Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I'll have my cake and eat it thanks: Lemon cupcake big cake

Eddie looks like he made the cake non?

In some kind of freak miracle, anyone living in the UK would have noticed that two out of the last three weekends were sunny. Not just sunny but quite hot - and what better reason than hot weather to create another picnic in the park situation?
Fun as the five hour picnic food cooking marathon of two weeks ago was, I was feeling a little fragile this Saturday. Thanks to a late night (read midnight) barbie down at General Kershaws and many many cocktails at our fave bar Anam the night before and an early morning spent hauling my wardobe into the new pad, the idea of cooking up a massive feast made me feel a little queasy. Plus I was feeling so grim that it was touch and go whether I would actually want to eat any food anyway.

And then I clapped my eyes on the Primrose cupcake recipe book I had been given for my birthday. Here was the perfect solution - something with not too much slaving in the kitchen but that would promise a dliciously sweet, delectable treat that would go down fantastically in the summer sun.

The promise was delivered - an hour later we were basking in the sun having filled our stomachs with Jessica's highly recommended daal and pitta and nibbling on small slices of lemony delight. These go perfectly with a thirst-quenchingly cold g&t with lots of lime - a veritable citrus explosion.

Thing's hadnt gone quite as swimmingly as I'd anticipated - when do they ever - the rescent move saw me make the unforgiveable transgression of leaving my cupcake tray back at the 'rents, something that I only realised after I'd whipped up the mixture. Hence the cupcakes became a big cake.

But it all worked out in the end - judging from the speed with which the cake was consumed. After that, there wasnt much to do but listen to the more talented members of the group strum and sing, play a shambolic attempt at frisbee (shambolic on my part anyway), gossip and remember what it is that makes weekends so damned fabulous.

Here is the recipe!

This is supposed to make 12 cupcakes but it made one larger cake pretty ok!

For the cake
110g unsalted butter at room temperature
225g caster sugar
2 large eggs
150g self raising flour
125g plain flour
90ml semi skimmed milk at room temperature
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
grated zest lemon

For the icing
110g unsalted butter at room temperature
2 tablespoons lemon juice
grated zest of lemon zest
500g icing sugar, sifted

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees celsius (fan) or 180 degrees sans fan

Cream the butter and sugar until the pale and smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking for a few minutes each time.

Combine the two flours in a seperate bowl and combine the milk, lemon juice. Add one third of the flour to the butter and sugar mix, beat well, add one third of the milk and lemon juice and beat well. Repeat until all the flour and milk have been added, pop the grated lemon zest at the last minute.

Divide the mixture between the 12 cupcakes, filling them up to 2/3 mark. bake for 25 mins until slightly raised and golden brown.

Remove from the oven and take out and leave to cool. While leaving to cool, prepare the buttercream.

Mix the butter, lemon juice, lemon zest and half the icing sugar smooth - it can take a while, persist!

You can go two ways with the icing - you can ice in a manner fitting of a bakery i.e. gorgeous swirly pile of deliciousness or you can splodge on, it still tastes fabbo...


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