Thursday, 30 May 2013

Sweet and Sour Jelly Bean Cupcakes

Last Saturday I went on a jaunt to Edinburgh to meet up with my very best Bean (aka Jess) because I had not seen her since February and that would just not do.  As is our custom, we went for lunch at Pizza Hut and saw a movie.  We also browsed some of our favourite shops like Waterstones and Paperchase.  As is not our custom, we also ventured into clothes shops together!  And looked at dresses and shoes!  We've become so girly since university it seems.  But it was fun!

Anyway, Bean often makes me lovely felt things, like my number 11 Doctor keychain and in turn I like to make her baked goods!  Previous presents have included the rainbow pinwheel cookies, chocolate topped orange shortbread, vanilla fudge cupcakes and white chocolate cupcakes.  Being me, I like to make something different each time and since she is a bean (and I'm a sock, it's a thing we do), my thoughts jumped to jelly beans!  But did she even like them?  I had to be sure so I oh so subtly enquired into her opinion on them and it turns out she's not overly keen on regular ones but does like sour ones. Well that was okay.  I'd just get sour ones to use.

Well that turned out to be a bit more challenging than I thought since my supermarket did not have them and neither did any other shops in town.  They had sour everything else but not jelly beans.  It was so disappointing.  Luckily though, this was Wednesday and we live in a world that has the Internet.  A bit of searching around found me someone that would send me sour Jelly Belly jelly beans in the post with First Class postage and they should arrive Friday, which they did.  Huzzah!  That meant I didn't have to make something else up on the fly.

So, I had jelly beans.  What kind of cake to do with them though?  Well, since they were sour I thought a sweet cake and buttercream would create a nice contrast, and what could make a generally sweet cake even sweeter?  Golden syrup of course.  Finding a recipe for such a thing was not hard either.  In fact, the one I found was on the site for the brand of golden syrup I use.  I did change the recipe ever so slightly though, and used golden caster sugar in place of regular caster sugar since it would enhance the taste of the golden syrup.  As for the buttercream, I thought vanilla would be nice and simple but is also always ridiculously sweet.

The colourful nature of the jelly beans meant I finally broke out my beautiful petal cake cases I got from Lakeland ages ago.  Then after I iced the cakes, I had the idea to try and tint the edges of the buttercream with different coloured food gel to make them look even more colourful.  I used red, orange, pink, yellow, green and blue.  It worked rather well actually and I was really pleased with the final appearance.

Since I made spares, the fiancĂ© tried one of them for me.  He then ate the other two spares later in the day.  He thought the buttercream was really delicious, and went really well with the jelly beans.  He also said the cake was really nice and soft.  His only complaint was that the contrast of soft cake with slightly firmer jelly bean was a bit jarring, though he adds, "but then you go, mmmm, jelly bean, and it's not so bad anymore."

Recipe - makes 9

Cakes - adapted from Lyle's Golden Syrup 
  • 75g/2.5oz butter
  • 50g/2oz golden caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 large egg
  • 150g/5.5oz self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 100g/3.5oz jelly beans
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and line a 12 hole muffin tin with cupcake cases.  Put one tablespoon of the flour in a small bowl.
  2. Put the butter, golden caster sugar, milk, the rest of the self-raising flour and the vanilla extract into a large bowl.
  3. Beat the egg separately and add to the other ingredients.
  4. Beat everything together until nice and smooth.
  5. Reserve 27 jelly beans for decorating the cakes with then put the rest in the small bowl with the flour.  Toss together to give them a light coating.
  6. Tip the contents of the bowl into the cake batter and fold in.
  7. Divide the mixture between all the cases and then bake for 15-20 minutes until risen and golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  8. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
  • 125g/4oz butter
  • 250g/8oz icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • Food colouring gel in assorted colours (optional)
  • 27 jelly beans (reserved from the 100g used for the cakes)
  1. Beat the butter in a bowl until smooth and creamy.
  2. Sift in the icing sugar and add the milk and vanilla extract.  Beat until smooth.
  3. Put into an piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle and pipe swirls on top of each cooled cupcakes.
  4. If 'painting' the buttercream, mix a small amount of gel with a couple of drops of water and then use a small, clean paintbrush to apply it to all the edges of the buttercream.  You should only need to gently sweep the brush along the edges and you will occasionally need to clean off any buttercream that may come away with it.  Use a different colour for each cake.
  5. Top each cake with three different coloured jelly beans.

1 comment:

  1. Great individual flavours jelly beans at