Sunday 22 September 2013

Vanilla Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

I've been meaning to make these for ever such a long time, and although I know it's not an original idea, we seem to be having a mini heatwave reminiscent of summer and so it's probably the right time to share them. I took advantage of a recent day of leave from work to make the cakes and take them into work in the car. One of my difficulties with this recipe is that it's pretty difficult to transport the finished product for me - they're too tall for my tins and have a propensity to fall over and I had serious concerns about a successful bus journey with them. So my day off seemed like the perfect time to attempt them.

I was a little nervous because I've tried making these before, a couple of years ago. I can't remember which recipe I used but suffice it to say that the attempt was not successful. Overflowing and overdone does not make for a happy baker. And it was impossible to trim off the overflow without damaging the cones so I gave up and didn't attempt them again. Until now, when I saw the recent (well, relatively so) BBC Good Food magazine cover and remembered that I needed to conquer this recipe. I looked at their recipe which calls for 200g each plain flour, butter and caster sugar, 2 eggs, 4tbsp custard powder and vanilla (but no raising agent) and decided not to trust them (my loss probably - I guess with no raising agent that amount of mixture would fit into the cones) partly because the recipe states that it makes 10 yet calls for 12 flat bottomed cones...

Anyway, I decided to use a standard victoria sponge recipe and go carefully when filling the cones, which worked admirably. And then make a lovely soft, whippy white chocolate buttercream to top them with, along with the obligatory flake and chocolate sprinkles.

Vanilla Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes
125g softened butter
125g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs
125g self raising flour
1-2tsp vanilla extract

For the white chocolate buttercream
105g butter, softened
175g icing sugar
70g white chocolate, melted and cooled slightly (I used Green and Blacks with lovely vanilla seeds in it)
small splash hot water

To decorate
Chocolate sprinkles
Flakes (I used full size Cadbury Flakes, chopped into thirds. You'll need 5 flake bars and I had a piece leftover)

- Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Stand 14 flat bottomed cones in a 12 hole muffin tin, placing two on the top of the tin (or just stand them on a baking sheet).
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, flour and vanilla and continue to mix until well combined. It will be quite thick, this is ok.
- Divide evenly between your cones. I had intended to make 12 but found myself with too much cake mixture. I think 14 was right because 12 would have been too full or overflowed. There was just one cone that I thought was slightly underfilled.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes then allow to cool on a wire rack while you make the buttercream.
- Beat the butter until it is very soft. Add the icing sugar in two stages, beating well until it is smooth and creamy. Add the melted white chocolate and continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. I added a small splash of water to make it easier to pipe and used a Wilton 1M tip to pipe the buttercream. 
- Decorate with sprinkles and flakes and admire your handiwork!

My colleagues were really very impressed with these and there was some discussion as to how the cake managed to get inside the cone... not many people knew that cones bake quite happily without burning and it was a source of wonder!

I'm pleased to have finally managed this recipe successfully - I made these a good few weeks ago before changing jobs and they were a final farewell to my lovely and much missed colleagues (although I am lucky enough to be working with lots of lovely new people now too).

I guess this is the explanation for my blog absence too - moving to a new job with more responsibility on the other side of the country, settling in and getting to grips with the job and people haven't left me much time to blog. Added to which I've sort of only half moved house - I am renting somewhere and simultaneously trying (currently unsuccessfully - anyone fancy a nice three bed semi with potential to develop?!?) to sell my house means that I'm back and forth and parted from most of my baking equipment for much of the time. Time to bring out the violins! I probably won't be around much for a while (certainly not until I get an internet connection in the new place - I'm sorry I haven't been commenting much recently, I'm still reading) but I'm still alive. Thanks to all the people out there still reading ;-)

I'm going to enter these into the Calender Cakes challenge, as I'm just catching the end of National Cupcake week and the challenge this month is cupcakes. Hosted this month by Laura of Laura Loves Cakes and co-hosted by Rachel of Dolly Bakes.


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