This is my first proper attempt to bake something. I chose the recipe because it looked simple and delicious. Also, it didn’t involve many ingredients, which is good because I can’t afford long shopping lists at the moment. Plus: Fruit! It’s good for you!
This recipe is taken from the Australian Women’s Weekly Complete Book of Cupcakes and Baking.
1/2 cups caster sugar
1/4 cup cornflour
1/4 cup plain flour
1/4 cup self-raising flour
300ml whipping cream
pink food colouring
5 large strawberries, 200g fresh blueberries, 150g fresh raspberries
icing sugar, for dusting
Method (makes 10):
1. Preheat oven to 180 oC. Line 10 holes of a 12 hole muffin pan with paper cases.
2. Beat eggs in small bowl with electric mixer for about 5 minutes, or until thick and creamy. Gradually add sugar one tablespoon at a time, mixing after every addition. Transfer to large bowl.
3. Sift the dry ingredients twice then sift over egg mixture; fold ingredients together.
4. Drop 1/4 cup of mixture into each paper case. Bake cakes for 25 minutes. Turn out immediately onto wire rack, then turn cakes topside up to cool.
5. Meanwhile, colour unwhipped, chilled cream pale pink. Whip the cream until it barely holds its shape.
6. Top each cake with a generous layer of the cream and a mixture of the berries. Dust berries with a little icing sugar before serving.
I’m using Sainsbury’s Basics plain flour and self raising flour. It says on the bags “less refined but still rises to the occasion”. I like that. If only we could all be as witty and self-deprecating.
I’m also using Sainsbury’s Basics frozen berry mix instead of fresh berries. It costs £1 for a 400g bag, which seems like a good deal compared with the exorbitant prices of fresh blueberries – especially at this time of year.
I forgot to take pictures of the egg-sugar mix, but it looked pretty spectacular. Anyway, as if by magic, here are the cakes:
The cupcakes are slightly dented on top because of the wire rack. I put it on top of the the cakes while they were still in the muffin pan and then turned it upside down, before right-siding the cakes. Should I have let them cool more first? It doesn’t really matter in the end, as they’re being covered by icing.
The cakes look bouncy, but has the “unrefined” Basics flour had a detrimental effect?
This is the whipping cream coloured pink. I started to panic at this point that it wouldn’t be firm enough to top the cakes with. I started whipping with a whisk, but ran out of stamina after about 80 seconds. I used the electric mixer instead and it was a breeze.
Not sure if this is over-whipped or not whipped enough, but it had thickened up enough to use as frosting. Next time, I might make it pinker, as it looks a little blah.
The frosting does look rather sweet on the cakes, though I’m a little concerned it also looks like cottage cheese (bleugh). I used the back of a spoon to smooth it around, but would it be better to use what I think is called a palette knife?
Good. Like a deconstructed cream bun. The sponge was a little heavier than I’d anticipated – I wonder if that has anything to do with the Basics flour? Overall, while it wasn’t the most exciting of cakes, it was definitely tasty.
– The sponge part was very simple to do. Who knew whisking eggs and sugar could create such a voluminous eggy mass? Childlike wonder ensued.
– I’m disappointed with the frosting. Because it’s made from fresh whipping cream, it goes off quicker than other toppings – plus you have to keep the muffins in the fridge, which I think negatively affects the sponge. It does taste delicious though.
– The frozen berries looked great in their frozen state. However, once they were defrosted, they lost their shape and oozed a lot of juices. Also, when I put them atop the muffins, they bled a little into the cream. In the future, I would use fresh berries and (probably) damn the expense.