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The Humble Cupcake

The Humble Cupcake

Having given prior warning of frivolity and silliness, here is my first post. And, may I add, is there anything better than the cupcake? The goddess of all baked goods, she reigns supreme as my ultimate simple pleasure.

Perfect for a drizzly day when friends are coming but you know that secretly no one wants to get out of bed. Reward them for their effort with these sweet delights. So here’s a quick recipe for you budding bakers:

Makes 18 cupcakes

  • 225g butter (room temperature)
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence (adds a scrumptious something to the modest cupcake)

For the Icing:

  • 125g of icing sugar
  • 15ml of water

 

Contrary to popular opinion (aka Mary Berry’s opinion) I just throw it all in together. So here goes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 175⁰C (350⁰F/Gas mark 4). Then put 18 cupcake cases in muffin tins.

Sometimes I like to use mini muffin tins so they’re all cute and you have an excuse to eat more. If you do this, be careful to check then after 15 mins – don’t want them to burn!

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  1. Weigh out the flour and sugar then sieve into a large bowl.
  2. Add a teaspoon of baking powder.
  3. Weigh out the softened butter and chop into cubes. Add to the bowl.
  4. Crack the eggs in a mug to avoid getting shell in the mixture (pick the cheeky shell bits out with a teaspoon). Then add to the bowl.
  5. Pour in a dash of vanilla essence and hey presto!
  6. Grab an electric whisk (or for those hard-core bakers, utilise the guns) and whip the mixture into a light, fluffy batter. This should take a couple of minutes, or until the colour lightens slightly and the consistency is smooth and light.
  7. Use two desert spoons to fill the cupcake cases, one desert spoon to scoop up the mix, one to scrape it into the case.

Try to work quickly – you want the batter into the oven before it deflates!

  1. Gently place the tins into the preheated oven and bake for twenty minutes

Resist the urge to open the oven door as this may cause the cupcakes to sink.

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  1. The cakes are done when they are golden in colour and springy to touch. You could test them by poking a skewer into one. If the skewer comes out clean – they’re done!

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  1. Whilst the cupcakes are cooling down, prepare a sweet icing by sieving 125g icing sugar into a bowl and slowly pouring in 15ml of water. Add enough water to make the icing smooth but not runny. Mix with a wooden spoon until it forms a lump-less icing.
  2. Once the cakes have cooled, use a teaspoon to dollop icing onto each cake then smooth to the edges with a knife. Dip the knife is water to spread the icing more easily.

The icing will set within an hour. Finally, pop them on a pretty plate, hand napkins out to friends and tuck in!

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