23 June 2012

Cherry and Almond Cupcakes

'Reasonable Doubt' by Jay-Z

This was Jay - Z's first and in my opinion defining album. I am super excited about seeing him perform tomorrow and simply had to get him on. Apart from being one of the most important artists of our generation, Jay-Z is an inspiration. I'm here cooking, typing, working every muscle in my body to pursue a dream. A life long goal to be an innovative cook, entrepreneur and build a profile that will stick like icing on a cake for many years. Of course I'm not the only one in this situation, it takes perseverance, hope and stamina to continue a path that will be worthwhile. I'm going way off tangent and will focus on the gorgeous cake above, if I don't this post could get a bit too deep and meaningful, and those chats are best done with a glass of wine and packet of Maltesers! 

Cherry and almond laced in a cake is so divine I cannot brag enough about how amazing these flavours are. There will be loads more cakes next week as I am gearing up for a special project in which I have to produce 25 cupcakes at an exquisite standard. I'm not even on 'The Great British Bake Off' but I've been feeling the oven heat on my back all week! I've made this cake before and it was featured on Tesco's website here. The craving for them again came about after the massacre of my first batch.  First thing this morning I made a lovely handful of vanilla cupcakes with a secret stash of jam in the middle, topped with strawberry butter cream and red smarties, sounds delicious! Now as I cycled down Graham road I realised the bumps were getting too abrupt, and if I was bouncing up and down, the cakes must have benn all over the place. I stopped, ripped open the bag and saw them all upside down - gutted. With disappointed cake fury I dashed them in the nearest bin and got on with my bike ride, someone lucky must have discovered them by now!

▶ Here's the recipe for 12 cupcakes, using muffin cases. I basically halved the generic cake recipe I always use.


For cake...
125g unsalted butter
125g golden caster sugar
2 tsp almond essence
2 large eggs
125g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp milk - or coconut water

125g unsalted butter
Half a teaspoon of strawberry essence
250g sifted icing sugar
1 tbsp milk
Flaked almonds
Glaced or fresh cherries


Preheat oven to 180°c.
: Cream butter, essence and sugar until pale and fluffy - this should take a good 7 minutes in a cake mixer or a lot longer by hand. Make sure the butter is at room temperature.
: Add the eggs one at a time, then mix the flour and baking powder in.
: Lastly pour the milk.
: Using an ice cream scoop or another accurate spoon of measurement, fill each case with one scoop. These will rise and should hit the top of the case without a muffin look.
: Bake for 25 minutes, no more and no less please. Spongy and springy, not hard and dark brown!
: Leave to cool on a rack.

: Make the butter cream by whisking the butter, essence, milk and icing sugar.
: Pipe on the cakes, and top with flaked almonds and cherries. Even if you don't have a piping nozzle or bag, simply use a small bag and snip the corner, fill with half the butter cream and get piping!

Here is a close up of the cake and of course a random appearance by moi.


Favourite Song:

ê 'Can I Live II'

Have a superb weekend.x