When I worked in advertising one of my clients was a supermarket. So in March as Easter loomed we talked a lot about Christmas turkeys, mincemeat and of course what booze might be on offer come the festive season, and as school broke up in the summer we talked about back to school pencil cases and lunchbox treats. As for Christmas, well we stressed out about Paschal Lamb and marzipan apostles sitting atop Simnel cakes.
It was a strange existence. I was hungry a lot of the time though when actually offered a tin of Roses at Christmas time, my stomach turned a little. My internal seasonal menu-clock was shot to pieces. As Santa approached all I wanted was a cream egg. Wrong.
I’ve had a break from this for some years what with getting married, leaving advertising and having babies. Until this morning when QVC asked me to brain storm Spring and Summer recipe ideas for my Easter Sunday show. Looking out of my window at the dreary weather it’s taken some closely shut eyes and a delve into summers past to conjure up berry pavlovas, lady like cucumber sandwiches, garden party mini pizzas with goats cheese, vanilla cakes topped with white chocolate ganache and raspberries… and of course the summeriest of all summery flavours, elderflower – in a trifle no less.
Here’s a recipe for a rather stay-inside-at-coffee-mornings-and-eat-cakes-kind-of-weather. But any summery ideas all gratefully received – do leave a comment if you think of something.
Caramel coffee cupcakes
- 130g self raising flour
- 45g ground almonds
- 175g soft butter
- 175g castor sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tbsp Camp coffee essence/instant coffee made up with a bit of hot water
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp milk
- 200g soft butter
- 400g icing sugar
- 200g of tinned caramel
- 12 pieces of dairy fudge
Pop the oven on to preheat to 170C/Gas 3. Make sure the rack is in the centre of the oven and then line a cupcake tray with cases. Beat the SR flour, ground almonds, 175g soft butter, castor sugar, eggs, 1 tbsp Camp coffee essence, vanilla extract and the milk until light and fluffy – 4 mins in a stand mixer, about 6 with a wooden spoon. Then divide equally between the cupcake cases and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden, slightly risen and a toothpick comes out of the centre cupcake clean. Leave to cool out of the tray, on a wire rack.
Make the icing by beating the soft butter with the icing sugar until very light and airy looking, like mousse flecked with air. This takes about 7 minutes in a stand mixer, longer with a handheld or wooden spoon. Then add the tinned caramel and Camp coffee essence, (both available in large supermarkets,) or you could make your own caramel if you like. Mix well and then pipe/spread onto your cooled cupcakes and top with dairy fudge. For piping tips I did a film with Lakeland ages ago that might be useful. You can see it here.
For those of you with deja-vu you’d be right in thinking these cupcakes are a the love child of these little chaps.