Okay so this is a slightly disjointed blog post. I have a few things to tell you. First up, let’s focus on the recipe in hand. That’s most likely why you’re here. So I developed this eton mess butterfly cupcake recipe for Aldi for a little piece they did about street parties. You can watch the video here if you like. I also have the recipes for the sausage rolls and quiche too, but that’ll have to wait for another day.
Now these cakes are delicious. I don’t need to sell to you the joy that is the trinity of strawberries, meringue and whipped cream. We all know how good that tastes. But when you add these three things to a soft vanilla cupcake, and then you go one step further and fill that cupcake with strawberry jam, well, these are game changing cupcakes. My eldest son even decided he likes cream since trying one of these. I know they’re a bit of a faff what with making the extra meringue. If you’re stuck for time just buy some meringue nests and break them up.
The other thing I have been itching to tell you all properly is that this here blog has been nominated for a Good Housekeeping Award! I am feeling incredibly excited and humbled and honoured by this news. I think the thing about writing a blog is that you spend a lot of time wondering if what you’re doing is any good. In that, you wonder if people use the recipes. In the early days of this blog people used to comment a lot. That was what people did back then. Commenting is not so big now on any kind of blog, food or otherwise. So you basically get less feedback. It’s just the way of the world; people are busy. I get it. Instagram does tend to be a little more responsive. People tag you when they make a recipe. That always makes my day. Anyway, what I am not so eloquently saying is that I am really pleased and happy. So thank you.
And thirdly an update on the brownie business. We are aiming to get the packaging ordered by the end of this month. The theme is chocolate (not surprisingly) so the illustrations will centre around that theme. I am wrestling with whether to show you the designs before the packaging arrives or wait until I have something in my hands. Anyway, back to the recipe, my eton mess cupcakes. This is a good one.
Lots of great recipes like this in my books, Recipes from a Normal Mum, (available on Amazon, at The Works, Waterstones, WHSmith, The Book Depository and many smaller outlets) and The Power of Frozen (available through Amazon).
Last year: Banana & cinnamon muffins, Basic flapjack, Sweet & sour pork, Veggie chilli and Apple & marzipan galette.
Two years ago: Cherry & banana no churn ice-cream, Orange meringue pie and Roasted cauliflower, cumin and bulgar wheat salad.
Three years ago: Beery walnut bread, Gluten-free oat-topped chorizo, sweetcorn and tomato muffins and Orange butter biscuits.
Four years ago: Chocolate, hazelnut and orange wrinkly biscuits, Sticky Bounty rolls and Lemon & almond breakfast rolls,
Five years ago: Father’s Day man cake and Bakewell tart with a vanilla crust.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours, 0 minutes
- For the cakes:
- 150g soft salted butter
- 150g castor sugar
- 150g self-raising flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- To fill and decorate:
- 1 large egg white
- 60g castor sugar
- 90g strawberry jam
- 300mls double cream
- 3 large fresh strawberries
Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160/gas mark 4 and line a 12 hole cupcake tray with cases. Beat together all of the cupcake ingredients using either an electric mixer or by hand. This should take about 4 minutes with a mixer or about double the time with a wooden spoon. When it’s ready, the mixture will be lighter than when you started, and look a little like whipped double cream. It will also easily drop off a metal spoon if held from a height. Divide the mixture equally between the cases and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until the cakes are light brown, feel springy and a toothpick inserted into the middle cake comes out clean. Remove from the tray and cool on a wire rack. Turn the oven down to 140C/fan 120C/gas mark 1 and line a couple of baking trays with foil, shiny side up. Make the meringues by whisking the egg white to soft peaks. Add the castor sugar 1 tsp at a time, whisking well after each addition until the mixture is brilliant white, very glossy and stiff. Pipe or spoon 24 circles of meringue onto the foil, roughly the same size; about 4cm in diameter and flat. You can make some extra in case some snap after baking. Place the baking trays in the oven and immediately turn down to 110C/fan90C/gas mark 1/4. Bake for an hour and a half until they’re completely dried out and easily come away from the foil, then cool on a wire rack. In the meantime use an apple corer or sharp knife to remove the centres of the cupcakes (careful not to cut all the way to the bottom) and fill with strawberry jam. You can eat the cupcake centres as a chef’s perk! To assemble the cakes whip the double cream to stiff peaks and spoon/pipe a tablespoon on top of each cupcake. Add two meringue discs as wings (as you could a butterfly cake) and cut the strawberries into quarters, lengthways, to arrange between the wings as a ‘body’. Serve immediately and remember to keep leftovers refrigerated, given they contain fresh cream. NB: If your strawberries are small, use two quarters as a body.
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