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Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Strawberry and elderflower cupcakes



With Summer still holding on, I thought I’d better get in some nice summery baking before the last of the sunshine vanishes for another year. Nothing says Summer to me more than elderflowers and strawberries (and maybe Pimms…). Next year it might be time for some Pimms cupcakes, but for now I’ll have to settle with these tasty strawberry and elderflower ones.

Makes 10 cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the cakes:
165g unsalted butter, softened
100g caster sugar
2 large eggs
Finely grated zest of 1 small lemon
1 tbsp elderflower cordial
1 tsp orange blossom water
200g self-raising flour
100ml milk
100g strawberries, chopped in to chunks

For the icing:
250g icing sugar
80g unsalted butter, softened
40ml milk
1 – 1 ½ tbsp. elderflower cordial, to taste
10 small strawberries, to decorate (optional)

Method:
  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C/350°F and line a muffin tray with paper cases.
  • Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Add the lemon zest, elderflower cordial, and orange blossom water and mix well.
  • Fold in half the flour, then half the milk, and then the rest of the flour, followed by the rest of the milk. Make sure they are fully incorporated, but don’t over mix.
  • Add the strawberry chunks and gently stir, making sure they are distributed throughout the mix.
  • Spoon the mix in to the cupcake cases and bake for 20-25 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool on a wire rack. These are quite delicate cupcakes, so if you usually remove the cakes from the tin upside down, I’d recommend not to for these, or to leave them that little bit longer in the tin to firm up a little.
  • To make the icing, whisk the butter and icing sugar together in either a freestanding electric mixer or hand-held electric whisk on a low speed until combined and smooth. (If using a hand-held electric whisk, or if your butter isn’t really soft, I’d recommend adding some of the milk before you start or you’ll get covered in icing sugar.)
  • Gradually add the milk while mixing. Once fully incorporated, add the elderflower cordial gradually, to taste. Turn the speed up and continue to mix for a couple of minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Once the cupcakes are completely cooled use a palette knife to spread the icing on top of each cake (this icing will be too soft to pipe on. If you want to pipe, gradually add more icing sugar until it is the right consistency).
  • Decorate each cake with a strawberry (don’t add the strawberry until you’re ready to serve as they seem to go off quicker once they have icing on them).



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