Lemon Cupcakes & a chance to win a Range Cooker
Cupcakes took Britain by storm a few years ago. They made their way over from the USA and all but eclipsed our smaller traditional fairy cakes. Each year, the food gurus proclaim that cupcakes are in decline and some new cake fad will see them off, but I have yet to witness this phenomenon. Cupcakes remain extremely popular: there are numerous cookbooks, cafes and online shops dedicated to them and very few baking blogs that have not featured them at least once. I am no exception to this rule as you can probably tell by the number of cupcakes I have made. Cupcakes, fairy cakes, call them what you will, I am quite a fan. They are easy to bake and everyone gets to have their very own carefully crafted cake in miniature form. I love the way they are so easily adapted to create a myriad of little fancies. Change the base, alter the type or flavour of icing, add a surprise something in the middle – the adaptations are endless. They can be things of great beauty, but for me, as with all cake, the quality of flavour, texture and ingredients are what it’s really about.
The good folk of Range Cookers have a rather exciting baking competition for bloggers. You guessed it – cupcakes. Bake your cupcake of choice and be in with a chance of winning a 90df Select Range Cooker worth nearly £1,000.
All you have to do is bake and decorate some cupcakes, photograph them, write a blog post about how you made them and mention the Range Cookers brand. Don’t forget to acknowledge your sources, if relevant. Your creations will be judged by a panel of three (ow which I am one) and you have until midday on 12th August to get your entries in. Blog links should be sent via e-mail, Twitter or Facebook; you can see the full details on the competition website.
I am very excited to announce that one of the three judges will be me and I’m really looking forward to seeing all of those Cupcake Creative entries.
To get you in the mood and to inspire beginners and experienced bakers alike, how about these lemon and white chocolate cupcakes? As my initial inspiration, I used the lemon cupcake recipe from Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery by Martha Swift & Lisa Thomas.
This is how I made:
Lemon and White Chocolate Cupcakes
- Lined two 6 hole muffin tins with spotted yellow cupcake cases.
- Preheated the oven to 180C.
- Using a wooden spoon, creamed 100g of softened unsalted butter with 200g cardamom sugar (golden caster) in a large mixing bowl until the the mixture was light and well combined.
- Beat in 2 duck eggs (large hens eggs can be used instead), using a tbsp of the flour after the first egg to prevent curdling.
- Grated in the zest of one organic lemon (scrub well with soap and water if unwaxed) and beat until smooth and creamy.
- Sieved in 175g flour (half wholemeal, half plain white) with 1 rounded tsp baking powder stirred in.
- Added 4 tbsp milk and 4 tbsp lemon juice. Stirred until just combined.
- Spooned into 12 cupcake cases and baked for 22 minutes until well risen, golden and a cocktail stick inserted came out clean.
- Allowed to cook in the tins for 10 minutes then turned out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Lemon Chantilly Cream
- Melted 75g good quality unflavoured white chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Stirred and left to cool slightly.
- Whisked 200g double cream and the grated zest of an organic lemon with a balloon whisk until soft peaks formed.
- Stirred a couple of tbsp into the white chocolate, then folded the white chocolate mixture into the remaining cream until just combined.
- Used a palate knife to swirl the Chantilly cream over the tops of the cold cakes.
- Decorated with lemon jelly slices and yellow sprinkles.
Well, the lemon Chantilly cream was even more delicious than that used for the Raspberry Tarts. Luckily I had a bit left over so was able to savour it in its unadulterated form. Having said that, the cake was delicious too – moist and moreish with a nice tang of citrus. I put a plateful in a basket and trotted off to town to deliver a bit of midsummer cheer to a couple of friends. They were received gratefully. I did, however, keep a few in reserve for CT and me.