Another summer surprise. If only the British weather could make its mind up. This summer has just been the worst so far, honestly, it just cannot make its mind up. Last weeks bake was fitting of the weather, this weeks bake a little less so. It had to be done though. The fresh ingredients were sitting in the fridge staring at me, if they weren’t used a certain small person would of dived straight in and there would of been nothing left to bake with. That’s how things normally pan out in our house. Fresh fruit, gone in 60 seconds. Berries, definitely.
Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes with Basil Syrup
yields 16 standard cupcakes
I suppose a lot of people wouldn’t put basil and strawberry together, but then again, a lot of people would. Maybe not so much in a cake, but it does work. Basil syrup is amazing stuff, it’s also gorgeous with brownies. At a family meal this past new year me, my mum and younger sister wracked our brains for a good pudding. This is where basil syrup came from, although granted, it wasn’t our idea. We found it all over the Internet ‘for use in cocktails’. Yes, of course. But we can use it elsewhere. So we did. Brownies (baked by yours truly), basil syrup (made by yours truly) and mango ice cream (made by my little sister). It was the best after dinner treat ever. I’ve been itching to use the syrup since. So today I did. And it hasn’t failed!
You will need;
A large bowl
220g fresh strawberries
80ml vegetable oil
200g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
First preheat your oven to gas mark 5 (190c). You need to start by blending your strawberries into a smooth purée in the large bowl, to this add 2 eggs, the sugar, vanilla and vegetable oil. Whisk until frothy and fully incorporated. To this add the flour and baking powder, combine and spoon into individual cake cases. Bake for 15 minutes until soft and springy.
For the syrup; add 1 cup water, 1 1/2 cup sugar and half bunch of fresh chopped basil to a pan and allow to simmer for 6-8 minutes until you have a thick syrup. Once cool inject into cupcakes using a syringe or cut a hole in cakes and spoon in.
I topped mine with a plain buttercream icing just to cover the basil overflow.
I think I dreamt about these last night, during the tossing and turning, added to the toddler kicking me after howling to get in our bed early morning *yawn*. To keep her entertained today we baked – together. She always loves to get involved where blueberries are concerned. I’m suprised she hasnt turned into a blueberry, the rate she gets through them. Im also suprised there were some left in the fridge to do this bake. What a suprising day! Wish I could call these muffins, but im afraid that would be baking fraud. The rise and texture isnt in keeping with a muffin although you rarely seen fruit in a cupcake. But im not going to commit a crime and call this a muffin, maybe a muffin recipe to follow in the coming weeks. To bake this yummyness, follow the steps below..
Blueberry & Marshmallow Cupcakes
You will need;
A large mixing bowl.
A wooden spoon.
A toddler – optional.
12 deep muffin cases.
12 hole baking tray.
250g of salted butter.
250g of caster sugar.
220g of self raising flour.
1 tbsp of pure vanilla extract.
4 tbsp of milk.
blueberries – preferably fresh, but frozen would be fine id imagine – amount optional
mini marshmallows – amount optional
a few pinches of dark brown sugar
To start preheat your oven to gas mark 4/180 celcius. In your mixing bowl cream your butter until smooth, then beat in the sugar until fluffy and fully incorporated. Mind toddler fingers (!), if using, they like to dip and lick already. For the next stage I like to add 1 egg and 1/4 of the flour together and incorporate in batches, repeat until youve added all your eggs. After measure out your milk and vanilla and gently fold into the mixture. Add the desired amount of blueberries and marshmallow and set bowl to the side. Be quick here, if using optional toddler, they will take handfuls when your back is turned. Place each muffin case in the allocated slot for baking. Fill each one 3/4s full, allow a little space for a rise. WARNING – dont be a spoil sport, allow the toddler to get its head in the bowl and clean it for you! My daughter told me off for using all the mixture in all the cases and demanded some was put back into the bowl. Beggar! Sprinkle each cake with a pinch or 2 of dark brown sugar for a nice crunchy top and golden colour. Throw in the oven for between 30-40 minutes until risen and golden, or until cake tester comes out clean. Leave to cool for 15 minutes or so and enjoy with a nice cup of tea, I like earl grey with blueberry, lovely!
Hope youve enjoyed todays bake, I know we have. Try it, its beautiful. So beautiful infact they probably wont last very long at all, even in a household of 2 or 3. I might even suggest doubling the measurements for a household of over 4, they deserve it! Please feel free to follow, comment and share on..
Nightmare! Open fridge, no butter.. Hate it when this happens. But my baking revolves round a strict budget, so when there’s no butter, I mean there is NO BUTTER.
I want to bake, there is a way around my butter free fridge. One word, oil. It is your friend. If you want a light fluffy cake. I’m talking, it feels like you have a cloud in your mouth (yes, a cloud!).
Chocolate Oil Cake & A Cheeky Almond Addition
So I have a need to bake, I’m an addict. Today is this moist, fluffy chocolate cake. I’m making into cupcakes today, and adding ground almond to half the mixture for an added something. If you want to try this recipe follow as below, it’s the perfect treat for someone that cannot have diary, and it’s a delicious treat for anyone (they won’t even notice the missing egg, or butter – I promise).
You will need;
A wooden spoon.
A large mixing bowl.
12 hole muffin tray.
24 cupcake cases.
250g white sugar.
230g of plain flour.
3g baking powder.
3g bicarbonate of soda.
A pinch of salt.
40g cocoa powder.
280ml of water.
150ml of vegetable oil.
2tsp quality vanilla extract.
1.5tsp distilled vinegar.
Optional 100g of ground almond (to be added to remaining mixture, after 12 cupcakes produced)
Go ahead, rev that oven up. Gas mark 4/180 Celsius is best. Get your bowl ready and sieve all the dry ingredients and mix until fully incorporated. Measure and pour in all your wet ingredients and beat (I beat by hand when not using butter, but a mixer will do the same job). Don’t worry about the consistency, this is a runny mixture. Voila cake mix done! Arrange your cupcake case into their allocated slot in the tray. Fill each cake about half to 2/3s full to allow space for the rise. Bake for around 20-25 minutes until they spring back when touched and pull out onto a wire rack to cool. I only used half the mix for 12 cupcakes so for the last batch I added around 100g of ground almond to the remaining mixture and place as before in the cupcake tray. Your can add any topping to your finished cupcake. I’m undecided yet, so I’ll leave this to use. Be adventurous and let your creative juices flow. A vanilla buttercream would work well, although the cakes will no longer be dairy free.
Happy baking! Please come back soon for more recipes. Enjoy your cakes, and always be proud of your make. It’s too easy to stroll to the shop and pick up your favourite packet mix or ready made cake.