I have recently been on a binge. I am addicted to The Great British Baking Show on PBS, and I can’t get enough of sponge cakes, savoury pies and gingerbread.
I’ve always liked baking, but failed to truly recognize the science behind it; how certain ingredients cause chemical reactions which either adds or takes away from the final product. I have managed through the years to be somewhat successful at tossing in approximate amounts without taking due care to measure each ingredient out exactly, so I see now that I have just been lucky. How I admire the knowledge that these bakers hold while creating and perfecting their desserts and breads.
With a renewed interest in baking, I promptly ordered some baking books from the show and set to work in creating some of Paul Hollywood’s creations. It’s going to take time and repeated effort but I really enjoy the calm and the creation of making something with your hands. So far, I’ve tried lemon curd swiss rolls, cherry clafoutis, victorian sponge cakes, homemade raspberry jam, macarons, pizza and today’s lemon cupcakes with blackberry buttercream. A few of the ingredients should be at room temperature so plan ahead.
3 cups of cake flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 cup of softened butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 lemon zested
5 large eggs at room temperature
2 cups of sugar
1 1/4 cups buttermilk at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp of lemon juice
Note: This recipe makes 24 cupcakes.
Preheat oven to 350° . Line 2 tins of cupcake tins with papers and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix.
In a stand mixer, with a paddle attachment, combine the butter and lemon zest. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for 1 more minute.
Add the sugar to the butter mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Mix in the eggs one at a time . Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Combine the buttermilk, lemon juice and vanilla extract in a measuring cup. With the mixture on low, add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry and mixing until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for 20 seconds longer.
Fill the cupcake papers 2/3 of the way with batter. Bake until they spring up when lightly pressed approximately 18 minutes. Let cool.
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups of icing sugar
1/2 cup cup of blackberries
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
blackberries for garnish
Puree the blackberries in a small processor or ninja. Strain the pulp out into a fine mesh strainer. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, press the berry pulp to remove the seeds and so that the juices pool into a small bowl. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed for 1 minute. Reduce to low speed and add the icing sugar one cup at a time. Add the vanilla and the blackberry puree. Increase to medium speed and beat until smooth and combined. Frost cupcakes and garnish with a fresh blackberry.
Next on my list…cranberry and stilton bread!