an adventure into my cookbook collection: soul-searching, doing things differently & the truths I learn along the way...

deseeding pomegranates is feminine & erotic, unless you hit them with a wooden spoon...


Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Little orange fairy cakes

I had been planning on making orange and passion fruit cupcakes, but I realised a little too late that the seal had gone on my jar of passion fruit curd, and it had gone a bit fizzy. In a way though, I’m glad. I probably would not have set out to make plain orange fairy cakes, but actually, they were brilliant, and by sticking to one strong flavour, they really worked. I am the kind of person that always ends up over-complicating things. Always done with the best of intentions, sometimes I just can’t leave things alone, and quite often it ends up a mess. One of my intentions for the year is to keep things simple. I wish someone would say this to the contestants on Masterchef Professionals before someone else puts black olives in a dessert, or clay on a potato.

These cakes will turn out a lot better if you use a proper fairy cake/cupcake pan, as opposed to just jamming filled cupcake cases on a flat baking tray.

 Makes, annoyingly, 26 – don’t just jam all the mix into 24 cases, as they will be too full and you risk creating mushroom cloud cupcakes.

For the fairy cakes:
250g unsalted butter, softened
250g self-raising flour
225g caster sugar
4 eggs
pinch salt
zest of 1 big orange
3 tbsp orange juice
2 tbsp milk

For the orange buttercream:
250g unsalted butter, softened
200g icing sugar
2 tbsp orange juice
zest of 1 lemon

Crushed pistachio nuts
Pieces of crystallised ginger
Dried cranberries

180c with fan, 16 minutes

Cream together the butter and sugar, and then add the flour, eggs and salt. Mix together until a thick batter forms – this could be done in a food processor. Add the orange zest and juice, mix well and then add the milk and mix again. Add a little more milk if the batter still seems too thick. It should have a 'nice dropping consistency', ie. plop nicely off the teaspoon into the cupcake case. At this point you could throw in a handful of sultanas or dried cranberries if you wanted to.

Use a teaspoon to fill your cupcake cases no more than two thirds full and bake for 15-20 minutes, until risen and golden on the top (with my oven this took 16 minutes).

 Lift the cakes out of the tray as soon as possible and let them cool on a cooling rack.

Make the buttercream by beating together the butter, icing sugar and zest, and then gradually incorporating the orange juice (make sure the butter is really soft otherwise it will go lumpy). Use a piping bag or a knife to spread the icing over the fairy cakes – you want it to be thick, but not insanely so – the cake has a lovely light texture and orange flavour, and you don't want to overpower it.

Decorate the cakes with crushed pistachios, crystallised ginger, dried cranberries, or whatever else you fancy. Once the cupcakes are iced, put them in the fridge for a few hours to harden up the icing.

No comments:

Post a Comment