Monday, 1 October 2012

Blueberry Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream

More cakes for the fiancé and his friends.  I've had to reduce when I make them to every other week because I'm too tired to do it after work.  So I can only really do them when I'm not working Mondays.  Being so tired really does impact on how often I bake.  It's a shame because I enjoy baking.  Should be some more bakes towards the end of this month though, with Hallowe'en coming.  I intend to make cakes to give out to any of the kids that come by.

Anyway, that's getting off topic.  Last week as I arrived at work, my manager pulled me back to the front of the shop, saying there was a magazine I had to get because it came with a free cupcake book and was only 92p.  I admit, I was a bit dubious but I did cave and buy it the next day.  It was well worth it.  It's a lovely little book with some nice sounding and interesting recipes in it.  Today's bake is one of them, which combines two things my darling fiancé enjoys: blueberries and lemon.

The cupcakes came out nice and big.   I did make more buttercream than the recipe suggested because I wanted to do some fancier piping rather than just covering the tops using a palette knife.  I didn't do the usual swirl either, since one of the photos from a different recipe in the book looked really pretty with it's curved layers.  I didn't quite pull off the effect but it still looked really cute.  I'll have to practice a bit more.

I really like the cases I used.  They are really nice and thick so the fats from the cake didn't make them go see-through during baking.  A good looking case adds to the overall appearance of a cake after all. 

The verdict was that they are delicious.  The fiancé gets to eat the one I cut up for photos.  He really enjoyed it. 

Recipe - adapted from Best Baking Delicious Cupcakes
Makes 12 

For the cakes:
  • 225g/8oz self-raising flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 125g/4oz butter
  • 150g/5oz caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 100ml/3.5fl.oz milk
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 125g/4oz blueberries
For the lemon buttercream:
  • 170g/6oz butter
  • 340g/12oz icing sugar, plus 1 tbsp for dusting
  • 2 tsp lemon extract
  • 24 blueberries for decorating
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and line a 12 hole muffin tray with muffin cases.  Wash and dry the blueberries.
  2. Sift the flour and salt together in a bowl.
  3. In another, larger, bowl, beat the butter until smooth and creamy.
  4. Add the caster sugar and vanilla extract and beat to combine.
  5. Fold in the eggs one at a time, making sure they are well incorporated.
  6. Pour in the milk and mix well.
  7. Keep beating the mixture whilst gradually adding the flour and the cinnamon.  Make sure it's all mixed in really well.
  8. Add the blueberries and fold in so the blueberries are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
  9. Spoon the mixture into the cases.  Try and not get all the blueberries at the bottom.  You can always mix the batter a bit in the cases to move the blueberries about.  You should be able to get about two heaped teaspoons of batter per case.
  10. Bake for about 25 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  11. Leave to cool.
  12. Make the buttercream by beating the butter, icing sugar and lemon extract together until smooth and creamy.
  13. Put the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle.  To pipe the curved layers, start by piping lines from the centre of a cake to the edge to create a sort of star.  For the second layer, start at the centre, pipe halfway towards the edge and then lift the nozzle up and over and pipe back over what you just did to create a nice, shell look.  Do this four more times.  Then point the nozzle directly above the centre and pipe a quick blob of buttercream for the final layer.  If you want, you can fill in any gaps around the edge in the same manner as the top layer.
  14. Top each cake with two blueberries and then dust with icing sugar.

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