A final Easter bake here, and then I'll try and move on... When I spotted that Dan Lepard had written a blog post for the BBC Food blog here
, all about cupcakes for Easter this year, and leaving baking to the last minute, I thought that it was definitely a sign that I should investigate these recipes further!
I've already made two chocolatey treats for Easter this year, both of which were very well received, so I was glad to see that the choices that Dan gives are for Carrot Cupcakes
(which look very tasty!), Simnel Cupcakes
(no good for me...) and finally Easter 'bun' cupcakes
. These last ones were the ones I opted to make.
I have to admit to being glad that I have a fair amount of cake baking experience behind me though. When I looked at the recipe my guess was that a four egg mixture would never fit into 12 cupcakes cases, and given that the pictures you see are of the twelve cupcakes I made using 3/4 of the specified mixture, I think I was right!
The amounts I used are given below. I also found that at 25 minutes the batter was still raw in the middle, so I added another 8-10 minutes to the cooking time, after which the cupcakes were done. I also chose to add a glace icing rather than a cross and used unrefined icing sugar to give the caramelly appearance you see in the pictures. I quite like this unrefined icing sugar, yes, it is still very sweet, but there are undertones of other flavours there too, which makes it more interesting.
Easter Light Fruit Cupcakes
1 1/2tsp ground ginger
1 1/2tsp mixed spice
60ml oil (I used sunflower)
approx 75g eating apple
75g crystallised stem ginger
75g dried cranberries
225g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
For the icing - 150g unrefined icing sugar plus a little boiling water to make a thick icing
Mini (or mico) eggs to decorate
I followed Dan's method as given here
, but baked for longer, as mentioned above. I also decided to replace the specified mixed dried fruit with dried cranberries, because I like them, and because I have quite a few packets in my storecupboard at the moment!
These were a lovely moist cupcake, really easy to make, and definitely a light fruit cake rather than a hot cross bun type texture. Delicious for Easter, but also good for any time of the year when you want a substantial cupcake - these were not a light and airy confection, but packed a great flavour of spice, ginger and dried fruit, complemented by the sweet icing on top. There were lots of interesting textures and tastes here - one mouthful hot and gingery, then next sweet tart cranberry. Delicious. In fact, they would be a great recipe to make for wedding cupcakes if you wanted to go non-traditional and have lots of mini cakes rather than one big one - perfect portion control!
And finally, what would Easter be without crispy nest cakes. You don't need a recipe for these - melt chocolate of choice (these are Dairy Milk for the children), mix in crushed Shredded Wheat (aka straw mattresses in our family - I always use the full size ones, as I think you'd get too many edge/crispy bits from mini ones but I end up with half a packet of nasty Shredded Wheat to eat up - any recipe ideas other than more nests?) and form nests. Fill with eggs. The ones above are filled with micro eggs, something I spotted in Tesco, but actually, Cadbury's mini eggs taste oh so much nicer - I shall revert to those in future years. When you're making Easter nests which cereal do you use? Rice Krispies? Cornflakes? Shredded Wheat? Let me know in the comments!