Cakes for my nan

Today my Nan came over to see my flat and the new bookcases I put up last week (I do love an IKEA flat pack!), so I decided to use the grand occasion to try out a few recipes…

Firstly I made her a simple vanilla cupcake with vanilla icing and some raspberry jam inside.  Unfortunately, the jam was unsuccessful and sunk to the bottom, so Mary Berry would not approve, however the sponge was good and the icing not too sweet.  Phew.  For the recipe I halved Nigella Lawson’s Victoria Sponge recipe to make four large muffin sized cakes.

Ingredients

113g Stork

113g Caster sugar

113g Self raising flour

2 Eggs

1 Tsp vanilla extract

2/3 Tsp Milk (I judged this by eye until the consistency was just right)

1 Tsp raspberry jam in each cake

For the icing

250g Stork

500g Icing sugar

1 Tsp vanlla extract

Method

1) Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees

2) Put 4 large tulip wrap muffin cases into a muffin tin

3) I used the all-in-one method; putting everything into a free standing mixer and letting it do it’s magic for a minute or two… stopping only to use a silicone spatula to push down any butter which has been unmixed in order to combine

4) I put one tablespoon of mixture in the bottom of each muffin case, a tsp of jam and then another table spoon of mixture

5) Bake on the middle shelf for 20-25 minutes, checking after 15 minutes to make sure cooked to perfection

6) Take out to cool

7) Whilst cooling make the icing by combing the butter and icing sugar with a little vanilla extract; gently until it comes together, then beat hard until it is light and fluffy

8) When completely cooled either pipe or use a pallet knife to arrange on top of the cakes and decorate with anything you like; fresh fruit, sugar flowers or any sugar beads etc, you like

Next I tried adapting Nigella’s Victoria Sponge recipe to make chocolate-mint cupcakes and I was very happy with the results.

Ingredients

113g Stork

113g Caster sugar

85g Self raising flour

28g Cocoa powder

2 Eggs

1 Tsp peppermint extract

2/3 Tsp Milk (I judged this by eye until the consistency was just right)

For the icing

I made a version of Nigella’s sour cream chocolate ganache but with half fat creme fraiche because that’s what I had in the fridge

100g Dark chocolate

30g Stork or butter

1 Tbsp Golden syrup

2-3 Tbsp Creme fraiche

3 Tbsp Icing sugar

1 Tsp mint extract

Method

1) Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees

2) Put 8 muffin cases into a muffin tin

3) Again, I used the all-in-one method; by putting all ingredients into the freestanding mixer and combining everything

4) I divided the mixture between the muffin cases and tried to leave a little room at the top so the rise would not be too great

5) I baked for 15-20 minutes, checking after 15 minutes

6) Take out and cool completely

7) Whilst these are in the oven I made the chocolate ganache; as this needs to cool to thicken in order to spread over the cake but not run down the sides

8) When the cake and icing is ready; I spooned on some of the icing and smoothed it over each cake with the back of the spoon and then I added three short pieces of matchmakers for decorative effect

9) Chill these cakes in the fridge for 1 hour or overnight

Then all you need is a cup of tea, put your feet up and enjoy!

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