Tuesday, 17 April 2018

St. George's Day cupcakes

I felt I couldn't let St. George's Day pass this year without marking it in a culinary way. Sadly St. George's Day isn't generally celebrated in the same way that the patron saints of Ireland, Scotland and Wales are. Calls for a new bank holiday have fallen on deaf ears which is probably due to its placing in the calendar between the four day Easter weekend and the May Day bank holiday. I have however seen it as an excuse for cake and so I present my English take on the American favourite of cupcakes.

I've never been a big fan of cupcakes piled high with a swirl of buttercream. I think the topping is too sweet and a bit sickly but most importantly detracts from the taste of the cake! For this very English version I have put together a vanilla sponge base with a glacé icing topping. A lemon flavour sponge would also work very well. The flag is made using slices of glacé cherries but just one half in the middle would be sufficient for a non patriotic version.

Equipment: 12 cup muffin tin with cases, 2 bowls, electric whisk, wire rack.

Ingredients

4oz (115g) Self raising flour
4oz (115g) Unsalted butter softened or baking spread
4oz (115g) Caster sugar
2 Eggs
¼ tsp (1.25ml) Vanilla extract

Topping

4oz (115g) Icing sugar, sifted
2tbsp (30ml) Water
10-12 Red glacé cherries, sliced

Method

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4.
2. Weigh out the flour in one bowl and put to one side.
3. Cream together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
4. Beat in the eggs one by one plus a spoon of flour with each one.
5. Whisk in the remaining flour with the vanilla extract until it is all mixed in.
6. Put equal amounts into each cupcake case.
7. Bake for around 20 minutes until the cakes are golden and springy to the touch.
8. Remove immediately from the tin and leave to cool on the wire rack.
9. When completely cool make up the glacé icing.
10. In a bowl mix the icing sugar with a little of the water. Continue to mix until the icing is of the right consistency adding more water if necessary.
11. Spoon onto the top of the cupcakes making sure they are completely covered.
12. Add the slices of the glacé cherries in a cross shape.

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