Sunday, 18 March 2012

Flowers for Mother's Day

Mother's Day. A time to say thanks to your mum, or commercialised clap-trap? Either way, my mum loves anything pretty, glittery and lemon flavoured, so it had to be lemon flavoured cupcakes with a zesty frosting. She's a sucker for a pretty cake...

I did plan on using a round nozzle for these cakes, but it just didn't look right. Mother's Day had to be about frills and flowers. I also found that the best yellow colouring is... (dramatic drumroll) Asda's own natural yellow in liquid form. I found this after a near buttercream disaster with yellow colour paste which turned the frosting a sickly shade of peach! Not the look I was going for. I was thinking daffodils, not cobbler. 

Here's the recipe for the lemon sensations...

Ingredients
Cakes:
  • 110g unsalted butter - room temperature
  • 225g golden caster sugar 
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 125g plain flour
  • 120ml milk
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
Frosting:
  • 250g of unsalted butter - room temperature
  • 500g of icing sugar
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • Zest of 2 large lemons
  • Yellow food colouring

Method
Cakes
  • Cream the butter and sugar for about 5 minutes. 
  • Add the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly. You'll notice the mixture getting paler and thicker (this is lots of air bubbles which makes the cake as light as a feather)
  • Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
  • Mix the milk, lemon zest and extracts in a jug. 
  • Add half of the milk mix and half of the dry mix to the creamed butter and sugar. Do this carefully with a folding action.
  • Repeat until all the mix is incorporated.
  • Do not beat the devil out of it. You cakes will be like old boots. You spent 5 minutes whisking air into these little beauties, don't spoil it.
  • Divide the mix between 12 cupcake cases in a muffin tray. These are nice and deep and will give your cakes a straight side.
  • Bake on gas 4/180C for about 30 mins. You're looking for a well risen bun with a golden top.

Allow the cakes to cook completely before frosting, otherwise you will eng up with a melted mess. Mark my words.

Frosting:
  • Beat the butter for about 3 minutes to soften it. It will look considerably paler than when you started.
  • Add about a quarter of the icing sugar and mix by hand with a spatula. This will prevent your kitchen being redecorated.
  • Add the lemon juice, the zest and the rest of the icing sugar and mix again by hand. It will be quite firm.
  • Using an electric hand mixer, beat it for about a minute on a medium setting. This will incorporate everything nicely.
  • Add your desired colouring (if any).
  • Beat on a medium to high speed for about 5 minutes. I know this is a long time. It's time well spent.
  • You know it's done when the mixture if fluffy and paler than when you started. It should taste like a little bit of heaven...

If your kitchen is very warm, you may need to pop the frosted in the fridge for 5 minutes or so. This just makes piping easier.

Decorating:
This is really down to personal taste. I used my nozzle of the moment (Wilton 1b) but used it quite loosely to create a bit of a ribbon effect. I also used a bit of edible orange glitter over the frosting before covering the cakes in either small Dr Oetker butterflies or large sugar daisies from Just Bake. I used pink and yellow spotty cupcake cases from Morrison's.


I gave mine to my mum and grandma in pink spotty cupcake carriers from Sainsbury's (£2.79 for 2).

Cheers!




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