Who on this earth does not have a secret love affair with cup cakes? Those little mounds of sweet delight we used to gorge ourselves on at Saturday afternoon birthday parties as children, usually in unnaturally bright colours and packed with enough sugar to give all children tummy aches and all Mums headaches. The time for the Noble Cup Cake, as I’m sure you’ve noticed from local corner bakery to Gourmandista’s grocery lists, has returned. Only now they’re a little more grown up, a little more subtle but still oh so good. While great as a tea time snack on your own on a Sunday afternoon, a treat for the entire office or a delightful end to a dinner party I can assure you that the best bit of these little treasures is the making of them!
I’ve adapted the cup cake recipe from Nigella Lawson’s ‘Domestic Goddess‘ to suit my tastes.
Basic Cup Cake Batter
Makes 12 little cup cakes
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup castor sugar
1 cup flour
20 mls milk
For the Lavender cakes:
1 Tbsp dried Lavender petals
⅓ cup milk
few drops vanilla
– heat oven to 400˚F
– put 12 medium muffin liners in a muffin tin
– beat butter and sugar together until creamy. Add eggs one at a time and beat well. (For Matcha cakes, add vanilla here).
– add flour and mix until well incorporated. Add milk and mix.
– bake for 10 – 15 mins. Keep an eye on them, they will go from yumminess to dry and nasty in no time!
– allow to cool completely before icing.
To Make the Lavender Cakes:
– put milk and flowers in a small sauce pan and heat until the milk is piping hot, but not boiling. Remove from heat, cover and allow to steep for a good 20 to 30 mins.
– strain milk, add vanilla and use Lavender milk in place of normal milk in cup cake recipe.
To Make Matcha Cakes:
– add vanilla after eggs
– once batter is mixed, add tea powder and incorporate.
White Chocolate Icing for Matcha Cakes
75 g good white chocolate (using good chocolate makes a big difference)
60 g unsalted butter
2 tsp milk
Icing sugar, about 2 – 3 cups, sifted
3 Tbsp Cream Cheese
– melt chocolate, butter and milk together over a bain marie, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a minute.
– add sugar, a half cup at a time, until consistency of mixture is a smooth, easily spreadable paste. Add cream cheese and mix well.
½ stick unsalted butter, softened
2 or so cups icing sugar, sifted
3 Tbsp Lavender Milk
a drop of blue and red food colouring
– beat butter until creamy. Add icing sugar a bit
at a time until a stiff icing is formed.
Add milk and mix, adjust consistency of
icing with sugar.
– in a small bowl, combine food colouring
with one teaspoon icing. Mix well.
Add to icing, little bit by little bit,
mixing very well in between,
until desired shade is obtained.