’s true, especially when you’ve tasted a great cupcake!
It’s very rare that you find a super light cupcake. Before, I wasn’t so convinced cupcakes were all they were made out to be. Yes, they were tasty and generally heavy and sickly sweet, but they never really gave me that urge to rugby tackle someone for the last one. Well, all until I landed the best cupcake recipe book! 
When I started my quest to improve my non-existent baking abilities, Shane bought me the New South African Cookery Series Fresh and Tasty Cupcakes recipe book.  His sweet and encouraging gesture turned out to be a huge “gold mine” discovery in my baking world. This recipe book doesn’t look very award winning or ‘special’, however it holds the best basic cupcake recipe ever. It contains a lovely array of creative and very simple recipes for super light and fluffy cupcakes.
My first attempt at following the recipe proved very successful and I believe anyone who tries one of these recipes will have the same result. The instructions are so straight forward; there is no room for confusion – of which I can get when I bake.  With every attempt at a new cupcake mixture from this book, people fall instantly in love with the cupcakes I’ve baked and ask for the recipe. As much as I would love to keep this a ‘secret’ and be donned the ultimate Cupcake Queen among my peers and family, I have to admit my cupcakes are a result of a good recipe created by someone else.
I do however, recommend that each person follow the icing recipe loosely and test their icing as they go along. The problem I find with icing is everyone has different preferences. Some like it sickly sweet, while others don’t.
Now that I have given you the rundown of one of my highly recommended baking recipe books I’ve found. I hope you get your hands on one and try it out. I promise, it will make your world a better place and a tasty one too.
Below is my version of fluffy and creamy vanilla and chocolate icing that is not sickly sweet.
Vanilla icing:
Ingredients:
1 tsp Vanilla essence
1-2 tsp Milk
125g Butter
¾ Cup Icing sugar
Instructions:
1.       Make sure your butter is at room temperature. Start by creaming the butter with an electric beater. At this stage it will not look enough and will stick mostly to the side of the bowl.
2.       Add one teaspoon of milk and the vanilla essence. Beat the butter again for about 1 minute.
3.        Gradually add the icing sugar and beat for about 2 minutes. The mixture should look a lot creamier and thicker. If you find it is not creamy enough, add the other teaspoon of milk and beat for a bit longer.
4.       Taste as you go. If you feel the mixture needs more icing sugar, gradually add more.
Chocolate icing:
Ingredients:
125g Butter
½ tsp of instant coffee
1 – 2 tsp Milk
¾ icing sugar
10 – 15ml Cocoa powder
Instructions:
1.       Make sure your butter is at room temperature. Start by creaming the butter with an electric beater. At this stage it will not look enough and will stick mostly to the side of the bowl.
2.       Add one teaspoon of milk, the vanilla essence and instant coffee. Beat the butter again for about 1 minute.
3.       Gradually add the icing sugar and cocoa powder and beat for about 2 minutes. The mixture should look a lot creamier and thicker. If you find it is not a creamy enough consistency, add the other teaspoon of milk and beat for a bit longer.
4.       Taste as you go. If you feel the mixture needs more icing sugar, gradually add more.