My Birthday is 3 days before Christmas, as a child it was a pain, never had Birthday parties, as friends would be away visiting family, or we would be and it all sort of merged into one with Christmas. As an adult, going out for a birthday meal is no fun, full of Office Christmas parties and tinsel and Turkey.
When I met my lovely Hubby, he surprised me with an ‘Unbirthday’ a month before my real one, and this has carried on. He is treating me to a very special meal out tonight at a very upmarket restaurant which uses as much local produce as much as it can, and the food is out of this world…. the last time we went was 2 years ago and we still talk about the meal, it was that good 😊 It not the type of place you take photo’s but here’s the link to their website of anyone is interested Thompsons
Anyway, it is also my Mum in Laws Birthday on Sunday, she will be 85. We are taking her out for lunch at a place she loves i.e. They do massive puddings – I think it must be a hangover from war time rationing, but a lot of older people I know are the same, they do love a good pud 😉 And if I make it to 85, I will eat whatever I please 😇
She has most things she could want, she has 4 children who all do their bit in one way or another, so I decided to bake her some cupcakes, as I know they will be appreciated.
I use a basic Nigella recipe from ‘How to be a domestic goddess’ here’s the Link
I start by making the icing sugar for the frosting in the Thermomix 200g granulated sugar whizzed on speed 10 for 30 seconds, I put some kitchen paper under the measuring cup to prevent a snow storm 😇 Then add 10g of cornflour, this acts as anti caking, you can leave out if you like, then blitz on speed 10 for another 30 seconds – done 🤓 I make this in batches and store in a lock and lock as I Bake quiet a lot .
I am making the cake batter in the Kitchen Aid, as I like to see the consistency. Pre heat the oven to 200, then Weigh out into the mixer bowl 125g sugar, 125g chopped butter, 125g self raising flour, 2 large eggs, a blob of vanilla bean paste and a splash of milk. Using the beater attachment, start slowly and build up the speed till the mix is smooth and silky, you want this dropping consistency.
I line a muffin tin with individual cupcake papers, and I use an icecream scoop to put the mixture in each case, I put the ice cream scoop in a jug of water, this stops the cake mix from sticking. The scoop method ensures you have even amounts of mix for each cake too 👍
Bake the cakes for 15-20 minutes till golden on top, remove from oven and place the cupcakes on a cooling wrack.
Time to make the icing – now this is where you can get creative, the colour and flavours are up to you, I am doing 2 lots, one lemon flavoured with a splash of yellow colouring, the other vanilla flavoured pink icing. For each batch, I start with 120g butter and 350g icing sugar, whisk together for approx 4 minutes till pale, add your flavouring I did 1 tsp of lemon flavouring (more intense) and 2 drops of yellow colouring for lemon, and a half teaspoon of vanilla extract and 2 drops of pink colouring.
I have put piping nozzles into each icing bag, 1 large star and 1 small star, fill the piping bags with the icing, I then put them into the fridge for 10 minutes to firm up a bit, not too much or it will be too hard to pipe.
I am not the best at piping, and I watch in awe and admiration these amazing people who say, just do this and that and they have produced a stunning product which you would not want to ruin by eating….. I do my best and I think it look pretty.