I am in a cupcake baking mood at the moment! They are such fun to experiment with. Colours, flavours and decoration!
I have made cupcakes inspired by the '99' ice creams.
Ingredients for the sponge
175g (6oz) butter or soft margarine
175g (6oz) caster sugar
3 free range eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g (5 1/2oz) self-raising flour
55g (2oz) ground almonds
Ingredients for the buttercream
225g (8oz) butter or soft margarine
1 tbsp milk
350g (12oz) icing sugar
8 mini chocolate flakes
hundreds and thousands
1, Set the oven to a medium heat (gas mark 4) so it heats while you are preparing the ingredients. Place 8 paper cases into a muffin tray.
2, Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat together until light and fluffy. I did this by hand (took quite a while!) but you can use an electric whisk if you prefer. Gradually beat in the eggs and vanilla extract.
3, Sift (important!) in the flour and add the almonds and fold gently into the mixture using a metal spoon.
4, Spoon the mixture into the paper cases. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until they have risen and have a lovely golden brown colour. Remove from the muffin tray and leave until cool on a wire rack.
5, To make the buttercream, place the butter in a bowl and beat until pale and creamy. Again, I did this by hand but it took a long time and I had to keep switching which arm I was using to stir! Beat in the milk and then sift the icing sugar in a bit at a time. Continue until the butter cream is light and fluffy.
6, Spoon the buttercream into a large piping bag fitted with a star nozzle. Pipe swirls of buttercream onto each cupcake to resemble ice cream. Press a chocolate flake into each swirl and sprinkle with hundreds and thousands to finish.
These went down very well and they are so sweet and light! Plus they look adorable and very effective. When I try these again I will put more buttercream on each cupcake. By the last one I was just getting the hang of perfecting the swirls!