Thursday, 6 October 2011
So scornful have I been of the world's obsession with cupcakes I'd conveniently forgotten that I included a recipe for them in my book Food, Wine & Friends back in 2007. And when I was trawling through my photographs just now I didn't think they looked too bad. Even though they were - for heaven's sake - pink.
To be frank they're more like a fairy cake - they haven't got the ludicrous amount of icing of today's pumped up specimens but I think they're the better for it. Try them and see.
Rosewater cup cakes
Makes 24 cakes
250g soft butter
250g caster sugar
4 large eggs, beaten with 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
250g self-raising flour, sifted twice
125ml milk (whole, not semi-skimmed)
For the icing
50g soft butter
a few drops of pink food colouring
200g icing sugar, sifted twice
1/4 tsp rosewater
A small pinch of salt (about 1/3 of a tsp)
2-3 tbsp whole milk
sugar roses or other floral cake decorations (obviously the simpler the more frugal. Or you could just dot them with silver balls)
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4
You will need two x 12 hole muffin tins and some slightly kitsch paper cases
Tip the butter into a large bowl and beat with an electric hand whisk until smooth. Add the sugar about a third at a time and continue to beat until pale yellow and fluffy. Add the beaten eggs and vanilla essence gradually, adding a spoonful of flour with the last few additions. Fold in the remaining flour alternately with the milk taking care not to overmix. Spoon into the paper cases and bake for about 20- 25 minutes until well risen and firm to the touch. Remove the baking trays from the oven for 5 minutes then transfer the cakes to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Rinse and dry the beaters then make the icing. Beat the butter until soft. Pour a few drops of pink food colouring onto a teaspoon (easier to control than pouring straight from the bottle) then carefully add to the butter, pouring back any excess into the bottle.
Gradually add the sifted icing sugar 2-3 tablespoonfuls at a time. Add the rosewater, salt and enough milk to make a spreadable consistency. Spread on the tops of the cupcakes and decorate with the sugar roses or flowers. Leave for 2 hours before serving.