Sunday, 15 February 2009

Valentine's cupcakes

I have to say, i don't normally buy into Valentine's Day, but this year i thought hubby deserved an extra special treat. It been a dramatic week with our cat Molly who is very poorly and any man who can gracefully put up with pregnancy hormones deserves a sainthood!

So anyway, mentioned pregnancy means tight purse strings so i searched the house for ingredients already about. In the end i decided upon lemon sponge cupcakes with red vanilla buttercream...

Ingredients- makes 12 cupcakes
1 lemon (juice and rind)
125g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
125g lightly salted butter
125g self raising flour

For the Icing
350g caster sugar
175g lightly salted butter
3 tsps boiling water
Few drops of vanilla essence
Few drops of red colouring

First whack the oven up to 190c, you need that oven warm before attempting to bake. Whilst the ovens doing its thing, you can start on the batter by blending the butter and sugar together before adding the lemon, flour and the egg yolk. Mix all these ingredients together well, it should have a off-beige colour and your arm should be aching! Finally, whip up the egg whites seperately and fold into the mixture.

Tip - use lightly salted butter over the ordinary variety, especially when making a buttercream topping. Otherwise it can taste far too salty!!

Divide the mixture into cupcake cases, i usually find that 2 teaspoons in each case does the trick, and level out with the back of the spoon. Once they are as level as you can get them you can pop them in the oven to bake for around 12-15 minutes.

Tip - Its best to check after 12 minutes with a toothpick or knife, if there is no gooey mixture, it means they're done!

So once you've left your cupcakes to cool for at least an hour, start on the buttercream. This is my all time favourite topping and its soo easy peasy to do. Basically, just whack all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl (remembering to sift the icing sugar first) and whisk away until smooth.

Finally, you're ready for making the cakes look pretty! This is all down to personal preference, just make sure you put the decorations on before the buttercream dries!

Happy baking! xx

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