YAYYY, one of my favourite programmes ever is back on our screens so I thought it was only right to dedicate my next post entirely to the series.
I decided to share my recipe for lemon cupcakes as these are a firm favourite with my friends, family and the lucky people who I work with. If lemon doesn't float your boat, feel free to adapt the recipe to chocolate, strawberry, vanilla... the list is endless.
The recipe is really easy and you can decorate them to your hearts content. It is great for beginners and is perfect to make with children or your boyfriend/girlfriend who may be culinary challenged.
Using various colours, sprinkles, edible glitter and more, you can really make this as simple or as decorative as you wish.
So rather than rambling on, here is how you can make 12 yummy cakes at home :)
For da spongeeeeee:
80g unsalted butter
280g caster sugar
240g self raising flour
1/2 tea spoon finely grated lemon zest (I add more for extra lemoney-ness)
1 table spoon lemon syrup (I also add a little of the juice of the lemon that I grated. Waste not want not)
2 large eggies
For da frostingzzzzz (this makes enough for it to be spread over the cakes - you may wish to make more for swirls and piping etc.):
2 table spoons lemon syrup
500g icing sugar
160g unsalted butter
1 tea spoon finely grated lemon zest
For da decorations:
You can pretty much use whatever you want to decorate your cupcakes. I find that eBay has the best selection of pretty decorations such as sprinkles, edible glitter (check it IS edible before whacking a load on your cakes), cake toppers, colouring, rice paper butterflies, what ever takes your fancy. eBay also has loads of tools for you to be able to ice your cakes such as nozzles, piping bags & cutters.
1 tray with 12 'dips' otherwise known as a muffin tray
12 muffin cases (cupcake cases tend to be shallow - muffin cases are deep!)
A hand held mixer / elbow grease
Ice Cream scoop
A nice array of spoons
What the blazes do I do?!
The first thing you need to do is to preheat your oven to 190 degrees/gas mark 5. Then line your muffin tray with 12 cases.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, flour and lemon zest with the hand mixer if you have one, if not work those bingo wings!! Keep going until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs.
In a jug or another bowl, whisk the lemon syrup, a few squeezes of the juice from the lemon, eggs, milk. A fork is just as good if a whisk isn't available. This mixture won't look pretty, but go ahead and add about half to the dry ingredients. Use the hand mixer on a slow speed until its all incorporated into a smooth smooshie mixture. Continue to add the rest of the mixture using the mixer until it has all come together nicely once more.
When you are satisfied that your batter is lump free, spoon even amounts into the cases. You want to fill the cases about two thirds of the way full. A good way to do this to ensure that your cakes come out perfectly uniformed (I get slightly OCD!), use a ice cream scoop and take a spoon full of the mixture - try to keep the back of the scoop clean as this will ensure even distribution between the cases. When all the cases are full, pop them into the oven for about 18-20 minutes. I tend to have to do this for longer as my oven isn't my friend and I think at some point it has broken. If you have this problem, about 25 minutes should be plenty!
Whilst you are waiting for your bad boy bake to rise in the oven, you can start to get the ingredients ready for your frosting.
It is essential for your butter to be room temp and soft all the way through. Cold butter will create lumps and this is NOT nice when you think you are about to enjoy a yummy cake, but instead faced with a manky lump of pure butter - mmm. You can put it in the microwave if your butter is still solid, but do this in 10 second intervals as if it melts to liquid - this is will create a runny icing and will not make pretty cupcakes.
When you have finally got your head around your butter, plop it into a mixing bowl with the lemon syrup, lemon zest icing sugar and milk. Ensure your paddles of your hand mixer are clean, and whisk this all together until it becomes light, fluffy and creamy. Here you can add the colouring of your choice.
When adding colour, a little drop goes a long long looooooooooooooooooooong way. It is best to start with one drop and keep adding, mixing in between each drop, until you reach the colour of your choice. An alternative to food colouring (used to create the colours in the cakes above) is colouring gel. It is similar to the standard food colouring and is meant to be better when adding it to frosting as it doesn't effect the consistency as much. Whilst I do agree with this, I haven't found the colour pay off very good.
When your cakes are a nice golden brown, pull them out and with a skewer or some kind of prodding tool, stab a victim of your choice. When pulling it out, check if the cake is cooked all the way through - if the stick is gooey - whack them in for a further five minutes or so. Take them out and place them on a wire rack. If you have a metal cake stand then I recommend you use this as it enables air flow all around the cakes and will help cool them quicker.
Once completely cool, you can then ice your cakes. The technique I used to create the design above is by covering the top of each sponge with a thin layer so you are not able to see any of the cake.
I then used a piping bag and a large star nozzle and swirled and circled the icing. There are hundreds of tutorials on YouTube that will be able to show you better than how I can describe how I did it!
You can then add any decorations of your choice, I opted for edible flowers and sprinkles!
WAHHH - written just in time to catch Mary Berry be all cute and adorable!!
Byeeeee / xxx