I’m from Leicester and it’s not somewhere people seem to be proud to be from. Possibly being a Midlands city it suffers from a lack of north/south divide identity tension. We have no-one to hate, to ridicule. So we sit merrily in the middle not being angry about location because we’re quite literally stuck in the middle of things.
Given that I don’t have that puffed up chest ‘I am northern/southern, hear me roar!’ thing going on, I have always embraced my British identity. And there is nothing more British than strawberries and cream. We simply love the stuff don’t we? Make sure you spend the extra on good strawberries for these, they’re the star of the show after all.
Two years ago: Teacher’s pet chocolate and hazelnut oaty biscuits and Spelt loaf and Vanilla cupcakes
Three years ago: Restorative chicken and leek risotto
Strawberries & cream cupcakes
- 150g self raising flour
- 150g castor sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 150g butter, softened
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 6g freeze dried strawberries
- 60g strawberry jam or EasiYo strawberry fruit squirt
- 600mls double cream, whipped to medium peaks
- 12 beautiful strawberries
Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4 and prepare a 12 hole cupcake tin with cases. Beat the flour, sugar, baking powder, butter, vanilla and eggs using the KitchenAid flatbeater or a wooden spoon until really light in colour and fluffy looking. This takes about 4 minutes in the mixer. Add the freeze dried strawberries and beat in for 30 seconds then divide the mixture into 12 cupcake cases equally. Bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes until well risen and a toothpick comes out of the middle of the cakes clean. Leave to cool out of the tin on a wire rack.
Once cool take an apple corer and remove the centre of the sponge from each cupcake. Push the corer in and twist but not all the way to the bottom – you want a little sponge left in the base. Remove the sponge and eat/discard then fill the hole with strawberry jam or EasiYo strawberry fruit squirt. Use a teaspoon if you don’t have a squeezy pouch to use.
Pipe whipped cream on the top and adorn with a ruby red strawberry and there you have it – Britishness in a cupcake. Serve immediately and then keep in the fridge if they’re not all gobbled up.