home made cakes for special days and elevenses

Monday, 28 March 2011

Lemon Cupcakes

I made some cupcakes and macarons for a friend's birthday at work last week. The chocolate macs and red velvet cupcakes had been done before and are office favourites, but the lemon curd cupcakes were new. They went down well, so will probably make another appearance before too long.

I adapted a basic Victoria sandwich recipe, as taught by Grandma many years ago and most likely taken by her from her trusty Be-Ro book (40th edition now available!).

To give the cupcakes a lemony twist I added zest to the sponge, a lemon syrup drizzle for added moistness, a little dollop of lemon curd in the middle and some lemon juice to the frosting. That sounds like a lot of lemon, but it was all good.

Recipe for Lemon Cupcakes:

100g butter
100g caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
100g self raising flour
2 large eggs, beaten
zest and juice of one lemon
2 tbsp icing sugar
good quality lemon curd

this will make plenty for 10 cupcakes

375g icing sugar
120g softened butter
35ml whole milk
lemon juice, to taste
yellow colouring

Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla extract until pale in colour. Seive the flour into the bowl, add the eggs and whisk until smooth. Stir in the lemon zest (you can whisk but I find that the zest sticks to the beaters and you then have to scrape it all off!). Spoon into 10 large cupcake cases and cook for 22-25 minutes at 170 degrees.

Whilst the cakes are cooling make small holes in the top of each with a cocktail stick and drizzle a little lemon syrup (the juice mixed with a couple of tablespoons of icing sugar) over each one. Save the remaining syrup for the frosting.

When the cupcakes are completely cool use a small paring knife to cut a hole in the top of each, approx 2cm wide. Fill with a teaspoon of lemon curd. You could trim the little piece you cut out and put it back as a lid, but I prefer to eat them as I'm going along.

I used the Hummingbird vanilla frosting recipe and added some yellow colouring and lemon juice. Combine the icing sugar and butter with an electric mixer. Be careful as this can get messy i.e. clouds of icing sugar all over the kitchen. Add the milk and whisk for five minutes. Add the colouring, any remaining lemon syrup and extra juice to taste. Pipe into swirls on top of the cakes and add any decorations you wish to use.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Explore, Rescue, Protect - an Octonauts Birthday Cake

An underwater adventure with Captain Barnacles and his crew seems like a good way to start a blog. I made this cake for my daughter's friend Ebba, who is a big fan. Under all the icing was a chocolate sponge, which was quickly devoured by Ebba and her friends. Poor Professor Inkling, the pink octopus, also quickly disappeared into a four year old's tummy.