Much of the kindness has been in the form of moral support, but equally I have found countless parcels coming my way, 'cheer' packages which indeed have helped to raise a smile on days when I have needed it. Alot of them seem to follow the theme of baking, these people know me well! After all, who wouldn't feel a little better after flicking through a book of beautifully baked and decorated goodies?
This book certainly lifted my mood. It is called Love Bakery - Cupcakes from the heart. It is so beautifully put together and showcases everything that I love about cupcakes. Who would have thought you could have so many variations on one small cake- but I am still entranced by the possibilities of flavours and decorations for cupcakes which is why I am still making them. They are still being gratefully received by those who eat them too! These cupcakes were for a good friend of mine's birthday.
This recipe is somewhat standard for a cupcake, differs though from the Hummingbird version in that it is not as sweet, but I think the Hummingbird recipe probably keeps better. The nifty thing about this recipe is the method for filling them, using an apple corer- and then there are all the variations you could make for filling them, in this case it is with strawberry jam, but of course you are limited just by your imagination here. This was a straightforward and delicious recipe that I will be trying again.
Dual Iced Jam Tart Cupcakes
For the cakes:
125g caster sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
125g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp milk
For the frosting:
250g icing sugar
1 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp strawberry extract
Red food colouring paste
Strawberry jam to fill
Sugar paste roses or other flowers to top
To make the cakes:
Preheat oven to 180 C. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with cupcake cases. Add the butter, caster sugar and vanilla extract to an electric mixer and beat for 7 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one by one and mix for 2 minutes. Mix the flour and baking powder together in a separate bowl, then add to the mixer until incorporated. Add the milk and mix for a further minute.
Use an icecream scoop to divide the mixture evenly between the cases.
Bake for 25 mins.
Remove baked cupcakes from the oven and immediately transfer to wire rack, leave to cool.
To make the frosting:
Cream the butter in the mixer for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the icing sugar and milk and mix for a further 2 minutes until well blended. (if you want it even lighter add a little more milk).
Divide the frosting in half and spoon into 2 separate bowls. Add the vanilla extract to one bowl and mix well. Add the strawberry extract, if using, to the other bowl. Dip the tip of a small knife into the red food colouring, add to the strawberry frosting and mix well.
Use an apple corer to remove the centre of each cupcake. Fill with a tablespoon of jam and replace the sponge core. (I used a piping bag and piped the jam into each cake, much easier and cleaner!)
Pipe swirls of frosting over top of cupcakes. Decorate with flowers, sprinkles and maybe some edible glitter.