Friday 18 February 2011

Spiced Berry Cupcakes

Helen at Fuss Free Flavours posted these delicious looking cupcakes recently. I thought they looked really delicious and decided that I would reproduce them - after all, what is the point of reading other people's delicious recipes if you don't occasionally make them! Sadly I didn't have a free sample of Pixley Berries delicious sounding cordial to use in the making of these cupcakes, but reading Helen's post reminded me that last time J was visiting she left a bottle of Spiced Berry Cordial, produced by Bottlegreen.

It's a rather delicious cordial - J has been enjoying it hot (as helpfully suggested on the bottle!) as a substitute for coffee - perfect for just before bed when you want a warming drink but don't want to be awake for half the night from the after effects of caffeine! You can see from their website that they've got a wide range of cordials - there are lots of interesting sounding flavours there like Strawberry & Elderflower or Ginger & Lemongrass - I must try some of the others too!
Anyway, this is the bottle I had to hand, so this is what I used. And to great effect too! I followed the recipe almost exactly so won't reproduce it here and it worked very nicely with a few more minutes baking time (thank you Helen), producing very light, moist cupcakes with a subtle hint of the spiced cordial. This was nicely complemented by the buttercream icing - rich and buttery with a stronger hit of spiced berry cordial. I think that I must try using more cordials in my cooking. Do you have any novel uses for cordials in cooking or baking? Are there any recipes I must try that use a cordial as an ingredient?

Colleagues enjoyed these - the spice of the berry cordial was definitely noticeable, and commented upon by a couple of people. I think this flavour would be good around Christmas time too.

As an aside, as I was making the buttercream and adding the cordial, the buttercream seemed to become grainy and look split. I rectified this by adding more icing sugar, which worked well, but I'm mystified as to why it happened in the first place. I've never really had buttercream split on me before!

And I suppose I should say... with thanks to J for providing the cordial. Don't worry, I haven't used your whole bottle, I'll give the rest back later!


Helen said...

Delighted to have inspired you!

the cordial cakes are something I'll be revisting!

Suelle said...

What a great idea! I bought a bottle of that particular cordial and found the spices too overwhelming as a drink, but as a cake flavouring it sounds lovely.

Hazel - Chicken in a Cherry Sauce said...

Spiced Berry is a very interesting flavour that I have never come across before, let alone in cupcakes! I love a warm bedtime drink and this sounds like the perfect caffeine-free substitute for tea/coffee!

cocoa and coconut said...

That's a really interesting way to use cordial. Looks like it was sucessful for you!

Katie said...

Looks yummy and I love the sound of the fruity frosting. I bet using cordial gave it a really intense flavour. I've used cordial when making a fruit coulis before, adds an extra depth of flavour. Love the idea of drinking it warm too.

Rhyleysgranny said...

Your cupcakes look and sound delicious. I have never heard of that particular cordial nor indeed of using them in baking. Now of course I have to try. Just need to find this cordial. :)

Brownieville Girl said...

Oh I'd love these - they look so pretty too!

I'd love to taste the ginger and lemongrass cordial - sounds really interesting.

Alicia Foodycat said...

It's never even crossed my mind to use cordials in baking! This sounds really good.

I can definitely recommend the Bottlegreen ginger and lemongrass, it is delicious.

Anonymous said...

Such a pretty pink, C! I think they'd be wonderful for little princess birthday parties too!

Caroline said...

Helen - they were great, thanks for the original post!

Sue - I do hope you like it more in cakes. I have to admit that it is J drinking it, not me, but I liked it in the cakes.

Hazel - thanks for commenting. I think this would be a perfect pre-bedtime drink.

Brittany - thank you!

Katie - the cordial worked well in the frosting. I hadn't thought of using it when making fruit coulis/sauces though - great idea!

Rhyleysgranny - I hope you manage to find the cordial. I've definitely seen it in Waitrose, and J buys it from Booths (Northwest UK) but you might have success in Sainsburys or Tesco - I think it's fairly widely stocked.

Brownieville Girl - thanks! The ginger and lemongrass sounds good, but I really fancy the strawberry and elderflower on their website. Not seen it in the shops though.

Foodycat - it's good to have a personal recommendation so thank you! I'll have to look for that one next time I'm shopping.

Celia - thank you! Now all I have to do is find a princess to bake for!

Chele said...

I'm liking the sound of these cupcakes, great ides to add bottlegreen cordial, that stuff is the bees knees!!

Choclette said...

These looks so pretty and what a great idea to use cordial in baking. I think I might even have a bottle of this (or something similar) lurking somewhere.


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