Thursday, 22 March 2012

Mini Victoria Sandwich Cakes

Reasons why I consider myself to be the most British person I know:

1) In my imagination, Kate Middleton is my best friend
2) I drink countless cups of tea everyday
3) I watch The Apprentice. Nick and Karen feel like family, ok?
4) I'm pale. I'm the palest person I know and I'm proud
5) Exploring London is my favourite thing ever
6) I have an obsession with the Royal family. I cannot hide my love for them.
7) I have a Union Jack flag proudly displayed on my bedroom wall
8) Julie Andrews is my third grandma

Even if I wanted to, I couldn't try to hide my British-ness. I embrace it, God save the Queen and all that. So, me and all of my British-ness have decided to celebrate this very important year for Britain by baking British. (This is turning into a competition to see how many times I can say British in one post)
There is nothing more traditional than a Victoria Sandwich. But that's boring. I hate boring. 

So I made them mini.

And not only did I make then mini, I made them topped with Mini Eggs. Of course, this recipe is by Mary Berry (another British babe).

2 large eggs
100g self-raising flour
100g soft butter
100g caster sugar
1tsp baking powder
6 tbsp good-quality strawberry jam
300ml double cream, whipped
Mini chocolate eggs, for decoration

1) Preheat the oven to 180C / 160C fan / gas mark 4. Lightly grease a 12-hole muffin tin and line the bases of the cups with circles of nonstick baking paper. Measure the eggs, flour, butter, caster sugar and baking powder into a bowl. Whisk with an electric hand mixer for about 30 seconds, or until smooth. Using a teaspoon, spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin tin and even out the tops.
2) Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes until pale golden and shrinking away from the sides of the tin. Set aside to cool a little, remove from tins, peel off the paper and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
3) Slice each cold cake in half horizontally across the centre. Spread the cake centres with jam and two thirds of the whipped cream and sit the other half back on top. Spread the remaining whipped cream on the top of the cakes and arrange the mini eggs on top to decorate.

These cakes made me happy. They were small, they were scrummy and they were Easter-themed. I break up this Friday for three whole weeks of baking bliss (and revision, but let's forget about that), so these cakes were the perfect excuse to start the celebrations!

But Mary, I must complain. I don't like your all-in-one method. It freaks me out, it makes me nervous.

I'm sorry, it's just the way I feel.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Oreo Cupcakes

It was two very important birthdays this week. Oreo celebrated their 100th birthday and my friend Emma also turned 15. Double reason to celebrate!

So why not kill two birds with one stone? I wanted to make cupcakes for Emma's birthday, and I felt like I should somehow commemorate their birthday. LIGHTBULB IDEA, LUCY. Make Oreo cupcakes. God damnit, I'm genius.

Slight problemo. When I went about finding the perfect recipe for Oreo cupcakes, all the recipes were American. (Yes Americans, I may adore your 'candy', but I have no interest in measuring in 'cups' and using 'shortening'). So I've made up my own recipe, in English measurements (yes. It's in grams)

Makes 12

12 Oreos
100g plain flour
2 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
140g caster sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
40g unsalted butter
120 ml whole milk
1 egg
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

For the frosting:

250 icing sugar
80g unsalted butter
2 tbsp whole milk
2 drops vanilla extract
5 tbsp Oreo, fine crumbs (or more, to taste)

1. Preheat the oven to 170C/ gas mark 3

2. Then put the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a bowl and beat until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.

3. Whisk the milk, egg and vanilla extract together in a bowl, then slowly pour about half into the flour mixture, beat to combine. Slowly pour in the remaining milk mixture. Continue mixing for a couple more minutes until the mixture is smooth.

4. Spoon the mixture into cupcake cases lined with a regular sized Oreo, then bake for 20-25 minutes. Leave cupcakes to cool slightly in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 

5. To make the icing,  beat the sugar and butter until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Combine the milk and vanilla in a separate bowl, then add to the butter mixture a little at a time. Beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. Add the Oreo crumbs during the last minute (to make the Oreo crumbs, I put them in a food processor)

I never got a chance to try these cupcakes, but the frosting tasted delicious! They'll have to be made again, or you could ask Emma if she liked them. She said she ate three for breakfast, so they can't have been that bad, right?