21 May 2010
Recipe for Indulgent Coffee Cup Cakes
There's lots of fuss and carry on about cup cakes and how wonderful they are, so I felt I better try and make some. I was, also, unsure what the actual difference between a cup cake is and a good, old fashioned fairy cake.
Well, the difference is as much about perception as it is about any real change - cup cakes are bigger and to fit in with that extra size the toppings are more indulgent and rich than a classic fairy cake. In addition, the texture and mouth feel of the cake is moister and richer while a fairy cake tends to be lighter and more springy. This is partly to do with the ingredients that add in milk and some plain flour to increase the richness and reduce the airiness of a Yorkshire fairy cake. What do I prefer - I think the answer is a classic one of "horses for courses", i.e. it depends on the event.
Here's a good version of a cup cake - a Fairtrade Coffee Cup Cake.
Ingredients for the cup cakes:
- 250g/9oz unsalted butter, softened
- 250g/9oz Fairtrade golden caster sugar
- 4 free range eggs
- 45ml/1.5 fl oz espresso coffee or strong Fairtrade black coffee
- 185g/6.5oz organic self-raising flour
- 60g/2oz organic plain flour
- 140ml/5 fl oz milk (full fat please)
Ingredients for the icing:
- 100g/3.5oz mascarpone at room temperature
- 50g/1.75oz Fairtrade milk chocolate
- Chocolate drops or chocolate strands
How to make Steenbergs Fairtrade coffee cup cakes:
Preheat to oven to 180oC/350oF and oil lightly a dozen hole muffin tray.
Make the strong Fairtrade coffee - I used an Ethiopian coffee from Grumpy Mule - and add to the milk. Sieve the organic flours together.
Put the butter and caster sugar into a mixing bowl and beat until pale and creamy. Add the free range eggs, one at a time and then add the strong Fairtrade black coffee flavoured milk, and beat until well mixed together. Fold in the sieved organic flours and ensure well mixed through. Stir until smooth.
Divide the cake mixture about two-thirds up a muffin hole (or a muffin sized case and place on baking tray) and bake for 20 minutes. Enjoy the remaining mixture taste by sharing with the kids, or just enjoy yourself while (in this case) the children were playing outside in the garden. Remove from the oven and leave to sit for 10 minutes, then tip the muffins out of the muffin pan onto a wire rack to cool, or just place the muffin cases straight onto the wire rack.
For the icing, melt the milk chocolate over simmering water. Leave to cool down and then gently beat in the mascarpone until you have a thick creamy icing. Spread the mix over the cooled muffins and sprinkle with a Fairtrade chocolate drops or Steenbergs dark or light chocolate strands - I used dark.
Then it's up to you how to enjoy them - whether with a cup of strong coffee or some delicious freshly brewed Steenbergs organic Fairtrade Peace Tea in a mug.