When I heard the lawnmowers in my street cutting the grass last weekend, I knew that spring had finally arrived. Time in fact, for the first installment of seasonal recipes from new bakery book Eat Me, gifted to me by my dear blogger friend, Kat.
The book is split into seasons, so it being Spring, I chose White Chocolate and Raspberry Cupcakes from the Spring section.
140g/5oz plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
110g/4oz unsalted butter, room temperature
110g/4oz light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond essence (optional)
120ml/4 fl oz milk
110g/4 oz raspberries
For the filling:
140g/5oz good quality white chocolate
60ml/2 fl oz double cream
For the icing:
6 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp water
170g/6oz unsalted butter, room temperature
340g/12oz icing sugar
raspberries or sprinkles, to decorate
Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and set aside. Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract and almond essence, if using. Begin to add the flour, alternating with the milk, until all is mixed in.
Finally, fold in the raspberries. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases so that they are three-quarters full. Bake the cakes in the centre of the preheated oven for about 20 minutes. Check with a skewer - if the cakes are cooked, the skewer should come out clean. Remove from the oven and place the cakes on a wire rack to cool.
To make the filling, melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water or place in a microwave over for 1 minute. If you use a microwave, stir the chocolate every 20 seconds so it doesn't burn. Once the chocolate has melted, stir in the cream and leave to cool slightly.
To make the icing, put the raspberries, sugar and water into a small saucepan and gently bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 3 or 4 minutes. Stir occasionally and take care tht it doesn't burn. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly. Beat the cutter in a bowl and then add the icing sugar, a third at a time, beating it in well. Then mix in the raspberry 'jam' you have just made - you may not need it all. Keep any leftover jam - it's delicious spread on bread.
Remove a section from the centre of each cake with an apple corer or a small knife, taking care not to go all the way through to the bottom. Fill the cavity with the white chocolate filling.
Using a piping bag, add the raspberry icing in swirls, working from the outside in. Decorate with raspberries or sprinkles.
I have to admit that I found this quite a labour intensive recipe (or perhaps that was due to my own lack of sleep from the night before). There were three parts to it, so they are by no means the most simple cupcakes to make.
Also, the other point to look out for is in the final stage of adding the raspberry 'jam' mixture to form the icing, be very careful how much of this you add. Try to pour slowly, a little at a time as I found my icing a little runny and didn't hold well.
As well as the soft icing, the raspberries within the cake mixture made the cake a little too moist. So I ended up eating mine with some of the leftover double cream as mini triffles.
That said, these are some of the most delicious tasting cupcakes I have eaten. I would thoroughly recommend them if you have a sweet tooth like me.