|raspberry swirl cupcakes|
Raspberries seem to have an affinity for dairy products and go beautifully with cream or icecream (think Raspberry Ripple). They also taste lovely with creamy soft cheeses such as goats cheese.
I had made a raspberry jam (exactly the same as strawberry jam) and a raspberry purée (just raspberries blended up with a wodge of sugar, then sieved to remove the seeds).
This cake recipe is taken from The Primrose Bakery Book by Martha Swift and Lisa Thomas. I love the light texture of the Primrose Bakery cakes and that they are not sickly sweet. I have also added a little almond essence as I think raspberries and almonds are a match made in heaven (think Bakewell Tarts!) The Primrose Bakery version has a very pretty coconut icing, which I am not fond of (since I don't like coconut). I have made a cream cheese icing sweetened with a little icing sugar and raspberry purée.
Makes about 14 to 16 (or double that number if making smaller cakes)
Skill level: Easy
225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
225g golden caster sugar
4 x large eggs
1 tsp almond essence
210g self raising flour, sifted
25g cornflour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
150g fresh raspberries or homemade raspberry jam (and raspberry purée)
cream cheese icing
200g icing sugar, sifted
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
250g cream cheese
about 1 tbsp raspberry purée
- Preheat the oven to 180C / Gas Mark 4.
- Line a 12-hole muffin tin with muffin cases. (Using cases means that they keep their shape when baking)
- Begin by creaming the butter and then adding the sugar and beating until pale and smooth. (I use a hand-held mixer which may take a little longer than a full-blown electric mixer.
- Separate the eggs into separate bowls.
- Lightly beat the eggs and add a little at a time to the creamed butter and sugar. Beat well to ensure that it is well mixed.
- Add the almond essence and stir to combine.
- Sift together the flours and baking powder.
- Using a large metal tablespoon, spoon about a quarter of the flour mixture into the batter mixture and slowly combine, a little at a time. (Using a metal soon means that you don't knock the air out of the mix).
- Crush the raspberries if using and carefully fold into the batter.
- The muffin cases need to be filled about two-thirds full.
- Bake the cupcakes on a middle shelf in the oven for about 20 minutes. They may take up to 25 minutes, depending on how hot your oven is. If making mini cupcakes, they will cook much more quickly - between 12 and 15 minutes. Check for browning after two thirds of the cooking time.
- Leave to cool in the tins for about 10 minutes, before removing the cupcakes and placing on a wire rack to cool fully.
- Make the cream cheese icing by first sifting all of the icing sugar.
- In a large bowl beat together half of the icing sugar together with the butter and the cream cheese.
- Add the rest of the icing sugar a little at a time until the icing is creamy and smooth.
- Add a little of the raspberry purée. It adds both flavour and colour. However, If the icing is too runny, it will be difficult to pipe onto the cupcakes, so you don't want to use too much of the purée. Put into the fridge to cool while you prepare the cupcakes.
- If you are not using the fresh raspberries, but using raspberry jam, you will need to cut a small hole from the top of each cupcake. I use a small pastry cutter with the diameter of a one pence piece, but you could use a sharp knife and a teaspoon to create the hole. Any cake that is excavated can be regarded as the cook's treat - well there it would be a shame to waste it (and you have to check that the cakes are perfect, don't you?)
- Fill the hole with a little of the raspberry jam (to which I added a little raspberry purée). If you warm the raspberry jam by sitting the jar in a bowl of boiling water for a few minutes, it soften and be easier to spoon into the cakes.
- Pipe the icing onto each cupcake, then using a palate knife, smooth over the icing.
- Dress each cake with your preferred topping - I used fresh raspberries, pink glitter sugar, dried rose petals, pearl balls and 100s and 1000s!
The icing can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge of about 5 days, but you will need to bring back to room temperature and beat it up again before using.