I feel that i should perhaps use this blog to promote my very own tribute to all things cupcake...and that would be through the medium of the Cambridge Cupcake Club.
This is a club*** that i have helped to set up with my good friend Kirstie.
We basically used this as an excuse to try loads of different cupcake recipes, but allow some of the calories to fall onto other cupcake lovers' hips! - it works....sort of!
I say sort of, as we do tend to still eat more than we should, as it has been such a popular concept, that the second meet we organised had a turnout of 14 members!
We are a facebook group run by myself and Kirstie, where we basically meet up, we each bake a round of cupcakes and swap them with each other, along with the recipes.
This is purely for fun, and we welcome new members, just drop us a line if you are interested in joining us : )
We thought it would be a good excuse to get girlies (And guys) together, make new friends in Cambridge and surrounding areas, and generally just have a bit of a giggle,..And it is proving really popular, so we think it's working hehe.
And trust me when i say...it is not possible to eat 14 cupcakes in one sitting.... if that can be proven wrong, i welcome you to try(!).....so the family are always happy bunnies when i come home with my leftovers after the meet!
Our first meet was in a small, and local coffee shop on Saturday 24th April 2010 - There were 8 members there with their tasty cupcakes! And it was really exciting, considering one of our members drove all the way from Essex to join us! I think she was glad that she did! The cupcakes that were made included a delicious Cherry and Vanilla cupcake, Refreshingly (And massive!) Triple Chocolate Muffins, Coffee cupcakes made from the Primrose Bakery recipe book, and even a shockingly tasty Chocolate and Beetroot cupcake which was a winner by everybody!
Our second meet was at The Arts Picturehouse Cafe in Cambridge (Which really is a very impressive venue and we were honoured to be allowed to squat in here for a few hours...and we did leave the staff leftover cupcakes as a thank you!) on Saturday 12th June 2010- There were 14 members there with their yummy cupcakes!
And this was an even bigger success than the first : )
The cupcakes here included a really scrummy Lemon Meringue Concotion, a very professional looking Rocky Road recipe, 2 varieties of Peanut Butter, my Boozy Blackforest cupcakes and a really unique Lavender cupcake which went down very well indeed!
So now we are on the hunt for our THIRD cupcake venue.... we have a couple of ideas but we want something new and exciting, so if anybody has any ideas....... please do make them known : )
We are open to new suggestions!
We are hoping to gain even more members this time and make this one even better than the last....if that is at ALL possible!
(And for the readers who want to recreate my masterpiece, my piece de resistance, my signature cupcake... the Boozy Blackforest Cupcake, which i made for the second cupcake meet, and have made many times since (As i know how well it goes down!....)
I am listing my recipe below.... and believe me, it is goooooooood!
*** If you would like to follow us on facebook and add us as a *Friend*, then search JoKirstiesCupcakeClub : ) ***
For the Sponge:
115g butter, softened
115g caster sugar
175g self-raising flour
1 tablespoon milk ( I used Skimmed)
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
Espresso Powder (3 tsp mixed with 2 tbsp of bolied water)
Cherry Sauce or Compote ( I bought Cherry Pie Filling from Sainsbury's)
For the Icing:
225g unsalted butter, softened (Room Temp is fine)
5ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract
450g icing sugar, sifted
40ml (2.5 tbsp) cold water
Glaze Cherries for decoration (Optional)
Dark Chocolate for decoration (Optional)
1) Pre-heat the oven to 180*c and prepare a muffin/cupcake tin with cupcake cases.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (Use an electric hand-held mixer to make easy work of this), then add the eggs and whisk in, one at a time until combined. Add the milk, espresso mix and the cocoa powder and mix in with a spatula until fully combined with the mixture.
Sift in the flour and fold gently until blended with the wet mixture.
2) Divide the cake mixture between your 12 cupcake cases and bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes. (Mine took nearer to 15 minutes as the cocoa moistens the mixture).
Leave them to cool on a wire rack for ten minutes, and then cut out a hole into the top of each cake, as you would a butterfly cake. (You want a deep enough hole for the filling)
When completely cool, drizzle a little cherry brandy into each hole to moisten the sponge and then with a teaspoon, spoon the cherry sauce / compote into the hole and then gently place the piece of cake on top and push firmly. (It will look funny and risen, but this will be covered up later).
3) For the butter cream, beat the butter until soft with a hand mixer. Alternatively, you can use a food processor. Gradually beat in the icing sugar and water together.
Continue beating until frosting is light and fluffy. Towards the end, add the vanilla extract.
4) Using a piping bag, pipe the butter cream over the cake in a pyramid movement (Mister Whippy style!) to cover the risen sponge.
Place a cherry on top to decorate. Grate a little Dark Chocolate over the top if you want even more decadence!
5) Enjoy....possibly with a fork as it can get messy : )