Wednesday, 24 December 2008


I am spending this Christmas with T and his family, and last time they came to visit us in Edinburgh I made some cupcakes for them. Word had got around that I make a good cupcake, so I agreed that I would bake a batch while I was visiting.

We made chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream adapted from the much missed Cupcake Bakeshop, and carrot cakes with lemon mascarpone adapted from Jamie Oliver's "Cook with Jamie", an online version of which can be found here.

I also took this opportunity to get T baking. I really just supervised him while he did all the hard work! My main adaptions to the chocolate cupcakes is to not include the strawberries, because British strawberries are only in season for about a month and the rest of the year they are imported, taste bland and are really expensive. I also recommend making about 3/4 of the ganache filling as there always seems to be too much left over when you make the full amount. I think some water got in to this batch, as when we put the leftover ganache in the fridge pools of water formed on the surface, and the texture didn't seem quite right. It was fine for cake filling, but I wouldn't have used it for a decorative topping. We then topped the cakes with a piped swirl of buttercream. I now have a reputation in T's family for being overly prepared as I brought my own piping set along! At least I didn't bring a kitchen sink...

The carrot cakes are a little trickier, as they require the yolks and the whites of the egg to be added separately, and folded in to keep the air in the whisked whites. T picked up the knack of folding quite quickly, and the mascarpone topping was tasty as usual. By making them in to cupcakes instead of a full cake, they only need about 30 mins in the oven, but check on them regularly, when they are brown they are probably done, but check a skewer comes out clean to be sure.

Annoyingly I forgot to get some photos but I make these quite frequently so will get some next time.