The boys are off for their annual holiday this week without us. I am both excited (yes, for them, but also at the prospect of having time to paint the stairs, sleep in and, well, drink Aperol spritz and the like) and worried about missing them. READ MORE
Lemon, blueberry and white chocolate cupcakes
- 150g soft butter or margarine
- 150g castor sugar
- 150g self raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp milk
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 lemon
- 50g icing sugar
- 200g soft, salted butter
- 400g icing sugar
- 2tbsp vanilla extract (yes, TWO TABLESPOONS)
- 90g blueberry jam
- 36 blueberries
- 200g white chocolate
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases. For the cupcakes, cream the butter/margarine in a bowl until light and fluffy. (Use the flat beater if using your stand mixer.) Add the castor sugar, flour, baking powder, milk, eggs and the zest of the lemon, then mix for about 4 minutes until well combined.
Spoon the mixture into the cases and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until risen and golden-brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. When the cakes are baking make the drizzle by heating 50g icing sugar with the juice of the lemon in a pan on a medium heat until the sugar crystals dissolve. Remove from the heat, poke lots of holes in the cupcakes with a skewer and carefully pour the lemon syrup over the cupcakes. (You can use a brush to add the drizzle if you prefer). Leave to cool completely.
In the meantime make the buttercream:
In a stand mixer, use the flat beater to cream the butter until soft and light – about 4 minutes. Then add the icing sugar spoon by spoon, mixing on a low speed until all incorporated, then add the vanilla extract. Beat on high for 7 minutes until the buttercream looks like mousse – flecked with air bubbles.
NB: This buttercream can be made using a handheld mixer or a wooden spoon, but it will take a LOT longer. I can’t tell you how long as it completely depends on how hard you beat the mixture and how much you move the mixer about. Look for a mixture similar in texture to mousse with flecks of air running through it. I find it very hard to achieve the same lightness without a stand mixer though – I would employ the strongest person in the house to have a go!
Pop the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 1M nozzle. Once you’re ready to pipe, add a teaspoon of blueberry jam to the centre of one cupcake, then pipe a Mr Whippy swirl around the outside of the cupcake, graduating into the centre to cover the jam. Finish the top of the icing off with 3 blueberries pressed into the peak. Repeat, one at a time until you’ve iced all the cupcakes. If piping is something you find hard take a look at THIS video for my top tips. (And can I just say that I am sure I don’t speak like this… really sure. Do I? Oh I hope not).
Lastly, melt the white chocolate (be very careful doing this as white chocolate burns easily. Either melt in short bursts in the microwave or over a bain marie) and place in a piping bag. Once the white chocolate has cooled to body temperature, snip a tiny corner of the piping bag off and drizzle the cupcakes in a zig zag fashion. This can be quite messy so either do it over newspaper or be prepared to lick, sorry, scrub the table clean.