Recently I've been starting to lose my temper with the baking cupboard - mainly because the thing I'd go in for always seemed to be right at the back, and also because every time I opened the door something seemed to fall out. I always wanted to have a jam-packed baking cupboard, but it seems that I really need to get a bigger cupboard! There has been all sorts of half empty things hanging around in there for ages that I bought for one recipe and never needed again.
And so these Bakewell Tart Cupcakes were born! I had been wondering how to get rid of the almond extract and the glace cherries, and after mulling it over at work, decided to give these a whirl. Now, I know there's probably loads of recipes for similar things in books and on the net, but I decided to just wing it myself to see if I could come up with something edible. And I did! They were very light and fluffy and the almondy flavour was quite strong - was wondering if it would come through, as I hadn't got an ground almonds to add, but I think that would have been almond overkill. I did some with a blob of jam in the middle and some with a layer of jam between the cake and the icing. I think the ones with the jam on top tasted better, but the ones with the jam inside looked better as it kept the icing nice and crisp white.
I palmed some off on Mike to take to work (since neither of us really like Bakewelly stuff), but to my surprise, not even the gannets in his office would eat them! Turns out though, by complete coincidence, there was a baking competition on in his building that day and so they entered them into that. And they came third! I'm not really sure what the entry / judging criteria was - Mike said that some of the cakes were knitted - and apparently the person who organised it got first place! - But either way, I got a cute little trophy!
So here is my very own recipe for Bakewell Tart cupcakes -
150g/5oz caster sugar
175g/6oz self raising flour
3 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons almond extract
8 tablespoons icing sugar
12 glace cherries
1. Preheat oven to 180c and line muffin tins with 12 muffin cases.
2. Beat butter and sugar together, then sift in the flour.
3. Add the eggs and almond extract, then beat until light and creamy.
4. If you want jam swirls inside the cakes, half fill the muffin cases with the mixture, place a blob of jam (about a teaspoon) in the centre, top with the remaining mix, and then give the mixture a quick swirl with a skewer.
5. Bake for 20 minutes until risen and firm to the touch. Cool on a wire rack.
6. To decorate, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and mix in tablespoons of warm water, one at a time, until the icing is smooth, spreadable but still nice and thick.
7. (You can spread cherry jam over the top of the cakes at this point if you like, but it will probably give the icing a few red streaks!)
8. Spread a thick layer of icing over each cake, then top with a glace cherry.
I would also like to enter these into English Mum's Big Bakeoff - I am sure there are going to be loads of entries that are a million times more creative than these humble cupcakes, but I'm really proud of them!