Cappuccino cupcakes!

I must have made espresso cupcakes at least ten times, but because they’re so good, I’d never really considered the recipe on the opposite page, for cappuccino cupcakes. Until now, that is! And while I love how rich the espresso cupcakes are, with their dark chocolate in the cake and in the icing, these cappuccino cupcakes were certainly very good too: the sponge is quite a strong coffee sponge, and the icing is made with sweet white chocolate so they balance each other nicely. As usual when I make cupcakes, I did half the amount of icing suggested – is it just me who finds that most cupcake recipes make too much icing? If I had made the suggested amount, I am sure there would have been just too much sweet icing and they would have been rather sickly! As it was, the balance was pretty good. I think they look rather cute, too, with chocolate sprinkled over the top – just like real cappuccinos. Well, sort of! One day I would love to host a tea party with these, espresso cupcakes and earl grey cupcakes, and then serve lemonade out of teapots! (Too much?!). Like the espresso cupcakes, the recipe is originally from Nigella Lawson’s ‘How to be a domestic goddess’, one of my favourite ‘fancy’ baking books.

Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes):

225g butter or margarine

225g self-raising flour

225g golden caster sugar

2 eggs

1 heaped tablespoon instant espresso powder

1 tsp baking powder

2-3 tablespoons milk

For the icing:

80g white chocolate (I used M&S ‘creme brulee’ chocolate as it was all I could find, which gave it a lovely caramel flavour)

30g butter

60g soured cream

130g icing sugar

A couple of teaspoons of cocoa powder or hot chocolate powder to sprinkle over

 

– Preheat the oven to 200c and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.

– Place all the cake ingredients apart from the milk in a blender, and pulse until combined.

– Gradually add the milk, while beating, until the batter is soft. I think I added a bit too much as it was quite runny, but it didn’t seem to matter!

– Divide between the cases and bake for around 20 minutes, then leave to cool completely before icing.

– For the icing, melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave, and leave to cool slightly before stirring in the soured cream.

– Gradually sift in the icing sugar while beating with an electric whisk.

– Spread a generous amount on each cupcake.

– If you like, sprinkle some cocoa powder or hot chocolate powder over the top to make them look like cappuccinos!

Raspberry cupcakes!

After we’d made these, my sister declared them the best thing we had ever baked (pushing the blondies into second place already!), and I have to agree they are very good! They seemed appropriate for summer – if you can call this summer, it’s been raining almost constantly for weeks… They’re another from my Primrose Bakery book, and not only do they have raspberry jam swirled through the batter and as a filling in the cupcake, they also have white chocolate in the icing, which makes for some incredibly sweet cupcakes! The quantities given are half of those in the book, and made 12 fairy cakes, which are almost all gone already!

Ingredients:

55g butter (at room temperature)

90g caster sugar

1 egg

60g plain flour

60g self-raising flour

60ml milk

Half a teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons raspberry jam, plus one teaspoonful per cupcake for filling

For the icing:

20g butter (at room temperature)

1 tablespoon milk

100g icing sugar, sifted

A drop of vanilla extract

50g white chocolate

1.5 tablespoons double cream

Fresh raspberries, to decorate

– Preheat the oven to 180c and line a fairy cake tin with paper cases.

– Cream the butter and sugar thoroughly, which takes about 5 minutes. As there is a lot of sugar compared to butter, I find it easiest to add the sugar gradually.

– Add the egg and mix for a couple more minutes.

– Combine the flours in a bowl, and combine the milk and vanilla extract in a jug.

– Add a third of the flour to the creamed mixture and beat in, then add a third of the milk and beat; continue like this until they are both used up.

– Add the jam: gently fold it in a little to give a swirled effect.

– Divide between the paper cases and bake for around 20 minutes.

– Once cool, use a teaspoon or sharp knife to make a hole in the centre of each one, and add a small teaspoon of raspberry jam. The recipe wasn’t entirely clear about how to do this: we took a small spoonful of cake out (almost as if making butterfly buns), put the raspberry jam in then replaced the cake, which looked a bit messy but it doesn’t really matter because you ice over it anyway!

– To make the icing, first place the butter, milk, vanilla and half the icing sugar in a bowl and beat with an electric whisk until smooth, before gradually adding the rest of the icing sugar and beating well for about 5 minutes (yes, this is basically making buttercream!)

– Next, melt the white chocolate and leave to cool for a couple of minutes, before adding to the buttercream along with the cream. Beat until well combined and smooth.

– Ice each cupcake, using a palette knife, and top each with a raspberry!

Because of the jam inside, these will only keep for a few days before they start going a bit soggy, but in my house this wasn’t a problem as they were all eaten before then!