Sniff sniff – this week has been a bit of a struggle! I’ve been poorly with a cold which has turned a bit mean and is stopping me sleeping, and so I’ve not been in the kitchen very much but have been rather superbly looked after and brought tea and hot water bottles by the lovely Ben! I am incredibly bored of tv and computer games (by the way how awful is tv at 4am…..it’s all miracle workout DVDs, super steam mops and re-runs of 1970s horror films!!!) so I’m now snuggled in the sofa planning all the things I’m going to cook as soon as I can stand up without wheezing!
While I’m here I thought I would post about these cakes that I made last weekend – another fab cupcake recipe from British Baking (which if you are thinking about Christmas presents would make a great pressie for anyone who likes to bake!). I know cupcakes are a bit fashionable at the moment and a lot of people would say they are not real baking, but I still think they are great if you want to share baking with others – plus they look pretty!
To make a dozen of these you need:
- 100g butter
- 175g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 150g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- zest of 1 clementine
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed clementine juice
- 2 tbsp natural yoghurt
For the icing:
- 2 large egg whites
- 150g caster sugar
- 175g butter
- 50ml freshly squeezed clementine juice
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
I love this type of cupcake icing – it’s a meringue (swiss meringue I think?) that you make by hand whisking the sugar and egg whites by hand in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water until all the sugar has dissolve and you can feel no grains when you rub it between your fingers. Then use an electric mixer (this is brilliantly easy in a kitchenaid!) to whisk until you get a meringue with firm peaks. At this point slowly add the butter then the other ingredients while constantly whisking. It takes a bit of time but I think it gives a much much nicer texture and flavour than most other buttercream icings.
One thing that I will say for this recipe which I think I said when I made the strawberry jam cupcakes from the same book is that I think there is too much icing here for a dozen cupcakes – I probably only used 2/3 of it. I think this about a lot of the fancy cupcakes being sold at the moment, where there seems to be as much icing as cake, with the result being an overly messy, overly sickly cupcake that you struggle to finish without pulling half the icing off. I’m not alone in thinking this – some of the people that helped me eat these said exactly the same thing. Some places seem to compensate for a bland slightly dry sponge by piling the icing on, but the sponge in these cakes is so nice and light that I think less is more.
Sorry – rant over! I’m off to top up my hot water bottle and make a new cup of tea….sniff sniff!