Impromptu Golden Yogurt Cupcakes
Have I ever told you the revelatory tale of the Impromptu Golden Yogurt Cupcakes? It’s the reason the baking ratios in my Kitchen Grimoire are worth trying for yourself. Plus, you get cake. Since when was that not incentive enough to try something new?
So there I was with three egg yolks left over from the ergolavi I’d baked for my dad. Never one to waste, I broke out by cake ratio card and looked up American Butter Cake.
sugar |
1 |
cake flour |
1 |
butter |
0.6 |
milk |
0.8 |
egg |
0.4 |
• 300g flour for 2x 9” round • 1.5% salt • 6.5% baking powder |
At this point you may be wondering what the fuck you’re looking at. It’s not a recipe. There are no instructions. How perfectly useless!
So no, there aren’t any instructions. Working from ratios with baking assumes you already know how to assemble these things. But this is, in fact, a recipe. It’s just expressed in a way that dispenses with the clunky system of cups, spoons, and bushels that we’ve all grown to love. When you work with ratios, you work solely by weight. As in with a scale.
Before you get to the complaining about this being so awkward, consider the tare button on a scale. You weigh in an ingredient, press it, the scale zeroes, and you weigh in the next ingredient. If that’s somehow harder than getting out a minimum of eight separate volume measures, you’re doing it wrong.
But I digress.
You’re going to use a scale, and you won’t even bother bitching about it because you will realize how awesome this is the second you start doing it and suddenly won’t be able to stop talking about how it changed your life. Or maybe that’s just me.
Anyhow, this is so a recipe because baking is chemistry. Cakes, cookies, breads, etc. all rely on ingredients being in specific proportion to each other. Doesn’t matter the quantities so long as they’re always in the same ratio. But it does matter the way you measure. Thus the scale.
So let’s decode this sucker as it would be baked for the two 9-inch rounds given as the reference weight. Right there, we have a starting point. 300 grams of flour. A little bit of math now goes a long way.
In the recipe, cake flour’s proportion is 1. And we’re using 300 grams of cake flour. Which is now to say that 1 part = 300 grams as we work out how much of the rest of the ingredients are required. This makes the sugar easy, being 1 part, it’s also 300 grams. 180 grams of unsalted butter (300 x 0.6), 240 grams of milk (300 x 0.8) and 120 grams (300 x 0.4) of egg.
Don’t panic! Look over here, and you’ll see that you’re looking at twoish eggs.
The salt and leavener are calculated as a percentage of your flour. And in this case, you need 4.5 grams of salt (300 x 0.015) and and 19.5 grams of baking powder (300 x 0.0165).
But all of that, that’s for two 9-inch rounds. I just want some cupcakes to use up the leftover egg yolks from these cookies!
Oh, but we’re almost there.
So we have three egg yolks, weighing in at 60 grams. Instead of working from the flour to get what one part is, work from the eggs. Divide 60 by the egg’s proportion in the ratio, 0.4, to get 150. So instead of 1 part = 300 grams as before, now 1 part = 150 grams. The rest works like it did before. 150 grams of cake flour (1 x 150 grams), 150 grams of sugar (1 x 150 grams), 90 grams of unsalted butter (0.6 x 150 grams), and 120 grams of milk (0.8 x 150 grams) are what you’ll need to make a cake from three egg yolks.
And didn’t I say something about Golden Yogurt? The golden comes from the egg yolks. Notice that the ratio calls for eggs. You get wiggle room in there and can use whatever part of the egg you have left over, though if it’s whites, you’re better off with Angel Food Cake. And it should go without saying that I used yogurt rather than milk. Because why not? The extra acid made the cake super tender and tangy. This yielded about 10 cupcakes, by the by.
If you’ve made it this far, you’re hooked. Check out the ratios in my Kitchen Grimoire and go wild!