So I finally got a chance to use my new recipe book, called "Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery." I decided to try out the Strawberries and Cream cupcakes first, as it's a friends birthday tomorrow and I thought they'd make a nice summery treat for a picnic we're having. They were really good fun to make, and my sister has decided that "they're the tastiest cakes ever!"
Here's the recipe if you'd like to have a go at making them too:
225 g caster sugar
210 g self-raising flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
125g fresh, ripe strawberries, hulled and crushed
225g unsalted butter
4 large eggs
Quality strawberry jam (1 teaspoon per cake)
Vanilla Buttercream icing: 110g unsalted butter, 60ml semi-skimmed milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 500g icing sugar (this amount makes the icing very sweet, you may wish to experiment with using less.)
12 fresh strawberries
1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees or Gas Mark 4, and line a 12 hole muffin tray with the appropriate size cupcake cases. (You may wish to use silicone cases, as they're easier to use and stop the cake sticking when you eventually want to eat it.)
2. Cream the butter and the sugar together gently by hand and then begin to use an electric hand whisk. Beat in the eggs one by one, and then add the remaining ingredients and beat well together. (Alternatively you can put the sugar, flour, baking powder, cornflour and strawberries into a food processor, pulsing for about 4 seconds until evenly mixed, and then add the butter and eggs and process for a further 10 seconds.)
3. Carefully spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, filling them to about two thirds full. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes. The cakes will be fairly moist even when cooked. (If using smaller cake cases then the cooking time will vary and be closer to 15 minutes. I found best results came from placing the cakes in the middle of the oven, as on the top shelf they browned very quickly. Also as the cakes are quite moist they don't rise very much, so you can almost fill the cupcake cases if you wish.)
4. Remove from the oven and leave the cakes in their tins for up to 10 minutes before placing on a wire try to cool.
5. Once completely cool....it's time for the fun bit! Carefully make a small hole in the centre of each cupcake using a knife and then use a teaspoon to push the strawberry jam into the whole. (You can slightly warm the jam in a saucepan first to soften it before pushing it into the sponge if you wish. This allows some of the jam to soak into the sponge.)
6.Make the buttercream icing-add all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix carefully at first by hand to avoid a icing sugar explosion! Then mix with a hand whisk for approximately five minutes so it is creamy and smooth.
7. It's time to ice your cupcakes! Using the flat side of a palette knife work icing sugar over the entire cupcake. Use enough icing sugar so that you can form a central peak with excess icing. Then dip the end of the knife into the centre of the cupcake and drag in a anticlockwise circulate motion to create a "swirl effect."
8. Decorate the cupcakes as desired! (You may wish to cut fresh strawberries in half and place them onto the cakes shortly before serving, or use something such as sugar balls for a more decorative finish.)
Leave to set, and enjoy! Perfect for summer picnics, parties or just an afternoon snack, they're sure to be a hit with everyone!
Preparation time: 1 hour plus cooking time
Makes 15-20 regular cupcakes